How to Collaborate with Remote Employees with Office Communicator 2007 R2
Our business administrator emailed me just now:
Can you please send me instructions on how team members can share their desktop with you while they are presenting? I may want to include this in my meeting requests for them.
This is our #1 challenge as remote employees - the 10 to 15 minutes of messing around with technology at the beginning of the meeting so we can really engage. I'm writing this post so I can point people to it when I setup meetings internally at Microsoft.
LiveMeeting is great, but sometimes it feels like a hassle. It's that tiny hassle that can keep you, as the local person, from setting it up, and it's the Remote Employee really suffers. However, if you've got Office Communicator, doing remote collaboration takes literally seconds to setup. Please, love your remote employees.
Here's a brief (Microsoft-centric) How-To that covers your options:
- How to Share Your Desktop to People with Office Communicator 2007 R2
- And include Video
- How to Share Your Desktop to Remote People who don't have Office Communicator
How to Share Your Desktop to People with Office Communicator 2007 R2
There's a number of ways, so pick the right one for you. When you're just talking to less than 16 people or so (not an unreasonable number and fairly typical) just:
- Double-click on one person's name in Office Communicator to start a chat.
- Drag other people you want into that first chat window.
- Click the Share button.
Note: If you have multiple monitors and you just want to share one, click the down arrow to the right and select the monitor you want to share.
And, to include Video...
If you've got a webcam plugged in, you can click the video icon at any time to add video to the conversation. If you don't have a webcam, but you are in a room with a Microsoft Roundtable, just plugin the Roundtable before you start the chat. Then you'll be able to share video. The Roundtable will take care of showing the current speaker.
How to Share Your Desktop to Remote People who don't have Office Communicator
Sometimes you might want to share your desktop to up to 15 people where some don't have Office Communicator, either because they are external to the company or they're at home, etc. You can always use SharedView to share your desktop.
You install SharedView easily here and it won't mess up your machine. SharedView has an advantage over other sharing systems as it allows each attendee their own mouse pointer with their name over it. This makes it easy for folks to say "I mean this..." while simultaneously pointing.
As the presenter, after running SharedView you:
- Click the large menu ball in the upper-left then "Start a Session." You'll want to log in with a Windows Live ID (Passport) .
- You can copy/paste the invitation instructions and email them to your attendees, OR even easier: Just tell your attendees your Windows Live ID and ask them to sign in, then "Join a Session" and enter the presenter/host's Live ID.
- As the presenter, click "Share"...
then scroll all the way to the bottom and select Share Entire Desktop then Press Start.
The big gun is always Live Meeting, but it's really not necessary for most day to day meetings when the collaboration tools are built into Office Communicator.
Hope this helps.