The most important part of my job as an IT trainer is to break stuff.
Because if I don't break it, someone else will. Likely in my class. Or when they are in panic-mode and whatever it is they are trying to use is really super-important and they need to use it NOW orelsetheirkittendiesahorribledeathathtehandsofthechiefheadmuckymuckoftortureandabuseandifIdontdoitnowIwilllosemyjoband apoxwillbeputonmyhouse
Better that I do it.
Anyway, we are in the process of looking at replacements for our communications systems.
Phones, Video conferencing, Web conferencing, IM, the whole shebang.
This is potentially good. We are hitting up against issues in our current environment that need fixing.
- We have a lot more telecommuters. Attending a meeting as a telecommuter in our environment is painful. Especially if there are a bunch of people in a video teleconferencing room and you, the lonely telecommuter, is at home with your phone and (if you are lucky) an outdated document.
- Trying to do desktop share is awkward, at best. Non-functional on too many occasions (curses Java, Java applets, and all the rest)
- IP Softphone to help you drag your office phone to any other location....a good idea in concept. Our current execution is spotty. Some people love it. I am not one of them.
- There is no way for me to easily escalate a chat to a voice call to a video call or web conference. That would be awesome.
- We have way too many tools that we use to perform simple tasks.
So my hope is that any solution we select and implement
- Solves the problems we have
- Reduces the number of tools.
Seems simple, right?
Uh - yeah.
After look at our options, I walked away a touch depressed.
- 3 of the 4 options looked cobbled together
- Of those 3 options, 1 didn't work at all. The other 2 were variations on the same theme.
- The one option that appeared to work the way we wanted it to is probably too expensive
I had our student helper go through the demos as well.
"This looks cool and all, but why can't we just use Google Hangouts and Skype?"