The most valuable technological solutions are not necessarily the most cutting-edge. Often, they are simply the ones that solve a specific problem in the most convenient manner. GoToMeeting (www.gotomeeting.com), an online meeting program from Citrix, is one such product.
GoToMeeting gives users the ability to organize online meetings with as many as 10 remote attendees, and all attendees are able to view applications open on the meeting organizer's desktop. This allows for easy information exchange and reduces confusion that might otherwise arise when two or more people are viewing a detailed document — such as a floor plan — on their respective desktops.
The program also has a conveniently integrated conference call service that allows attendees to dial directly into a meeting.
COLLABORATING REMOTELY Mason Lord, of Hudson Valley Preservation, a design/build company in Sherman, Conn., says GoToMeeting has become “an integral part” of his company's everyday operations. “We began using it when working with designers from out of state,” he says. “It was the only way we could have meetings together.”
The program allows Lord to instantly view design changes made by his designers in Chief Architect. And his designers can view changes he has made as well. “We design as a team,” Lord says, and since his designers are located off-site, the collaborative process would be a major headache if not for GoToMeeting.
In a recent design meeting at a client's home, Lord — equipped with a laptop and a projector screen — explored with his designers (on speaker phone and connected via GoToMeeting) three design options for a garage remodel. Lord was able to make design changes in real time and immediately get his client's feedback.
Though he uses the program daily with his designers, Lord also uses it to communicate with trade contractors. “When your electrician is 30 minutes away, how do you get a design to him? You could e-mail it or fax it, but if questions arise, you can't always be sure you're looking at the same [part of the document],” Lord says. “[This software] allows you to always be on the same page.”
Not only is GoToMeeting a time-saver, it's also intuitive and easy to use. Meetings can be organized by simply sending out a link via e-mail or instant message. The price isn't too bad, either: Subscribers get unlimited meetings for $49 per month or $468 per year.