Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Tools: Communicating Beyond Text and Images

I spoke about using online collaboration tools such as WebEx, Live Meeting and Breeze Live to share documents, whiteboard, drawings etc. If your teams are globally distributed and you would like to share the minutes of you online design discussions [perhaps with a customer] with them, there is a very effective way to do that.

Most online collaboration tools allow you to record the sessions and save them as a file. After recording you can share those files easily by placing them in a web location [or email or ftp] so that remote teams can get more comprehensive information than what text and pictures can provide. Such recordings communicate the context of the discussion and decisions taken better than writen documents. More over such recording will significantly reduce the need to write very detailed discussion minutes. The recording can be made available a few minutes after the discussion unlike meeting minutes which will take a while to write.

The tools you need: To record an online session along with audio from your phoneline, you need a PC-Telephone adaptor. I use the PC-Telephone Adaptor from Dynametric. It costs about $100 and has worked well for me. The adapter connects to your PC and Telephone. It works fine even if you use a head set.

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