Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Tools : For Online Design Meetings

When you have designers and developers working in different locations of the world, you need more than text and voice communication. In the early days many companies went overboard with this idea and started using video conferencing as a means to do this. That was simply not practical because of the high cost and bandwidth requirements. Plus, it had the same problems of getting a conference room [in some cases in buildings away from your office] and getting people to get there on time.

What was really required was a way for designers and developers to share their ideas through pictures, documents and whiteboards.

The online collaboration tool from WebEx worked very well for us. WebEx has a good model where coporations can buy the service and employees dont have to worry about the costs. Meeting hosting rights can be given to select individuals.

WebEx also allows us to record a presentation along with the phone conversation. I'll talk more about the tools required to do that and how you can benefit from it later.

There are similar services such as LiveMeeting from Microsoft and Breeze Live from Macromedia. I have used them a few times. I believe, any of these will serve the purpose very well. WebEx and LiveMeeting have a free trial period.
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