I am supposed to be researching virtual office products but haven’t had much luck. Has anyone out there tried any? Have any suggestions? What we are looking for is a complete solutions package that will provide video and audio conferencing, a virtual whiteboard for sharing information, chat capabilities, file sharing, and, if possible, voip services (we want a general phone line with extensions) and e-mail addresses. Anyone?
Also, a lucky friend is going to Buenos Aires over the holidays. She wants to visit the “yarn district” but can’t find any information about it. Anyone know where this elusive yarn district is?
Finally, I am currently obsessed with smart phones, for some reason. It’s not like I ever leave the house, so I don’t really need one, but a girl can dream. We have T-Mobile, so I have been looking at the Blackberry Pearl, the Blackberry Curve, and the T-Mobile Dash. Any opinions or thoughts on these crazy gadgets?
Is that some kind of chestnut coffee drink? Because it looks really good!
Ohhhh I love my Sidekick 3.. can’t be parted from it. Love it better than my husbands blackberry as it has a camera.
And just for grins, what about Webx?
I have a Blackberry Pearl and I really like it. It took a little while to get used to the “keyboard” but it is great. Nice and small with great features.
Gotta say I LOVE my iPhone!
From someone who has been working remotely for over 2.5 years with teams around the world I’ll give you my two cents. I’m not sure if you’re going to find a total solutions package with all of the things you want, but for virtual desktop sharing/conferencing etc I like webex and gotomeeting. Webex is very expensive though (but very nice too!) Voip wise I would recommend vonage, depending on your call volume or your local internet provider probably has their own brand of voip for cheap. (My current provider is time warner cable)
Hope this helps, good luck! =)
the blackberry curve looks much better to me than the pearl. believe me, once you have tried the full keyboard, you would not wnat to use the “half two-letter keys keyboard”. or the sidekick always looks fun to me and that has the full keyboard also. the dash looks OK but I don’t think it would work as well with so many buttons you have to reach up to the middle to operate. i.e., seems like it has the stuff in the middle that blackberries have on the side (side = easier for your thumb).
even the blackberry 8700 g would be better than the pearl and it costs less…
Have you tried the new windows live?
I can’t help with the office stuff, but I have been to the yarn district in Buenos Aires. Your friend is crazy lucky! She’ll be looking for the laneras; I got directions from the knitty board, and they were right on: “Take the Red subte line to Malabia and walk (about 2 blocks) to the 1100 block of Scalabrini Ortiz; the district starts there.” There are a bunch of stores selling a variety of low and high-end yarns. I scored some worsted weight cashmere at Corporacion Lanera for about 4 bucks a skein. There’s more info on knittyboard.com; just search for buenos aires.
My husband works from home. He uses Elluminate but doesn’t recommend it. He suggested looking into Cisco Unified Communications (if you’ve got the $$ for it), and to look out for a new product called DimDim that’s currently in beta.
I know this is going to sound a bit lame, but why not try the free versions before you pay? You can find reviews for these kinds of products on lifehacker.com
Personally, I’d use skype for the voice thing (but I work at the big E who owns skype), try a whiteboard here http://lifehacker.com/search/whiteboard.
http://ask.metafilter.com/62184/Looking-for-great-webinar-service-providers also has some opinions of gotomeeting vs webex vs adobe connect.
Oh, and for a productivity suite, with online doc collaboration and sharing, I love the products from 37signals. However, what I use is free google docs and gcal 😉
Lurker here, just have to say ditch tmoblie and buy an iphone! It is the best phone device i have used. The camera and ipod features are handy as well. I did not want to believe that is was as good as everyone said but it is better than ever. My husband has used several different blackberries and has easily converted to an iphone user his favorite feature is google maps.
I also feel the leopard for macs brings some of the features you are looking for the virtual office. When I travel I can easily video conference the family even from a shared wi-fi connection with good results.
by the way i love your blog and candy/ sweet obsession
used webx at work and i think it’s very user friendly .. at least as the user on the receiving end.
I would give the rebranded Google Apps for Small Biz a try (https://www.google.com/a/smallbiz/) for your email addresses, chat, and application and file sharing needs. (they can do email@example.com, not just firstname.lastname@example.org). I’d use Skype for video and audio conferencing. That part’s free! Not sure about a joint whiteboard, but sounds like there are some good tools that others have suggested! good luck!
This doesn’t help you with TMobile, but I do enjoy my iPhone, still I have to say that my previous Sprint PCS Treo phone was very decent, just not for surfing the Internet or listening to music.
computers are stupid. how many times must i tell you?! come to buenos aires with me in march and then we can go to the yarn district.
Firstly, let me say that I don’t know poo about poo. I do, however, dispise Microsoft. I use OpenOffice(.com) rather than Word and Opera(.com) rather than IE when I can. On the alternative browser front, Opera seems to be more compatible with more web sites than Firefox/Mozilla. That being said, there are Plenty of nerds on the boards there (try OpenOffice.com first. They seem more nerdy) who have all kinds of very cool ideas for office solutions, usually free, open-source kinds of things.
Your Jealous Stateside Crafty Sister,