Project Nirvana with GoToMeeting Workspaces
Online meetings have always worked well for synchronous projects and communication, but what happens when everyone can’t be at the same meeting at the same time?
Citrix GoToMeeting understands the challenges facing project collaborators, and is looking to solve the problem with GoToMeeting Workspaces.
One Project, Several Challenges
Keeping your project in-sync can be quite an undertaking. Let’s look at some of the work and software required to keep a project on track:
Meetings – If there’s more than one person involved in the project you’ll need to meet, so you can brainstorm, discuss ideas, and gather feedback. If you’re all in the same office, and have a nice meeting room, you can do this in person.
If you have team members working remotely, or scattered across the globe, you can accomplish this with online meeting software.
One of the biggest challenges with both online and offline meetings is scheduling. Checking everybody’s calendar, sending out, and responding to meeting requests, are all part of the game. The bigger your project team, the more back and forth you will have.
Calendaring apps like Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar make this easier, but there’s always going to be a team members who haven’t updated their calendar, or end up missing the meeting.
Document/File Syncing – Perhaps the only thing more challenging than setting up and and participating in project meetings is document and file collaboration.
For example, let’s say you have a small team working on some copy for your new website. If you’re using a word processing application like Microsoft Word, you’re going to have to save the document you’re working on to your local drive, then email that file out to your team members for review and additional input.
The real problems start to occur when sections of the document are overwritten, or discarded inadvertently, as people try to collaborate asynchronously.
Even if you have some kind of version control system, this can be a painful experience, as you email the file back and forth. Did you make sure to carbon copy all the team members? What happens if your hard drive crashes after making major edits?
Synchronous AND Asynchronous Collaboration with GoToMeeting Workspaces
GoToMeeting is looking to solve the problem of asynchronous project collaboration with the introduction of GoToMeeting Workspaces. The goal of Workspaces is to keep project meetings, communications, documents, and files in a centralized environment in the cloud.
By keeping all of your project materials in a central workspace, people working on the project can download, upload, and edit documents with ease. All of your important files, and notes about those files are stored in the cloud, so you never have to worry about backups. You can easily leave comments, or ask questions within the document for everyone to see.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of GoToMeeting Workspaces is the ability to instantly start or join a meeting directly from within the workspace. This mimics live office environments, where you’re able to pull everyone together for an impromptu meeting.
GoToMeeting Workspaces Coming Soon
GoToMeeting hasn’t released Workspaces yet, but it’s expected by early to mid 2012. In the meantime, check out the Workspaces demo they performed at the Barcelona Synergy conference: