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Technology Solutions for Inter-branch Collaboration M. Davidson, T. Erichson, J. Moore, K. Tripp.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology Solutions for Inter-branch Collaboration M. Davidson, T. Erichson, J. Moore, K. Tripp."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology Solutions for Inter-branch Collaboration M. Davidson, T. Erichson, J. Moore, K. Tripp

2 Problem Statement  We are a group of librarians from different branches of a multi-branch public library that covers a large geographic area. We have been assembled as a task-force to foster inter- branch communication and collaboration. Specifically we are looking for methods to share ideas and collaborate on county-wide projects efficiently while minimizing face-to- face meetings.

3 Solution Guidelines  Any solution should include methods to work together on the following;  Creation of text documents  Scheduling of events/meetings  Sharing/creating of other media types

4 Constraints  No budget- must use existing tools and technologies already owned by the library or free for public use  Technology must require limited training/support/maintenance  Must be accessible to users of varied levels of proficiency with technology

5 Evaluation Criteria  Setup/installation/ maintenance requirements  Platforms/OS/browsers supported  Product cost  Simultaneous use of technology (ability to update doc at same time, concurrent number of users in video conference, etc.)  Security/privacy  Ease of use  Product support  Flexibility and possible extensibility of product

6 How do we…?  Collaboration is difficult  meeting time is limited-long distance  working together requires planning  Specificity of assignments-individuals  Training  importance to project  peer training ability  Time  Problems with current software

7 Currently in use  Wimba Collaboration Suite  MS Office  MS Word  Shared network drive  MS Sharepoint –without sharing

8 Productivity Suites  Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations  Currently using Microsoft Office ‘03, ‘07  Major version compatibility issues (.doc vs..docx, etc.)  Familiarity with Microsoft system  Key Requirements  Easy to install, learn, use, and get support  Interoperability with MS Office  Installed Software vs. Online Options

9 Microsoft Office 2003/2007 vs.

10  User familiarity  Solves problems with recall vs. recognition, training, help, support.  Near-universal interoperability  Stability: “It just works…”  Most powerful option around  More/better features  Allows VBA/scripting options  Office ‘07 is quite usable MS Office ‘03/’07: Pros

11  MS Office ’03 usability issues  Relies on recall  Small, confusing icons with hard to understand features  Not attractive  MS Office ‘07 isn’t perfect, either  Online help not very helpful  Still some hidden features  Incompatibility between ‘03/’07  No money to upgrade/retrain  Possible, but not easy to overcome MS Office ’03/’07 Cons:

12 KingSoft Office 2012

13  Familiar look and feel minimizes training needs.  Reads and writes.doc/.xls/.ppt files (mostly)  Works with existing documents  Establishes consistency  Solid help/documentation system  Explains functions and features  Available offline so users won’t be overwhelmed with documentation KingSoft Office 2012: Pros

14  Almost the same…but not quite.  Few new good ideas, inconsistently implemented.  Same issues Microsoft fixed between Office ‘03 and ’07.  Small, confusing icons with hard-to-find/use features.  Employs recall, not recognition  NOT attractive. KingSoft Office 2012: Cons

15 Live Documents

16  Cloud offers easier collaboration/sharing  Imports and Exports MS Office formats  Not beholden to MS Office look/feel  Tries new things with features and interface.  Very attractive and clear interface ideas  Uses text instead of icons Live Documents: Pros

17  Extremely inconsistent interface  Good ideas, but unevenly implemented  No universal look across apps  Very different from Office  Not as many features/options as desktop solutions  Help/documentation is non-existent  All-around lack of reliability  Buggy (e.g. version control)  Server downtime  Small storage space (100 MB/user for free) Live Documents: Cons

18 Google Documents

19  Fantastic Collaboration and Sharing Tools  Multiple editors/viewers  Chat windows  Version control  Clean, minimalist interface  Reminiscent of Microsoft Office  Doesn’t distract with unnecessary features  Decent documentation, but may require advanced search skills Google Docs: Pros

