FAQ on digital collaboration
How can interactive communication—be it face-to-face or in groups—be supplemented or replaced by online solutions (i.e., video or telephone conferences) to avoid travel and in-person meetings?
The telephone services of the Regional Computing Center (RRZ), which use the city’s telephone infrastructures (Dataport), support telephone conferences. Find further information on telephone services at the following link:
Universität Hamburg also operates 3 video conferencing platforms that are licensed for use by all employees and students:
The German National Research and Education Network (DFN) offers its members (German universities and research institutions) its video conferencing service DFNconf for audiovisual conferencing, streaming, and recording through a private cloud, fully secure and in line with data protection regulations. All employees of Universität Hamburg can log into DFNconf using their uni usernames and invite any Internet users to video or telephone conferences. DFNconf requires only a conventional webcam with an integrated microphone and an audio output device (e.g., headphones or a speaker). It can also use the combined camera, microphone, and speaker systems that are integrated into laptops and smartphones. You can access DFNconf from any web browser or download the free app. Users on telephones or in high-quality conference systems can join calls, too.
DFNconf is currently experiencing an unusually high level of demand, which has had an impact on its performance. The DFN is working on expanding its capacities. It is further planning to incorporate functions akin to those of Zoom (www.zoom.us) into its portfolio and make them available to its member institutions. Universität Hamburg is already pursuing such additions and has acquired licenses (see 5C).
Find further information at the following link:
(B) Microsoft Teams:
Microsoft Teams (the successor program of Skype for Business Online) is a collaborative platform that combines text chat with telephone and video conferences and additional functions. All Universität Hamburg staff and students can use it as part of their Office 365 license. Microsoft Teams can be used to organize synchronous, location-independent collaborations. Before you can use the program, register your university email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Microsoft. Find further information at the following link:
Universität Hamburg has acquired a broad license for the video conference platform Zoom (www.zoom.us). We believe that the platform will make additional use cases and functions available to us. Zoom is an alternative to DFNconf and Microsoft Teams, both of which are struggling to cope with current levels of demand. Find further information at the following link: