An interview with Collin VIne, Co-Founder and CPO at Zirtual
In the middle of the innovative madness that is TechCrunch Disrupt ‘14, we’re taking to the field to bring you a unique perspective on how digital tools are influencing the business community.
Welcome Collin Vine, Co-Founder and CPO at Zirtual. He and his team are revolutionizing the infamous work/ life balance to suit today’s digital culture.
Keep reading to learn how digital tools are reenergizing efficiencies, doing away with old-school paradigms and strengthening our business community.
How Have Digital Tools Impacted Your Business?
Recently, we transitioned 200 independent contracts to employees. That was the largest undertaking from a Human Resources standpoint and would have been a massive amount of paperwork; thankfully we were able run the project digitally thanks to tools like DocuSign.
Also, our new employees were based throughout the United States, so we needed to meet compliance standards across multiple states and ensure that all processes followed all legal requirements.
Follow that with the hundreds of people who had to sign off on all these documents would have been near impossible through outdated paper processes. The use of digital tools enabled transparency of the entire process. Our HR team was a 3-person powerhouse!
What challenges are solved through digital tools?
For us, we’re a genuinely virtual company with employees spread out across 35 different states. In person document signing is simply not an option. If we set up shop 10 years ago, back when we didn’t have such digital tools, we’d be in trouble.
What’s your pulse on current business trends? How does digital business factor into our overall business culture?
Just as we’re embracing digital tools, we’re accepting that it’s the new norm to run a virtual business.
In fact, I recall a quote: “work is something we do, but not somewhere we go. “
This shakes up the whole paradigm of always having to show up at the office. Our work culture shifts expectations towards work performance, It’s a strong trend to judge performance based on results versus their time spent in a stationary location. Since people can meet their work demands from their laptop regardless of location, we are closing the door on the paradigm of ‘clocking in our time.’ Digital and Cloud based tools clear the way for businesses driving their success on their own terms.
We’re on this bandwagon, perhaps out of necessity as I am in Canada as a co-founder of our United States based company. A physical office doesn’t alter our results and growth; in fact, it conserves our real estate costs.
On the concept of a digital business community, how are digital tools impacting the way we collaborate with each other?
Technology, as we’re using it, has brought a resurgence of a time-old trend: Supporting our fellow business community members and helping each other out.
We specialize in outsourcing and delegating work to external teams. We’re tightening the community threads through technology and leveraging each other’s skills and creativity. In fact, we’re in a place where there is no shame to reach out for help and outsource projects. Multiple companies, like Uber, are also leading the way on this note by asking for external help to free up time to tackle even more growth-inducing initiatives.
Zirtual is excited to mobilize responsibilities and delegate tasks to other people and change how people use the time that they have.
With TechCrunch Disrupt ’14 right around the corner, what key ‘disruptions’ are you excited to learn more about?
I’m fascinated by smart computing, like in the movie ‘Her.’ Google has big bets on computing power to be harnessed for robotics, artificial intelligence and smart applications. There is an interesting YouTube video called – Humans Need Not Apply – which documents where the spade of this technology is at right now. And it’s pretty advanced. Robots can write entire novels and write symphonies. This is a pure disruption for robotics and artificial technology in terms of learning and understanding.
On a final note, do you have any closing thoughts for readers?
Digital tools are so powerful and it makes it so easy to rely on technology. We can now leverage a particular tool or platform to facilitate our efficiencies as we kick start several initiatives.
Thank you, Collin for highlighting the digital alternative to business success and connectivity! Please share any questions for Collin in the comments below or @DocuSign
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