20  Fewer features than in desktop solutions  Page layout, document design  Formulas  Presentation Themes  Translation to/from Office formats can be rough  Full-screen presentations not self-explanatory Google Docs: Cons

21  May require a combination of solutions  Cloud-based collaboration  MS Office Compatibility  Google Docs: The only logical cloud solution  Use internally  Working documents  MS Office: Market leader for a reason  When documents must be shared beyond the libraries  Advanced document design and features Productivity Suites: Recommendations

22  Accessibility  Currently using a shared network folder  controlled by IT department at county level; limited access  Key Requirements  compatibility with multiple types of document publishing software  limited training needed  Online vs. off  Googledocs, Calaméo, Skydrive vs. Dropbox  use by all or limited employees File Sharing

23 File Sharing Options

24 Calaméo

25  Privacy  ability to control who can view each document, no need to create groups  Key Requirements  internet is the only tool necessary, no software requirements  Flexibility  upload any document, or file type  Appearance  display documents in a flashy web-friendly format  view, personalize documents, organize documents by subject  Numerous Features  No Space Limit Calaméo Pros

26  Uploading may become tedious  each document must be uploaded individually, privacy settings selected  Multiple features; overwhelming to new users  less experienced users may need to “hunt”  training required  Social Site  public sharing may distract employees Calaméo Cons

27 Google Docs

28  Privacy  share single documents with contacts list  Key Requirements  Gmail account  Flexibility  saves automatically while working, all documents can be viewed, no software necessary, upload your documents  Appearance  simple tools-limited training Google Docs Pros

29  Privacy  Sharing of each document required by email  Flexibility  limited tools, uploaded documents must be converted to Google docs format-loose some formatting, organization of documents not for public view  Tools  lack of advanced tools  Limited Storage  1 GB of free storage, additional storage per GB available at $0.25 Google Docs Cons

30 SkyDrive

31  Flexibility  Compatible with all versions of Microsoft, limited tools  easy to train  Appearance  Personalize with photo-see your colleague  Privacy  Groups- group by branch, then by county SkyDrive Pros

32  Cost  Microsoft costs are considerable  Flexibility  Microsoft Only-limited document type, limited functionality of Applications-fonts, formatting, text-wrapping  Automatic save in Notebook, but not in Word, PowerPoint, nor Excel  Appearance  Copying and Pasting from Microsoft Documents does not maintain formatting SkyDrive Cons

33 Dropbox

34  Privacy  ability to control who can view each document, add contacts to a folder  Key Requirements  download ability  Flexibility  any type of document may be uploaded and accessed through the internet anywhere  Appearance  simple view, non-cluttered Dropbox Pros

35  Marketing  get paid in storage by completing the get started list, adding contacts, linking to Facebook and Twitter  Flexibility  upload confusing, seems to need application download, software for readability required on receiving end  Appearance  Advertisements distract user, key functions difficult to locate- pop-ups Dropbox Cons

36  Dropbox  Formatting kept the same regardless of document editing software  Storage can be increased by sharing with branches  Googledocs  Ease of use, no need to download  Very limited training Recommendations File Sharing

37 Calendars  Currently use Outlook (2003) to a limited extent  Key Requirements  Easy to install, learn, use, and get support  Ease and flexibility of: Creating multiple calendars for various groups with differing permissions for users to view and modify specific calendars Creating meetings/events; setting times, dates, recurrences Inviting others; responding to invitations/requests  Accessible from multiple computers  Options Considered:  Microsoft Outlook  Google Calendar  Yahoo Calendar  Doodle

38 Calendar Options

39 Outlook Calendar

40  Flexibility:  Multiple calendars, can adjust calendar views, easy to create a calendar for a specific subset  Already installed and in use somewhat  Training: Outlook help provides detailed explanations  Integrated with Outlook email, facilitating scheduling and invitations  Once it is set up, it is easy to sync with other calendars and to import/export MS Outlook: Pros

