The above along with “Adobe Acrobat Connect”; presents a new way of real-time conferencing. Business/Professional meetings for sharing/discussion/learning purposes require detailed planning in terms of place, time, people, and resources. As technology and communications advances, you can hold these meetings online more effectively and efficiently-“Web conferencing” or “e-learning”. It is an online/virtual meeting wherein participants interact or attend virtual classrooms with each other via their own PCs irrespective of their physical places, thus saving cost and time.
Macromedia had a set of software, “Breeze”. On acquisition by Adobe, the software “Macromedia Breeze” was renamed “Adobe Acrobat Connect” and “Breeze Meeting” became “Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional”.
The former is for individuals (limited features) while the Professional one is for Enterprises/Departments with richer features. The Professional one is available in hosted and licensed versions and consists of “Adobe Connect Training” (earlier “Breeze Training”), Adobe Connect Events (“Breeze Events”) and “Adobe Presenter” (“Breeze Presenter”).
The software allows the sharing of information rich in multimedia and content through a friendly user interface via Adobe Flash Player (available in most browsers), chats, audio, graphics, and application/screen/desktop sharing. It also uses Microsoft PowerPoint slides (with embedded movies/video, audio, animations, visual effects) and technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). All this allows for higher quality and easy flow of data/information among the users. Moreover, you can use web cams and Video-conferencing.
You can create virtual meetings via web-rooms allocated to different users with custom layouts and company branding (logo etc.), which can be saved for future use. Over a thousand users can meet who can either be the hosts (one who started the meeting), participants (members), or presenters (one doing a presentation).
User management is possible. Here, the users’ presence and activities can be controlled such that their role in the meeting can be either enhanced (become a presenter) or restricted (blocked/disconnected). Users can access the meeting via the software or the web browser using an address (URL) which has a room name. They can come and leave without disrupting the meeting, communicate/share information with either all members or specific ones without others knowing. The users’ screens consist of the rooms, whiteboards and information and can be controlled.
Meeting management is also possible wherein meetings can be scheduled by inviting people from outlook/address books and scheduling meetings in the outlook calendars. Their proceedings are recorded and can be viewed by the users. Detailed reports of the meetings and users can be obtained.
It can run on Windows and Mac OS, browsers (Explorer, FireFox) and requires Flash Player.
It is very expensive and its integration with some e-learning systems may be difficult. Moreover, synchronization and control of many open windows and applications can be tough and confusing if the host has few monitors.
However, you can have meetings/polls/quizzes/learning sessions or anything wherein people interact with each other and the facilities exist for all with real time management and results. Therefore, it is a great handy tool and experiencing it is a pleasure.