TPAC2015/Webex

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This was a feedback gathering session to understand the experience particularly of working groups since W3C moved from Zakim to Webex for audio calls.

A variety of issues were identified with the new system, some of which can be resolved through best practices, others of which Ralph offered to look at off-line. However there is not likely to be a significant amount of work from Cisco to address problems with Webex since they are working on a replacement.

Issues gathered covered:

  • Call initiation problems including initiation requests not being met and accessibility problems with user interface
  • Audio quality problems for example steady degradation over time for users in some locations
  • Partipant monitoring - ability to query who is making noise
  • Caller identification especially when dialling in from a telephone (name identification is all that's needed, not number identification)
  • Speed of administration to handle issues when they arise during meetings
  • Calls being disconnected
  • Minimal technical requirements are onerous - there's a dependency on Java
  • Call administration - the need for a host to be present to initiate a call
  • Requirement to explicitly end a meeting
  • Best practice documentation - is it okay to use the whiteboard feature?

One available but not widely used mitigation to issues that would otherwise require staff input, such as administrative tasks, is that Chairs can have an MIT Webex account for the purpose of beginning and ending meetings or setting up ad hoc meetings for group business.