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  • 11.03.10 UMassOnline, UMB, Wimba Meeting
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UMOL: Pat Masson, Stefanie Henderson, Kevin O'Brien, Tim Lambert

Wimba: Sheila, Tim D. Annie (product marketing)

UMB: Alan Girelli

Meeting Agenda

  1. Next Generation Products - What will happen to base code?
    1.  This is a concern to us. Who will win out? Wimba or Elluminate?
      1. Alan: The deal breaker with us and Elluminate was that there was no such thing as a secure log in to an "event". If you can guess a long enough URL, everything is open. How do I point from 2 different course sections securely using SSO?
        1. Elluminate said it was no problem because none of the events were secure. 
    2. With Elluminate, there were functions that existed in Wimba LC for which there is no good way to replicate in Elluminate. Integration in the LMS (from what we saw in the RFB) was as deep in Moodle as it was in Vista. So if the Elluminate source code is what will be using, then you will be missing out on the foundation that Wimba LC has built.
      1. Annie: We will have to research that issue and get back to you. There is not one person who is making these decisions. We will add Wimba classroom and product services into the architecture. We will not be taking the application sharing from Wimba (Elluminate does that better). Wimba audio will be taken since they did that better. There are other functions that Wimba has that will be added in the next gen product.
      2. Alan: How many chief engineers who maintain the Wimba code are still there?
        1. Annie: All of them! They are all still there. Codex and telephony experts are still here.
        2. Alan: The tunneling to multiple environments is a lynch pin for UMB. That is the least understood feature missing in Elluminate that we need to have. I brought this up in the recent Platinum group meeting.
        3. Annie: the people who did the integration are all intact as well.
    3. Alan: How much of the whiteboard will be in product Gemini?
      1. Annie: Technology is similar, but i do not have answer. This is part of the UI overhaul, so I cannot tell you what it looks like.
    4. Alan: What about the app share tool? Does it rival the Live X tool?
      1. Annie: the app share tool that elluminate has is better than the Wimba sharing. We will be going with that, I believe. When I used the one in Elluminate Live, I found it much better.
      2. Alan: I was impressed with Prontos app share.
      3. Annie: We will have the best features of Pronto combined into Elluminate.
    5. Alan: We were interested with re-upping our contract because of the app share improvements that Pronto showed. How soon will we get access under whatever tool that will be harnessing the best?
      1. Annie: Not sure when the beta will be. But starting next summer along with Wimba LC, you can have Gemini running side by side. You can run both systems in production mode as well. Dual access will be from 2011 to January 2014.
    6. Alan: UMB has been concerned about the weakness of the backend server with Wimba. And Elluminates was even worse.
      1. We receive this information from both sides. The reporting is better in Elluminate live. I think that the dashboard will be cleaner. We will schedule demos or training for more information. It will report stats for a period that has just transpired.
      2. Alan: There is quite a learning curve and a focus that you need to have to get what you need from it.
      3. Annie: I would like our services team (from Wimba) and see if they can wrapper some product type services around that to make it better.
    7. Alan: One of the things, as WebCT clients that we got as an assurance from Bb is that although there was an eventual plan to take the best of the code and come up with 1 product that one client would migrate to and that there would never not be a clean migration path. What convinces you that they will maintain those integrations.
      1. Annie: Our commitment to LTI integration will allow us to integrate with any LMS. That is how we did our D2L integration. The companies dont need to work together, but the code does. I am on an IMS committee, and there have not been alot of changes there. We have alot of clients that do not use Bb. We are not going to walk away from those customers. Its a business need. The revenue base is between 30 to 40% if you add the two together.
        1. Alan: I see this as a way for Bb to corral people into this. As we (Bb) whittle away the other businesses, we are left with limited choices.
        2. Sheila: That would not be a smart business decision. From a corporate perspective, they will be getting revenue from the colloborate side, instead of the LMS side.
        3. Alan: Campuses have a hard time believing that. There is  huge fear of change. If Bb had done the R&D, they could have made the transition from Vista to Learn easier. Then UMOL would have a hard time getting campuses to look at other LMS.
        4. Annie: Learn is a CMS. Its more saturated. They see collaborate as a business growth opportunity.
        5. Sheila: Actions speak louder than words. They would be giving up a huge market opportunity.
    8. Alan: What is the Platinum Customer Circle?
      1. Annie: The product advisory is run by PM. It is about product building and getting feedback. The Circle is run by marketing and is about sharing best practices. It is our largest customers working together to make for a better product.
      2. Alan: are there user groups to facilitate those user bases? I think we can help our faculty and students make the migration even easier.
    9. Alan: I am concerned about how my user base is going to react. The fact that it is not necessary a clean migration for us is troubling.
      1. Sheila: Live X has the same timeline. Beta in spring and first release in the summer. There is not going to be a significant delay between the two. 
    10. Alan: Wimba LC being maintained until 2014? We have a skiddish user base...What happens when Java updates? How will Wimba handle that. What does maintenance mean to you?
      1. Annie: We have a team dedicated to the current products. That will not change. Maintenance is functional and operational on standard OS and Browsers. We cant make any promises, but the OS and Browser is something for us to support as best we can. It is a dedicated team (maintenance).
    11. Alan: Discussion on Tier 1 and Tier 2 support on how Collaborate will be handled.
      1. Annie: All separate now. We both use the same company (Parature). That will be combined over time. For not it is separate. No timeline in place. We dont want to break it. We will do this carefully.
    12. Alan: Is there a plan to add .MP4 import into Product Gemini. 
      1. Annie: Not sure. But if we export it, you should be able to import it.
    13. Alan: We like to link to archives from prior terms. If we had to put these up on a streaming server, it would not be bad, but it would be convienent if we could access that through project Gemini.
    14. Sheila: We will work with our largest customers to make this work. Since you can run both in production, when you are ready to move to Gemini, you should already be well versed in it. This may be the case with UMB since they use it so much. Some of the other folks may not want to rock the boat...
    15. Alan: We have 2 user groups. Programs of study with cohorts of students who become profoundly literate in this tool. They know it thru and thru. In those cohorts that constitute 40-50% of our use, those are also the cohorts who are holidng symposia for multiple courses. They may even go beyond that and hold 4 or 6 classes. A migration with a lot of support wont be such a big deal. Do we really have 2 platforms out there simultaneously.
    16. Pat: I assume the migration majority of work will have to be managed within that environment.
    17. Alan: there is not alot of content sans archives. I do not want to suggest that they are all precious. I know of 12. There are 4x that.
      1. Pat: How do you manages challenges to a course, then?
      2. Alan: Policy is that at UMB a student who takes an INC. must complete within 1 year. We maintain the room for the sake of the landing page for that year after the end of the semester.
        1. Pat: For grade challenges? Are there archives that are there for more than a year?
        2. Alan: Yes. [Ongoing]. That means it spans along years.
        3. Pat: training and integration, then?
          1. All: Yes.