Paul’s Challenge, BlackBerry PlayBook Edition – Mobile Office Collaboration


Mobile collaboration with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

So far I’ve covered setting up my mobile office and how I use the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet for presentations, but another powerful use case of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is to support collaboration.

The first in my arsenal of collaboration tools is Adobe® Connect. Simply attending a hosted Adobe Connect meeting isn’t the only thing you can do; it also allows for a variety of other features. If allowed by the host, you can turn on video and audio and utilize the camera to attend the meeting via video and audio. I’m also able to chat with anyone that is in attendance. You can send a message to the host, presenters or attendees, and if you touch and hold on an attendee’s name, you can start a private chat.

Wait, did the host just ask a polling question? No problem – the polling feature works from your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and even displays the results. I’m also able to utilize pinch to zoom on the slides if I want to focus in on some text or a picture. As you can see above, it is nicely set up into quadrants with the ability to bring each function to the full screen.

Another essential application in collaboration is Video Chat. With my team spread out over most of the United States and Canada, I’ve started to utilize Video Chat for my team’s 1×1 meetings. Being remote doesn’t always offer the good face to face time that is sometimes needed, so I find that Video Chat helps to close that distance.

Video Chat on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is very easy to set up so that you can connect with your fellow coworkers who are BlackBerry PlayBook tablet users. Besides the standard features, I can switch which camera is being used by tapping on the screen and selecting the camera icon in the lower left corner (1). You can also change the position of your video box by touching the box and swiping it to the desired corner (2).

Mobile collaboration with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

However, there are times when you need a little “me” time, and because you don’t need the Video Chat application running to receive a call, you can hit the “Do not disturb” button at the top of the screen.

Mobile collaboration with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

Talking about ideas and projects is only one part of collaboration – sometimes you need the ability to work on something of a more visual nature. When it comes to that type of sharing, I turn to Shared Board, which provides a shared white board for collaboration. Essentially a shared white board, it allows me to open a group room so anyone who is invited to that group can contribute their suggestions visually on the white board screen. Each user who attends the group has the ability to mark up the screen as well as send chat messages. With a swipe down motion on the screen, you are able to select your marker color, sponge (erase) and add text. Like SketchBook, you can add an image or take a photo and use it as the background image on the screen. Once you are finished, everyone can save the board as an image on their BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

Mobile collaboration with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

So, how are you collaborating with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet? I’m very interested to hear what you use today, or if you would like to comment on a “wish list” item!

Check out Paul’s previous posts in this challenge:

About Paul S.

Paul is Manager of Technical Services for the Enterprise Sales Technical Team at Research In Motion® (RIM®). Paul's teams of six technical managers are responsible for RIM’s largest global accounts in North America. He's presented to a wide range of audiences in the United States and Europe on the development options, benefits and strengths of the BlackBerry platform. Highlights from Paul's time with RIM include setup and support of the BlackBerry smartphone installation for the Office of President George Bush (41st), launch of the BlackBerry platform in Barbados, onsite technical training to global wireless carriers and partners, and presenting as a six time speaker at RIM’s Wireless Enterprise Symposium (now BlackBerry World). Prior to RIM, Paul worked for a small consulting firm that developed applications on Lotus Domino business solutions.

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