Kris describes (in german) his experiences as a MySQL consultant working in a virtual office, enjoying the merits of Skype, email, IRC and SSH.
I have to say, being a SAP consultant is not that much different: I’m really not in the office that much, and I’m staying in touch with colleagues through Citrix, the SAP portal, Skype and my mobile phone. The number one thing I’m looking for when arriving at a customer site is the kind of internet access I can get.
There’s one difference to what Kris describes, though – being a huge company means technology innovation trickles dows slowly. Although complaints about increasing communication costs are being sent around, recommendations for Skype or VoIP do not follow and are usually a matter of personal dedication. For example, while we could easily benefit from mobile telephony and data flat rates (just compare the EUR 50 cost for a UMTS flat rate tarrif with the cost for a few hours of hotel dial-up…), this needs to go through an internal IT services process which can take quite some time. Also, Blackberries need VP approval and still are kind of a status symbol.
Anyway – the IT environment works nicely, and offices really are not that important anymore.
UPDATE: Catching up on my blog reading I had to see that Jeff got hit by Corporate IT – that’s what I meant in the paragraph above ;)