It’s no secret that today’s work spaces are quickly evolving. Companies are rethinking how they leverage both space and technology in ways that advance their mission while staying on budget. When thinking of meeting spaces, what traditionally may have been a larger conference room, may now be 4 or 5 smaller huddle rooms. Employees can pop-in and out of ad-hoc meetings in small groups, host a quick video chat, make a conference call, or review a presentation they created on a tablet. Today’s knowledge worker relies heavily on these collaboration and communication tools. Below provides an outline the top huddle-friendly technologies companies are implementing that breakdown the communication walls and increase their collaborative experiences.
Room Scheduling (RS) Panels
Room scheduling panels connect to the calendaring service your company already uses to provide visibility into the room’s calendar for the day. If the panel is green you’re good to go; red and the room is reserved. Find an available room, and reserve it directly from the panel. The panel will push the meeting time back to your desktop calendaring software to show as reserved. Room is reserved but no one shows up? Integration between the RS panel and an in-room occupancy sensor can tell the room to “reset to available” after 15 minutes. Companies can mitigate squatters, increase room utilization, and gather
metrics on how often certain rooms are used to provide better insight into
future space planning.
Wireless sharing devices alleviate the headache of fumbling for cables and adapters by providing simple onscreen instructions for wirelessly “slinging” a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to the monitor in the huddle room. As long as you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the wireless gateway, you can be reviewing your latest rendering on the LCD in a matter of seconds. Many of these devices also allow multiple screen sharing, so you can review different pieces of content at the same time instead of just a 1:1 presentation to presenter meeting format. Wireless devices also reduce the need for additional furniture connectivity, cabling, and infrastructure traditionally needed to support AV connectivity.
Web Conferencing Peripherals
Many AV and telecommunication companies are now offering web-conferencing peripherals that provide an enhanced audio and video chat experience in smaller huddle rooms of 3-4 people. These usually include a higher-quality USB web camera that can be located up at the LCD monitor, a high-fidelity USB speaker and microphone set, all connected to a single USB cable into your computer. From your web conference platform of choice (i.e. GoToMeeting, WebEx, Auralink, BlueJeans, etc.) you choose these peripherals in setup and away you go with a higher quality web conference. Some, like the Polycom Trio, natively integrate with a Skype for Business environment you already use. It’s the classic goldilocks scenario; i.e. make sure the communication technology is not too much or too little for the number of participants, it needs to be just right.
Cloud-Based Web-Collaboration Software
Simply put, some web-conferencing services only allow you to join from their platform, or from a desktop/laptop computer. The rise in cloud-based conferencing fixes this issue by providing a “cloud conference room” to the team. Users from all walks of technology can dial into the cloud conference room and join a seamless discussion with both audio, video, and presentation sharing. You can join from any desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or standards-based video conference room system. Some platforms even allow you to choose which software you want to join from (i.e. Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.)
Cenero helps companies with end-to-end collaboration solutions using our very own Cloud-based conferencing platform Auralink®. Contact us for a free 30-day trial to be collaborating in minutes!
As you can see, AV and collaboration technologies are not just TVs and speaker phones thrown into smaller huddle rooms. Thinking about the technology and space means also examining how the users will collaborate and then putting the tools in front of users to create productive meetings.