Conference Notes

Notes on "Three Stories in Beca's Collaboration Journey" – Vaughan Robertson (Beca Applied Technologies)

Vaughan is the Operations Manager at Beca Applied Technologies, part of the Beca group. He’s talking about three stories in Beca’s collaboration journey.

Key points:
– Story 1 – TeamView, a SharePoint based team site. Have been using SharePoint for a long time, since 2004/2005. Have about 325 project extranets, one of which holds 50,000 documents. Have taken a pretty standard approach to the use of SharePoint.
– … have added a management / administration console.
– … have a clear intellectual property agreement.
– … have steered away from customizing SharePoint; willing to configure, but not customize.
– … issues with TeamView – if you chargeback, figure out a good approach; recognize the business rules; prepare for upgrades, etc.
– … have also developed specific applications based on TeamView.
– Story 2 – unified communications and Microsoft Lync, for group video in the business.
– … drivers – geographic dispersion of our business, growth in collaboration with partners and clients, need to lower costs, etc. There were also a variety of technical improvements – faster hardware, more memory, headsets.
– … prior to Lync, had experience with TANDBERG video conferencing units that could be wheeled from room to room.
– … “collaborating better” isn’t usually a good enough justification for new technology. Need to find a way that gets rid of substantial cost, eg., getting ready of the PBXs.
– … MPLS is a good networking technology for managing real-time services. You can reserve some bandwidth for voice and video traffic, for example.
– Story 3 – Social Media experiments
– … tried a little bit 4 years ago.
– … some issues with this – eg., should you be a friend with your boss?