Last updateTue, 20 Apr 2010 7pm

Call for tenders issued for Hermes-OSR project by partners

Hermes-OSR groupware and webconferencing solutions (semi-open tender)

euproject Webconference solutionUpdate January 2010:

- from 2007 to Dec 2009, Hermes-OSR project used the WebEx solution with a dedicated euproject site.

- from January 2010, Hermes-OSR changed for a GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar solution as it was integrating simultaneously phone and VoIP. Hermes-OSR will review it at end of 2010 and benchmark both solutions.

The information remains here below for traceability and transparency.

However, the Hermes-OSR project remains open to any suggestion or new tools that we could integrate as we are aware that technology and user-friendliness or interfaces are evolving quite rapidly in that field.

Hermes-OSR project would especially welcome any solutions which develop the gaming spirit into these communication services (as well for the groupware and collaborative services, as well for the training and cooperative action-training activities).

Invitation to make proposals to the Hermes-R project on integrated on-line collaborative and web-conferencing solutions.

So far, the Hermes-OSR project decided to implement the Webex training centre and conferencing tools as they have been proved efficient in other projects where MAC-Team is involved in (especially AFI-MAC and e-Dairy Farm projects). In a view of cost efficiency and leverage effect, MAC-Team has been able to negotiate conditions for implementing Webex tools on the Hermes-OSR project, but we are always ready to look for a more integrated, flexible and even more cost-efficient solution! So, if you provide or have experience in that area that you would like to share or if you would like more information on our WebEx platform and provider, please contact us!

(published 14th December 2007 on the website, but the call for offers was already sent out in October before the effective start of the Hermes-OSR project to be ready to collaboratively and remotely work asap.)

  • This is an invitation for you to propose us collaborative and groupware solutions for our partnership and project deployment context. If you provide or have experience in that area that you would like to share, please contact us!

  • As a partnership and European project context, we are using several independent collaborative tools:

    • Web content Management system based on Joomla Open source and Joomlart. This platform is operated (hosted and technically adminsitrated) by NTIC Solution as indicated in the disclaimer. The Intranet repository is used for the internal activities to the partnership or for the information for dissemination and "valorisation" but not yet finalised.

    • Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions: mainly Skype.

    • We also have tested Yahoo and Google or Msn groups, but these (even for the paying solutions) were only providing part of the services or needed to play with may different pieces of applications. However we use Google calendars for instance to manage our webconferences meetings.

    • Application sharing: Based on the Google group right access, we also tested the Writely services for synchronous or asynchronous joint collaborative work on Word or Excel documents.

  • So it is possible for use to work from bits and pieces of software or on-line services (with some of them free). This solution is relatively easy to use when we are a very few to work jointly (2 to 4) and who are used to theses tools; but it comes to be difficult when we are a bigger simultaneous group or when not all users are familiar with the technologies (especially if we have to monitor partners to indicates which piece of software to open, when and how to use it each time).

    On top of that, the simultaneous use of several on-line software doesn't optimise the bandwidth usage. So we are looking for a more integrated solution with sustainable services which can be used for our internal partnership needs and as well for dissemination and training activities on the project outcomes and activities.

  • MAC-Team partner has been assessing and setting up these solution/services for the Hermes-OSR project and examined several solutions (in October and November 2007):

    • Vyew (www.vyew.com): very interesting free solution for on-line presentations. A few limitations for us: the VoIP or free teleconferencing mainly concerns US; the sharing of applications is not using the related application software but only an image of it (that means we can collaborate and update directly the content, all the comments needs to be synthesized and re-integrated later on).

    • Macromedia with 2 solutions: Breeze (www.adobe.com/products/breeze/) and Connect (www.adobe.com/products/connect/). The Breeze solution is available but the price of buying a licence and exploiting it directly is out of our scope and we have never been able to get feedback to our request for ASP or hosting services (Despite worldwide indication of presence, the only indicated prices are for US, 900$ per month for 10 users or 0.32$/minute/user plus the need to communication costs). The Connect solution would be fitting our needs much more but it was still indicated as available in future and without the possibility to receive information at that time despite several requests.

    • WebEx (www.webex.com): very interesting. the presentation of the various offers on the website is a little bit complex due to rich functionalities and overlapping functionalities between profile of solutions. Further enquiries and tests will be conducted as we already had the opportunity participating in previous web conferences using WebEx platforms.

    • GoToMeeting (www.gotomeeting.com): The solution for web conferencing looks efficient as the owner of the technology is Citrix company. Provides only web conferencing and application sharing activities. We may need to look for complementary groupware repository services if needed. Prices are appealing on the entry web conference level (but only up to 10 participants); no pricing information on the corporate level which would correspond to our needs. Information has been requested.

    • Hot Conferencing (www.hotconference.com): Only web conference and on-line sharing services. The price proposed looks attractive. Need to check the bandwidth quality and sustainability of the entity or growth capability. Same remark as for GoToMeeting, if we go for their services we also need to find complementary groupware repository services.

    • Marratech (www.marratech.com): services and solutions looks professional, but very few direct information on precise pricing or pricing looks very high.

    • Open source solutions: several are available (www.phprojekt.com, ...), but they require a direct management of the corresponding platform (generally unix/Apache server) by us or at our provider. As our resources are limited, we can only concentrate on our core business activities, even if in final and on a long term basis, this would reveal being more profitable (in terms of costs and complementary services and applications/functionalities we could add on top over time).

  • For your information, in complement we also have an e-Learning solution and platform http://hermes-osr.learning-cat.eu. Hermes-OSR also plans to integrate that solution into its support to the trainers (as a library for the trainers).

(initial publication on 14th December 2007)

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