41  Compatibility issues between Outlook 2003 and 2007  For most effective use, would be ideal if all upgraded to 2007; budget constraints make this unlikely  Perhaps too many features  Less experienced users may become overwhelmed  Although self-tutorials are available, may require training to use effectively  Initial set-up of Microsoft Exchange involves many steps  may be difficult for inexperienced users  May require more work of IT staff to set up  Must be connected to the library network for full functionality; limited functionality via Outlook Web Access MS Outlook Cons:

42 Google Calendar

43  No installation necessary; can access from any computer with internet connection  Easy to add calendars and set different levels of permission and access for different calendars;  Easy to schedule meetings and/or send invitations which need a reply and to schedule details such as start/end time and recurrences  Allows five-day view as well as day, week, and month views Google Calendar: Pros

44  Requires all participants have gmail account  Somewhat cumbersome for larger group meetings  Online web support can be frustrating; there is no email or phone support  Syncing and import/export with other calendars can be problematic Google Calendar: Cons

45 Yahoo Calendar

46  No installation necessary; can access from any computer with internet connection  Easy to add calendars and set different levels of permission and access for different calendars;  Easy to schedule meetings and/or send invitations which need a reply and to schedule details such as recurrences  Includes ‘year view’ allowing for long-range planning (as well as day, week, and month views) Yahoo Calendar: Pros

47  Requires all participants have Yahoo account  Somewhat cumbersome for larger group meetings  Online web support can be frustrating; there is no email or phone support  Not as intuitive as Google for choosing meeting details such as start/end time and recurrences  Syncing and import/export with other calendars can be problematic Yahoo Calendar : Cons

48 Doodle

49  Simple to use: minimal training required  No registration required; can be used with any sort of email address Doodle: Pros

50  Not really a calendar; all meetings are scheduled as “polls” which require a response  Every meeting scheduled results in an email message; could very quickly fill up inboxes  Minimal support or help information  Cumbersome to invite many people  Has an informal feel; may not be as appropriate in a professional setting Doodle: Cons

51  Best option is probably Outlook  Provides a combination of flexibility and support  Is already in use somewhat  Would especially make sense if Microsoft Office is deemed the best solution for other Productivity areas such as document creation  Both Google and Yahoo calendars have merit and either could be a good solution if the decision was made to discontinue upgrades to Microsoft Office.  Google has the edge in ease of scheduling recurring meetings;  Yahoo has the ‘Year View’ feature which is good if long- range planning is a priority  Doodle does not have enough functionality to make its simplicity worthwhile. Calendars: Recommendations

52  Currently using Wimba Classroom  State funded contract for MD public libraries  Key Requirements  Easy to install, learn, use  12+ meeting participants, audio and chat capabilities, screen/application sharing  Options Considered:  Wimba Classroom, Blackboard Collaborate  Skype  Google Hangouts  AnyMeeting Web Conferencing

53 Wimba Classroom

54  User familiarity, product support, and product stability  Continued use reduces need to train on new product  Support via phone, online chat, and email  Use by other MD Public Libraries  Sharing of wimba-based training materials, Inter-district meetings  Very robust set of meeting features  Unlimited number of meeting participants, screen/app sharing, session whiteboard, recording capabilities, telephone and microphone audio, breakout rooms and private chat  Easy installation for end-users via wizard Wimba Classroom: Pros

55  On-going product costs may not be sustainable with future budget cuts  Not as user-friendly as other products and can be challenging to learn and use Screen design/layout isn’t as intuitive as other products Screen-sharing features are confusing  Requires installation/management of host server components  Blackboard plans to discontinue product Wimba Classroom: Cons

