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What makes our organizational culture so wonderful is that each one of us is self-driven. Everyone is treated as an adult, and there is no need for micromanagement. This leverage is deeply integrated into whatever venture we take up, unlike the defined, enforced atmosphere that collapses almost all the time.These aspects are clearly reflected in our internet usage policy wherein except for some high bandwidth consuming and overly distracting domains, all other sites are freely accessible. No one is questioned for spending time on

Facebook
instead of coding their way to the end of the day. As long as the work gets done; As long as it gets done on time; As long as quality of work done is not compromised, employees are free to spend their time browsing the internet. The only concern we had with this policy was managing downloads so as to ensure the network bandwidth was utilized efficiently.So, here’s what we did:

We decided to host a server exclusively for internal use. All downloads that might prove worthy, such as Java plug-ins, browsers, flash players, media players, dictionaries were added to the download server for everyone to access, instead of downloading them from the web every time. This model was designed on the basis of download trends and history, and all downloads were classified, broadly into three categories: Executable files, media files and documents.
Of the three, documents are the least vulnerable as they are mostly text files and comparatively lighter. Downloads of this nature can therefore be allowed at any time and there’s no compromise on the speed of connectivity. The second category, media files are more worrisome since they can be either audio or video and are usually quite heavy. Downloading of media files would therefore have to be restricted to office after-hours.Coming back to the first and most important type, executable files and installable software require immediate attention as they may be urgently required. Also, they  have an additional risk of license-related legal issues. This is where we deployed an application in

Zoho Creator
: The Download Tracker.


Other applications that came close were either costly, or refused to be customized.
Whenever a request for a software download is made by an employee, it is first checked for availability on our download server, because if anyone else has already downloaded it, it would be present on the internal server. In such cases, the Download Tracker Application displays the local URL for downloading  the software from the internal server instead of the web,  and thus prevents futile bandwidth spending.But if it is the first time this software is being requested, then a completely different process is followed.
The employee is requested to fill the form containing a description of the software, link to the source website and specify the reason for download. As in case of the

IT Asset Request application
, this request too requires the approval of the immediate superior, mostly the manager and a notification email is generated accordingly. The end-user license agreement is then studied and approved by the legal team. Once the software is approved for download by the legal team, Sysadmin team checks the source domain for authenticity. When the request clears all these checks, the software in demand is downloaded from the web, uploaded in the internal Downloads Server and a local URL is generated. All this is taken care of by the Sysadmin team. Availability of the requested software is then notified to the requester and the manager, via an email that goes out automatically once the checks are complete.

My maiden venture into screen-casting should presumably sum-up the happenings during a download:

What’s the need for a Zoho Creator application, you might ask. We could not find a ready-made software solution to suit our uniquely flexible internet usage policies. The ones that came close were either too costly or didn’t allow customization. That’s why we thought it was best to build the most appropriate software ourselves and turning-to-Zoho-Creator has been the most revolutionary part of the story. Try it.

Apps showcased till now:

Rebranding ManagementHall of ShameTweet Stream,  Ad TrackerReseller PortalDownload TrackerIT Asset ManagementSupport Call TrackerNew Employee RecordTravel ManagementCourier ManagementCab Booking