While video conferencing was once considered a luxury addition to the meeting rooms of larger businesses, it is now much more accessible and commonplace in businesses of any size. There are now a number of video conferencing software and hardware solutions available to organisations.
Video conferencing has clear and measurable benefits for businesses, including a reduction in travel costs, the ability for employees to join meetings from any location whether they are travelling or work from home, improved communication and collaboration, increased productivity and the advantage of being able to take in a very important aspect of everyone’s communication: body language.
Microsoft recently launched it’s more price conscious video conferencing option, Skype Room Systems. While this is a great addition to the full suite of video conferencing and meeting room solutions now available to organisations in Australia, it is important to remember that one solution isn’t the right fit for all 50 million meeting spaces of all shapes and sizes in use worldwide.
So how do you choose the right mix of solutions and room set-ups for your meeting needs? Here are some key factors to consider when choosing your meeting room set ups and solutions.
Varying meeting room sizes require different set-ups, solutions and hardware. The same equipment used within a large meeting room space – dual screens, cameras that take in the whole room and specialist audio equipment – is not necessary for smaller, mid-size or huddle meeting rooms. Instead, these smaller rooms might only need one camera and a smaller screen. The trick is not to over invest in small or underinvest in larger meeting room spaces.
Compatibility with other communications platforms
Ease of use by employees will also be delivered if the meeting room software used is compatible with all other communications platforms used by your organisation, including voice, calendar, email etc. For instance, if your organisation’s communications platform is Microsoft Office 365, then the meeting room software you deploy should integrate and communicate with this platform. Similarly, if you use Skype for Business for all other business communications, this platform should be integrated with your meeting rooms. This allows employees to effortlessly schedule virtual meetings, check the availability and presence of potential attendees or view the availability of meeting rooms, all in real time. Making it as easy as possible for your employees to use video conferencing technology will increase the rates of employee adoption.
The meeting room software you choose will also be guided by the type of platforms your business operates on, whether that be online only, hybrid or on-premise.
When purchasing hardware to fit out your meeting rooms, it is vital that decisions around hardware are made in conjunction with the meeting room software that is going to be used in your meeting rooms. This is because not all hardware is designed to work with every meeting room software solution available. For ease of use by your employees it is best to choose meeting room hardware that seamlessly integrates with the software solution.
Conversely, if your organisation has already made significant investments in meeting room hardware, such as cameras, displays, speakers and microphones, it makes sense to choose meeting room software that is flexible enough to integrate existing equipment.
Flexibility and collaboration
Meeting room solutions should be capable of meeting the needs of your organisation not only today, but also tomorrow. Flexibility is key when choosing a solution that will stay relevant for longer. Flexibility means a solution will support the varying work styles of your employees into the future. Some employees like to share their PC screen or Microsoft documents to meeting attendees online to better collaborate; other employees want to join meetings from range of devices including mobile and tablet; while some will join meetings remotely. If your meeting room solution has flexibility it will be able to adapt to the changing needs of your employees.
Consult meeting room and video conferencing experts
While meeting and video conferencing solutions today are much more affordable and accessible to organisations of all sizes, they still require a sizeable investment. To ensure your organisation makes the right investment in meeting room software and hardware that best meets the needs of individual employees and the organisation as a whole it is wise to consult experts in meeting room and video conferencing. They can not only assess your organisation’s needs and make recommendations, but can also help make the rollout and adoption by your employees run much smoother.
To discuss your meeting room needs and solution options, contact IComm on 1300 881 641 or visit visit https://www.icomm.com.au/