Elusive Office

ELO - 2382

Keywords mobile data communications, portable workstations, mobile fax interfaces, cellular radio networks, mobile office environments

Start Date: 09-JAN-89 / Duration: 48 months

[ contact / participants ]

Objectives and Approach

The aim of ELO was to support the new generation of professionals, who work at many locations away from their main office, by providing an integrated environment, incorporating mobile communications, office tools and support for task execution.

Working from home, at multiple locations and while on the move is becoming increasingly the norm for many groups of professional knowledge workers. Currently available technologies and applications are free-standing, with no links to the office and no support for task-specific applications.

Progress and Results

To ensure systems meet these requirements, the ELO project has investigated the full spectrum of user groups, technologies and concepts. The ELO system (ELOS) delivers on a portable workstation an integrated set of functions, providing the support needed to work from all locations as if at the office, with direct access to colleagues and corporate applications. ELOS has already been field tested in an insurance company, with a large number of sales people.

An ELO System (ELOS) provides transparent access to communications services, presents an integrated view of applications using a high-qualify graphical user interface, and supports the user by means of a computer learning system.

The ELOS provides:

The ELO project is highly user-oriented. Special attention has been paid to developing carefully the requirements for an ELO system. A specific methodology for the requirements capture, analysis and generation has been developed, drawing on investigations of the work environments of, and work performed by, the potential end-users of an ELOS.

Although further development and refinement of the ELOS "construction methodology" is intended, the methodology as it stands can now be used for designing an ELOS for another application area and/or for generating requirements for further functions/system features to be added to the existing ELOS.

One major feature of the system is the high level of assistance available to the end user. At the highest level, a "Help Desk" is supplied, where the user can obtain information about the overall system and the available tasks that can be performed. Within each task, there are two further levels of support: at the low level, detailed help on specific aspects of the task under consideration; and also a context-dependent tutorial style system which will lead the user through the stages necessary to complete the task.


A consultancy package, "Supportware" is now available to user organisations. Supportware includes services provides to organisations to ease the introduction and use of mobile technology in their organisations. Guidance is offered in the following areas: costs benefit analysis, specification of target user groups, acceptance factors, training needs analysis, information technology strategy, job and task analysis, security requirements, impact on organisation structure. The Supportware package has already been successfully applied in a number of organisations.

ELOS is aimed at corporate and free-lance professionals (eg civil engineers, doctors, bankers, architects) who need to receive and send data and messages (eg telephone, fax) whilst on the move and:

ELOS concepts can be applied to enterprise which are undergoing or contemplating


Dr Werner B. Korte
Oxfordstr. 2
D - 53111 BONN 1
tel: + 49/ 228-985300
fax: + 49/ 228-9853012


SEL AG - D - P

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ELO - 2382, December 1993

please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook