What happened to screen sharing & whiteboard in Team Workspaces?
Question asked by Jorge EG - 2/25/2019 at 12:25 PM
I see that in ST website talks about the ability to do "screen sharing"

Save Money and Eliminate Third Party Services

SmarterMail is moving more and more towards a Unified Communications platform. That means that users can start eliminating third-party products and services that they may be using, things like #Slack, GoToMeeting, AnyMeeting and more. With audio and video conferencing, screen sharing, inline group chat, file sharing and more, Team Workspaces can easily replace virtually any third-party product or service an organization uses for team collaboration.

And that in the Help information, it has the ability to create a Description, a whiteboard... (it doesnt mention screen sharing tough)

But in reality I just installed the latest version of SM (17.x now named as builds... so its version build 6989) and it doesnt have any of those functionalities... 

So what happened to SCREEN SHARING & WHITEBOARD features??

Expectations were very high from my customers when I told them we were upgrading to this new amazing version with unique collaboration features... and it turns out, SmarterMail doesnt have them. 

So either I dont know how to activate them and I would like some info (I do have Enterprise version) or ST is advertising something that it is not working yet.   How can I get rid of GotoMeeting or Webex if I cant even share a screen with your "Workspaces" feature?

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Merle Wait Replied
Would like to hear the explanation to this too... as it was based upon the screen sharing and whiteboard features that we wanted to move to SM17
Derek Curtis Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
The simple answer is we missed those 2 items on that info page when converting the website for the new releases.

While the previous Team Workspace solution offered both -- the whiteboard through us and the screen share through Appear.in -- when we converted to our own audio and video conferencing and made it internal to SmarterMail we looked to offer both. However, development complexity came into play. The whiteboard feature was very limited in 16.x -- in our estimation it wasn't terribly useful for a number of users. It offered simple features, but not the things we felt were necessary to make it usable for a wider number of people, such as the ability to upload documents or images for collaboration and editing. Those things are more complex, and then you run into issues like "how much should you be able to edit?" -- is it true collaboration or simply markup?  As for screen sharing, that's even more complex and requires a lot of planning. Appear.in obviously realized this as they've changed their own business model a few times since we initially released SmarterMail 16.x. Both solutions can cause issues with impacting server resources, increase bandwidth consumption and much more. As it is, we felt it was better to hold off adding these features in for the actual release back in December.

The nice thing about our new release process, however, is we'll be able to add in new features faster. Screen sharing is something we use quite a bit internally as it is, and we can see the need for it moving forward. We just want to make sure we offer up something that is designed and developed to be feature-rich but not terribly taxing for a mail server as mail servers, by their very nature, can be taxing on a server.    
Derek Curtis
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
Merle Wait Replied
So to be clear...
a.) SM was going to offer Screen Sharing.. and decided not to (so whiteboard would be out as well
b.) Maybe sometime in some galaxy far,far away.. it might be added back?

You use screen sharing internally.. so do we .. just right now .. we have to use Webex
Jorge E Gr Replied
Well Derek, its very unfortunate that you DID NOT include these features into the new versions. 
 I really dont see how you "missed" to update your website and your help section and still advertise a product to do things that it doesnt.

I cant really stress how much our users were hoping to get an alternative to webex, bc we offered it to them as part of the upgrade process.

Complexity? Of course it is complex to have a whiteboard and a screen sharing features. You dont have to convice us of that. 

But if you offer it, if you advertise it, if you promise it... you should very well deliver it! 

Kevin Chan Replied
Last year we were on SM16 and demo to customer Whiteboard and Team space, etc.. They love it so much and bought the idea.

Then we upgrade to SM17.

Now With COVID-19 and the need for video conferencing, customer is now asking where those features!!!??

Jorge EG Replied
Kevin good luck with getting a postive answer... We waited years to have a functional whiteboard and team space and when it was released it didnt work very well... then in V17, Smartertools simply did not include it... and I dont see any plans to do it in the near future.  It seems they have forgotten about it.

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