56 Blackboard Collaborate

57  Provides the same robust meeting features included in Wimba  Plus:  Improved UI and Usability: Much more intuitive, user-friendly design Easier to share screens/applications  New and improved features: New web tour allows moderator to push websites Improved whiteboard functionality  Blackboard’s future development path for current Wimba classroom users Blackboard Collaborate: Pros

58  On-going cost remains a concern with future budgets  Upgrade from Wimba may require re-training and may require coordination with other MD libraries Blackboard Collaborate: Cons

59 Skype

60  Product is stable and well-supported  Long-term existence  Millions of users  Microsoft owned/supported  Well-developed help site  Provides privacy controls to manage Skype interactions  Easy to learn and use Skye: Pros

61  Free product not a viable solution for web conferencing  Screen sharing requires premium subscription  Lacks other desired web-conferencing features  No built-in whiteboard, no built-in recording capability  Can’t setup meeting in advance, meeting notifications only send via active Skype session alerts  Requires installation and version control management on end users’ PCs Skype: Cons

62 Google+ Hangouts

63  Easy to install – simple browser plugin  Easy to learn and use  Simple UI  No moderator/attendee roles  Integration with Google Docs  Can work on documents collaboratively in meeting window in addition to sharing desktop Google+ Hangouts: Pros

64  Doesn’t support the desired number of meeting participants (Hangouts limited to 10 users)  Lacks some desired web conferencing features  No built-in whiteboard, no built-in recording functionality  Challenging to schedule a meeting in advance, notifications not sent via email (just via Google+ notification stream)  Some usability issues:  Integration with Google docs is confusing - still requires owner to grant individuals permission, opening new doc opens in new window outside of hangout window  Requires creation and management of Google+ accounts and circles  Google+ stream integration makes product look too informal and may be perceived as non-professional Google+ Hangouts: Cons

65 AnyMeeting

66  Fairly robust meeting features  Up to 200 meeting participants, screen or app sharing, built-in recording and online storage of recordings, choice of microphone or phone for meeting audio  Email notification for meetings, ability to schedule meetings in advance, ability to schedule recurrent meetings  User-intuitive design and ease of use  No server installation, browser plugin installation only  Users not required to create accounts to attend a meeting  Easy to figure out how to share screens/apps and manage users/roles  Free AnyMeeting: Pros

67  Some usability and support concerns  Multiple java plugin issues encountered during user testing  App sharing doesn’t restrict to just app selected  Support is via forum and ticketing only  Rotating banner ads displayed throughout meeting may be distracting to some meeting attendees  Security concerns  Meeting url associated with a particular user is static for all meetings, nothing to prevent anyone with that url from accessing meeting  Lacks some nice-to-have meeting features present in Wimba/Blackboard Collaborate  Audio selection is per meeting not per user  No built-in whiteboard  Although meeting can be scheduled in advance, meeting owner must still start the meeting before others can join AnyMeeting: Cons

68  Recommend continued use of Wimba Classroom with development of future plans to upgrade to Blackboard Collaborate:  Capabilities for sharing and interacting with other MD district libraries outweigh the negatives with regard to usability of Wimba Classroom  Future upgrade to Blackboard Collaborate provides a means of improving usability (requires coordination with other library sites to ensure ongoing interoperability and satisfaction of contractual details)  Should future budget cuts eliminate funding for Wimba/Blackboard, AnyMeeting is worth further consideration:  Still fairly robust set of meeting features  Installation issues seem resolvable, but requires further testing, documentation, and trial rollout before considering full rollout Web Conferencing: Recommendations

69  Strike a balance between continuity and change.  Take advantage of currently-owned/-leased premium software, but plan for the future.  Opportunities in the Cloud Recommendation Summary

70  Internal working documents  Google Docs  Creation and sharing of polished work  MS Office/Dropbox  Short-term/long-term plan for schedules  MS Outlook/Google or Yahoo  High-end web conferencing (for now):  Wimba/Blackboard  Future exploration of AnyMeeting Our picks

71 Questions?

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