When starting the information-gathering part of choosing online collaboration tools, you first have to understand the options available. A recent Gartner report identified four main types of meeting solutions3:
Unfortunately, as these systems change and evolve, many organizations find themselves piecemealing together a solution and looking for ways to integrate already existing technology with newer, better systems. This method puts the burden on employees to learn and remember disparate scheduling tools, workflows and procedures for joining a meeting. This can lead to user frustration and ultimately, staff frustration as the IT department is then tasked with additional help desk requests and real-time assistance to help videoconferencing users join online meetings, for example.
When comparing meeting room solutions, you'll want to invest significant research time in assessing the types of meetings your organization needs and then exploring the systems available. Which staff members rely on informal online collaboration and ad hoc discussions? Which teams need access to a reliable content-sharing system with global dial-in numbers? Is there a need for remote classroom training sessions? Does your company conduct mass shareholder meetings online?