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Novell Conferencing 30 Day Trial



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May 27, 2010 5:45 pm

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Last week during Brainshare EMEA we shipped a new version of Novell Conferencing. We have been using it internally in Novell for a little while already and it makes the setting up of conferences, and the sharing of content, a breeze. The product is very feature rich, and has an aggressive roadmap. I wanted to share with you some more details about the product, and links on how to access it.

A huge differentiator of this product is that, as a participant, I never need to install software on my desktop – everything happens through the browser. As I look at my own experience when joining conferences from other vendors, I need to install some desktop application, which remains in my system tray forever more. If I am on the road, at someone else’s house, or just don’t have my laptop with me this can be problematic. Even to set up a meeting you don’t need to install anything, though you will need to if you want to share your desktop – a small plugin gets installed, which allows you to start and share content with a single click.

The product also includes integrated audio and video. When you join the conference you will be prompted to use any available web cam and microphone for the audio and video portion. You will also be able to see other conference participants on their videos. As for the ability to share content, I already mentioned the 1-click start and desktop share, but it’s also possible to share documents and a whiteboard. Attendees are able to use whiteboarding tools to take notes on the white board, or scribble all over stuff and say hello world – which some of my colleagues seem to have a penchant for – no names.

You can also record the entire session. When the session ends the moderator will get an email with a playback URL that others can use to review the meeting. You can also embed a video of the session in a web page, which makes the sharing of content, or product How-To’s really easy. There are lots of other features, including chat.

As you have seen in a couple of other blogs we have already done some work to integrate this new version into our existing collaboration products, but let me spell out what some of the integrations are. Firstly, we made it possible for users in GroupWise to send a conferencing appointment. On the existing appointment view there is a new tab, Conference, which allows users to specify all of the Novell Conferencing options that they want active. When they send the appointment the recipients will see a Join link that will take them right into the meeting, and the sender has a Start link, which will begin the meeting. We also integrated the appointment in the Conferencing Lobby, so users can see upcoming meetings in their browser. These integrations are in GroupWise 8 SP2. To enable them the administrator needs to specify the URL to the Conferencing server in GroupWise Client Options.

The other integrations are into Novell Messenger (aka GroupWise Messenger). Version 2.1 will ship with the ability to quickly start a meeting with selected individuals. The user highlights contacts in their buddy list and then chooses Start Meeting. This sends an invite popup to the users and they will join directly into the meeting.

We are delivering this product through a partnership with Dimdim, who already have over 5 million users of their service, and host millions of meeting minutes every day. Right now this is a hosted offering – as an administrator there is nothing for you to install, so it is incredibly quick to get up and running on the service. The product is licensed per room. You purchase a room, which is associated with a user, and you specify how many participants you want to be able to join the room – up to 20, up to 50 or up to 1000.

You can access a 30 day trial here

You can read more about the product on our product page

We have also included some competitive information for Webex and GotoMeeting and I know you will find the pricing incredibly compelling. The price point, and the ability to hold effective meetings without the need for travel, leads to an excellent ROI on the product – think about this, if you are able to cancel a single trip because of your usage of Novell Conferencing you are already in net profit. Even if you use a competing product today I know that you can see significant savings with Novell Conferencing.

So kick the tyres on the 30 day trial and let me know what you think.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

6 Comments

  1. By:ecyoung

    Why did GroupWise Messenger get renamed to Novell Messenger? This is bound to catch my boss’s eye and throw up a red flag for them. Is Novell in the process of moving away from the GroupWise brand?

    Thank you for any clarification.

    • By:aevans

      I am sure that you started the conspiracy theory last time too. It has been renamed to fit in with Novell’s naming conventions of Novell . It will also be shipped as part of Conferencing, so the ‘GroupWise’ part didn’t necessarily make sense

      • By:ecyoung

        Alex, sorry to come off that way, but imagine (if you will) a large (10,000+) customer that was about to mass-print new training materials using the old “GroupWise Messenger” name… This is why management would be concerned (generally, our users are easily confused by simple things like product name changes).

        I try to keep up on things like this, so that management isn’t caught off-guard, but I don’t recall any advance notice or public beta mentioning the upcoming product name change. Perhaps I missed it. Also, the name change feels somewhat uncharacteristic for a .1 release.

      • By:aevans

        Eric – there was no beta program for this release. The main (only) changes were the conferencing integrations, and the branding change. The branding change happened rather quickly – but I appreciate the user confusion – that was one of the concerns highlighted as we looked at the change

  2. By:ericnako

    This is interesting stuff. I can’t believe all of the direct insight you are able to give us. Thanks aevans!

  3. By:jan-willemvandam

    I found out that there are only 2 persons who can do video and max 5 aufio. Is that only a limitation in the trial? What about the full version?

    Can you get a notification if people have accepted the invitation? Can you plan it directly in their agenda?

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