21 January 2000

To: Region 3 Executive Committee

From: William B. Ratcliff, Chair e-Conferencing Ad Hoc Committee

Subject: Status Report -  Region 3 ExCom Meeting 29 January 2000

Progress was made in the following areas since the last Region 3 ExCom meeting in December 1999.

Preparation for Region 3 - January 2000 Executive Committee Meetings

The e-Conferencing Committee has been meeting weekly in a synchronous mode and daily via e-mail and newsgroup to prepare for the trend setting Region 3 ExCom e-conferences (18 January and 29 January 2000).

The meeting on 18 January uncovered a deficiency in the number of logons allowed by the IEEE server, but thanks to the e-conferencing team and especially the Meeting Facilitator, David Green, the server at the University of Alabama - Birmingham provided an alternate site and the meeting continued with some time lapse as the sites were manually synchronized. Trial under fire is the best proving ground for any project.

 Therefore, we can say e-Conferencing Works!

We have been in contact with IEEE staff and the problem has been fixed. The server will have undergone a stress test by the next meeting. 

e-Conferencing Committee Direction

In preparation for the January ExCom meeting the committee came to the realization that the usage of the Internet in conducting meetings is really impacting how we do work. Not only in the sense of the tools we use but the way work is performed. A high percentage of the work that  many of the Region 3 Committees perform is accomplished in the face to face discussions when the R3 ExCom meets. If we are to take advantage that the use of the Internet can provide then we must examine how we perform our work in terms of the tools and the methodology. This is especially true with collaborative work. If knowledge is gained by being shared in a collaborative way then it certainly is fitting that the we make it as efficient and effective as possible. The end result will be a more comprehensive guideline.

Evaluation of Emerging Technologies

The number of internet sites devoted to supporting collaboration within and between disperse teams has been increasing over the past several months. The e-conferencing  team has been evaluating some of the sites especially in  the areas of web based tools for document sharing, newsgroup discussion and synchronous meetings. The primary yardstick for evaluating these technologies is " can it be implemented by the volunteer member using mainstream technology? ". The committee will roll out proposed technology and associated methods in a beta test mode after first using it in the operation of the committee.

There is no restriction to membership on the e-Conferencing Ad Hoc Committee other than your willingness to participate in a collaborative working environment, the capability to install  the required software, your commitment to use the products developed and your desire to improve the Operation of Region 3. http://www.ewh.ieee.org/reg/3/e-conf/

Submitted by: Bill Ratcliff, Chair e-Conferencing Ad Hoc Committee w.ratcliff@ieee.org