Web Host Uses Google Glass to Break Down Communication Barriers, Offer Visual Compliance

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Canadian Web Hosting, a company that provides web hosting from data centers in Toronto and Vancouver, has been using Google Glass in its data centers and beyond to improve internal processes, and transform how employees communicate between each other and with end users.

Google Glass, an internet-connected display worn like eye glasses, has been part of Canadian Web Hosting’s program begun more than 18 months ago in which it set out to test how technologies can be used to change how the company interacts with its infrastructure, customers and internal systems.

Remote support

Google Glass has added remote support capabilities, allowing employees to visually share what they are seeing with other team members and end users. This is a natural extension of the collaborative capabilities provided by Hangouts, GotoMeetings or Skype calls that have helped individuals collaborate in real time. In the short time Canadian Web Hosting has been using Google Glass, it has seen a 60 percent reduction of total time used during conference calls or support sessions.

Visual compliance

It has also enabled “visual compliance”, a method of remotely ensuring that employees comply with processes and policies. This would, for instance, enable customers to get video snapshots of work that has been completed on their servers. It is testing this visual compliance capability for a few select beta customers.

Training and having an expert close by

Data center workers obviously require a great deal of technical understanding, and sometimes need to ask more senior employees for advice. Google Glass helps connect team members remotely that can help them, for instance, troubleshoot hardware or navigate complex environments mapped with Visio diagrams.

By getting to see what the junior employee sees and being able to direct their hands, a senior staffer can ensure the work is done properly and they also teach an employee how to deal with the issue the next time.

Canadian Web Hosting is also testing out visual how-to-guides for common installations give Google Glass wearers the ability to visually compare the equipment in front of you and provide step by step directions.

Wearable technology, of course, is still in its relative infancy, and there remain several challenges. For instance, ambient data center noise makes voice commands difficult, and the selection of Google Glass apps is very limited, requiring users to build a lot of the functionality they desire at this stage. There are also many security implications.

However, this technology that goes wherever you go, and promises to break down layers of understanding between employees and customers, sometimes in unexpected ways. For instance, Canadian Web Hosting found that Google Glass was able to translate different languages spoken at the lunch table, further breaking down communication barriers.

If done well, Google Glass is a technology that could make web hosting teams more efficient and connected.


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About the Author

David Hamilton is a technology journalist and Contributing Editor of the WHIR. Based in Toronto, David has covered the hosting industry internationally for the WHIR with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. He has written for the National Post and other news outlets, and is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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