Flexible working is a powerful and increasingly essential option for Europeans, to improve prosperity and quality of life and to protect the environment. Over the next five years or so, we can confidently expect flexible working practices to become much more widely adopted, as the new generation of flexible working technologies described in this book moves into the mass market.
The editors are proud to present the achievements of ACTS, the European Union’s major programme of advanced communications research 1995-99, in pioneering new network technologies for flexible working, and to highlight issues for further research and development in the timeframe of IST.
The book will be of interest to those responsible for developing and implementing the technical strategies, systems, networks and products to support new ways of working. Many ACTS projects have played a major role in creating and integrating a complete range of technologies that enable new paradigms in flexible working. Lessons learned are summed up in strategic Guidelines, produced by groups of projects. ACTS has developed and integrated applications, middleware and broadband, mobile network technologies. It has put the integration and further developments of these items on the agenda for the IST programme. It is interesting to note that the very nature of programmes such as ACTS has mandated new types of project managers who have been among the first to manage what we now call flexible and teleworking project environments.
The book consists of the introductory section followed by three parts. The next chapter in this introductory section is a general overview of the contribution of ACTS to flexible working, and issues for IST. This is followed by Part 1 of the book, which focuses on the vision and the benefits - business, social and environmental - of new ways of flexible working. Part 2 presents a number trials and case studies of advanced telework, collaborative working, distance learning and electronic commerce applications. Finally, Part 3 covers a range of the enabling technologies and standards, including broadband and mobile Internet access, mobile agents and multimedia interoperability.
We trust that you will find stimulating new ideas here that will help to advance your business in the new millennium. Space permits us to present only a small representative sample of the achievements of over 200 ACTS projects, and to highlight some of the 70+ Guidelines. A wealth of further information on ACTS projects and Guidelines can readily be found by accessing the websites cited herein.
|Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard||William Donnelly||Michael Griffith|
|UNI-C, Denmark||Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland||TeleCommunities Ltd, UK|
|InfoBridge project||ACTSLINE and DIFFERENCE projects||ACTSLINE and DIFFERENCE projects|
The next section of this document: New ways of flexible working: the contribution of ACTS, and issues for IST