Online tools are quickly supplanting traditional videoconferencing as the preferred method of attending meetings at a distance.
For the past two years, IT Services has offered a WebEx collaboration tool through the cloud with a handful of licenses, the cost of which has mostly been absorbed by ITS or by the department using it, says Terry Kirkvold, Manager of Infrastructure Maintenance and Support.
“We now have a U of L on-site Webex server and are able to provide U of L-branded, on-premises service without requiring individual licenses.”
The benefits are many. Instead of using obscure login credentials, users can log in to the service with their U of L username and password. Instant messaging can also be integrated with WebEx.
“WebEx is an extremely easy tool to use, with the ability to incorporate audio, video, screen sharing and recording for meetings”, Kirkvold adds. “It’s something that can be launched from a desktop, laptop or a mobile device. Smartphones like iPhones and Androids can also support video in a pinch.”
It’s not only travel that prevents people from attending meetings in person, it can be time or simply convenience. Meeting attendees in the Water Building can join a meeting conducted in University Hall via WebEx, for example, particularly if they are sandwiched by other meetings in their own location.
“We’d really like to have the University community use these kinds of tools. Once they’re comfortable with them and the advantages they offer, we expect to see a dramatic increase in their use.”
IT Services Solutions Centre: (403) 329-2490 or firstname.lastname@example.org