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Chapter 13. Using Word's Online Collabor... > What Online Collaboration Can Do

What Online Collaboration Can Do

So why use online collaboration for document review? Aren't there enough means already for circulating documents and collecting comments? Won't this just complicate the review process even more? Consider some of these advantages:

  • Online collaboration occurs on a Web server. That means anyone, anywhere, anytime can leave comments. It is much easier to obtain input from remote offices or employees—no more having to juggle everyone's schedule or wait for a paper document to circulate from desk to desk or between facilities or far-flung offices. The document is available to everyone immediately.

  • No more tracing versions. You no longer have to worry whether you have the latest version or were included on the email distribution list for it. The latest version is online in one place. Any subsequent versions are posted online, in one place.

  • No specialized software is needed to participate in online collaboration. Anyone with a fairly recent browser (version 3 or later of Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer) can read existing comments and leave his or her own comments.

  • You can expand your pool of reviewers because the document can now be available globally around the clock. This can mean more people in more places can review the document in a shorter time, making for a higher-quality final document—and one that has a chance of going out the door faster.

  • This is a cheaper process for reviewing documents. It occurs over the Internet. No more long distance or conference calls. No more faxing or using express delivery services to deliver the draft document or the comments.

  • Online collaboration can be used in tandem with Microsoft NetMeeting to schedule real-time group meetings. Comments made during the meeting can be immediately incorporated into the document.

  • All the comments are now centralized in one place in one form. No more having to collate revisions from hastily written notes based on a phone conversation or trying to read someone's hand-written comments that have been faxed twice-over. Under collaboration, comments are easily connected to their authors, are electronic text (meaning they can be cut and pasted directly into the document during revision), and are attached to specific parts of the document.



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