As the 'Corporate Social Responsibility' (CSR) movement gains momentum worldwide, there is also a pragmatic realization among companies that it is important to align such initiatives with the core business and invest substantially in such projects. A good example of how CSR may be made complementary and synergistic to your business came from MetaQuotes Software Corp. recently.
Known as the global leader among providers of online trading platforms that facilitate foreign exchange brokerage (given its popular products MetaTrader 4 and 5), MetaQuotes launched the TeamWox Groupware as a tool for companies to automate the business process, optimizing both production and management.
Using TeamWox, a company can organize its entire operations, make them more transparent and hasten decision making based on full and authentic information. The system comprises popular business components such as a Docflow, Customer and Vendors Relationship Management (CRM), Personnel Management, Collaboration and Accounting modules and is a very effective management tool in the hands of small and medium businesses (SMB).
Now, based on an analysis of why educational companies were lukewarm in their response to the product, which has been so enthusiastically embraced by the management in other diverse sectors, MetaQuotes has launched a worldwide social initiative under which it has pledged to provide TeamWox to any educational institution, absolutely free of cost.
Educational institutions are almost the same as commercial companies in organizational terms. They have big staff strength, a lot of paper work, periodic group events to be organized - all of which could be managed effectively with TeamWox, leading to reductions in both cost and time, says Renat Fatkhullin, CEO of MetaQuotes Software Corp., but we found that many of these enterprises could not afford a product such as this as they mostly do not operate as strictly commercial organizations. That is when we decided to give them the product free.
Thus, the free version of this commercially successful and very functional software was made available to any organization that has a valid license for educational activity, issued by the relevant governmental regulatory body. The offer is open for an unlimited number of users and has no time restrictions.
This, however, is not MetaQuotes' first brush with education per se. The company maintains and develops several websites aimed to provide free education in the field of automated trading on the financial markets. They even pay for the user-generated content in these sites so that any community member with strong knowledge in the field may write for these sites and get paid for that. This model has helped MetaQuotes build a substantial library of unique information that the public can access for free.
The company has also sponsored some online books in this field. Once again, it publishes these books on the Internet for free and anybody can download them for use. Given its clearly rooted philosophy of furthering the cause of education, it is perhaps not surprising that the offer of TeamWox was extended to the sector in particular.
The current initiative was launched first towards the end of February in Russia, the homeland of the TeamWox developers, where it received a warm response. Fifty educational institutions in the country had already applied for this version, provided copies of their educational licenses, and received the free software before the company announced the offer globally.
Users have been benefited by many of its features, which they feel have systematized their operations to a large extent, making many internal processes, tasks and projects faster and more controllable.
Nickolay Nickolaevich Bakushin, deputy director of facilities management at the experimental Moscow-based high sports school Khlebnikovo, cites the example of the email management system which has helped them so much. We can now immediately assign a received email to an executor - instead of waiting for a director's endorsement, making several copies and bringing them to relevant responsible specialists. I love this one-click solution. The director receives all emails and appoints the responsible employees, which is then clearly traced in the history, explains Bakushin. He also finds himself more in control of execution by people to whom he would have delegated certain tasks; the mobility that the system offers to a manager who may be physically present elsewhere is a huge plus as well.
For the school of management thought which believes that business-aligned social initiatives are more effective in creating true impact and less likely to be ephemeral, MetaQuotes clearly sets a sound example.