Points to Consider

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2002-07-01 Print this article Print

Points to Consider When Drafting Your Virtual Meeting/Collaboration RFP

The product or service must support the full range of client platforms with which you intend to interact:
  • What are the vendors browser, hardware and operating system requirements?
  • If the product offers limited support for non-Windows platforms, what, if any, functionality is restricted?
  • What level of IT involvement will the product require for attendees outside your organization to install and use it?

The product or service must suit the needs of presenters and attendees:
  • Beyond basic slide presentation features, does the product include tools for annotation, whiteboards, application sharing, remote control, Web touring and file transfer?
  • Does the product allow for feedback through polling, chat and emoticon signaling?
  • How easy is it to hand off presenter rights from one attendee to another, and is there support for multiple presenters?
  • Does the product contain support for integrated teleconferencing, VOIP and video?

The product or service must include effective tools for managing virtual meetings:
  • Does the product integrate with groupware applications?
  • Is there support for recording meeting proceedings, and, if so, are there additional costs associated with these services?
  • Can the product cull attendee information for meeting invitations and scheduling through directory services such as LDAP or Active Directory?
  • Does the product allow for company branding, and is there an additional cost associated with this?
  • What are the reporting capabilities of the product?

The product or service must meet security and scalability needs:
  • What levels of security are available for use with the product, including log-on passwords, data encryption and interaction with third-party security tools?
  • If company data is stored off-site, how is it secured, and how frequently is it backed up? Are there additional costs associated with these security measures?
  • How many simultaneous meetings/presenters/attendees are supported?
  • If the product is self-hosted, what are the system requirements, and how easy is it to add servers?

Source: eWeek Labs

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at jbrooks@eweek.com.

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