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We've all fantasized about elves doing our work for us when we go to sleep at night. In a global economy, however, you may find your job continues even as you snooze.

Jim Sermersheim is a former Deadhead, living in Provo, Utah. Every morning he drives to his job as a software developer at Novell Incorporated. But his job isn't over when he finishes work at the end of the day. Instead his colleague, Vithalprasad Gaitonde, picks up Jim's coding where he left off. Collaborative projects are nothing unusual, except in this case, Vithalprasad isn't doing the nightshift in Provo. He's working nine to five, 10,000 miles away in Bangalore, India.

The 24-hour demands of today's fast paced global economy and advances in encryption and communications technology are helping to redefine the professional team in business. Power lunches and rideshares give way to email, conference calls, and video conferencing, when half your team is a 12-hour flight away.

For a company like the 18-year old Novell, a computer networking software provider whose e-business applications operate around the clock worldwide and has facilities in over 20 countries, the global conference room is essential to business. Novell is not alone. Sales of teleconferencing equipment are four times today what they were five years ago, according to Wainhouse Research, which analyzes technology trends.


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