Meeting Room Technology Prioritizes Productivity
There are numerous meeting room technology developments for 2019, and they promise better collaboration and more efficient meetings. There’s a lot of meetings to account for, too, as Microsoft’s office productivity data and information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. According to their data, U.S. workers are in 40 to 50 million meetings a day.
An MIT Sloan Management Review found that about 70 percent of employees considered their meetings productive, which means there’s room for improvement. Modern meeting room technology can help companies secure that improvement, and AV integrators can assist their clients in selecting, installing and maintaining meeting room solutions.
In March 2017, Microsoft released Microsoft Teams, the company’s newest collaboration application. It’s loaded with features and resembles other popular collaboration apps, like Flowdock and Slack. It also features some interesting additions, including intelligent chat bots and integration with popular third-party tools.
The primary challenge with Microsoft Teams is that it is a proprietary environment. Only Microsoft Teams’ users can connect to other Teams’ users, and that leaves out millions of professionals.
Poly (formerly Polycom) RealConnect service, however, was co-developed with Microsoft specifically to solve this concern. The cloud-based video service is not a new Poly offering, but it has been updated for compatibility with Microsoft Teams. Further, RealConnect is also compatible with most standards-based video systems, which means it’s possible for standards-based video users to connect with Microsoft Teams users through RealConnect.
RealConnect is featured in several of Poly’s meeting room technology solutions, including the Poly Trio and some interesting product bundles. The Poly and HP SRS bundle is particularly interesting, as it combines Poly’s superior collaboration hardware with HP’s Skype for Business room systems.
The Polycom Studio is the answer for any company that believes in the power of the huddle room
. That’s a lot of companies, according to a survey authored by market research analysts Frost & Sullivan. Their estimates look toward 2022, when they believe more than 70 percent of all meetings will take place in huddle rooms. This trend is no surprise, as huddle rooms allow small teams to efficiently set up and execute a meeting.
Poly Studio is designed with the huddle room in mind and is the conferencing solution for smaller spaces. The Poly Studio is a USB video bar and is built with simple plug-and-play USB connectivity. This allows the Poly Studio to be used in rooms of nearly any size, which is perfect for companies that emphasize agility with their teams.
The Poly Studio also leverages the brand’s unmatched audio and video quality, as well as Poly’s advanced meeting features. This includes automatic group and speaker framing, so the camera finds the person doing the talking, and ensures they are in frame. The Poly Studio is also designed with Acoustic Fence and NoiseBlock technology, which automatically detect and mute distracting ambient sounds. Together, these features ensure the meeting remains the focus, and not everything else going on.
Crestron Flex Series
Crestron is one of the most respected names in meeting room technology, and its new Flex series takes the brand in a new and exciting direction. Crestron’s Flex products are part of a unified communication and collaboration solution and are designed to go where the meetings are.
There are several offerings in the Flex line, including the P100, B100, M100 and C100. Here’s a quick look at each:
- P Series – The P Series is Crestron’s first voice-over-IP phone, and is designed for placement on the desk. It comes with a large touch screen that allows users to access important features, like calendars and rapid connect functionality. The P100 is compatible with both the Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams environments.
- B Series – The B Series is a combination of a 10-inch TSW touch screen and a wall-mount sound bar. It’s designed for an intuitive room experience, and leverages the best of audio and video technology. It is built with an integrated 4K camera that can auto-zoom like Poly’s EagleEye cameras, and its sound bar comes with a microphone array built with beamforming capabilities.
- M Series – The M Series is another tabletop system that enables quick and easy conferencing. It comes with a high resolution display that can work with Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business, and works best when connected to a smart device or laptop. The M Series offers an enterprise-grade solution, so it is designed for mass use in any business. Crestron makes this enterprise deployment as painless as possible as the serial number and MAC address are provided upon shipment. This means a network administrator can configure the M Series remotely, before it arrives.
- C Series – The C Series is Crestron’s flagship unified communications product, so it combines the brand’s best features into a single solution. This includes a 10-inch, capacitive touchscreen that is multi-touch capable. The C Series also comes with a built-in web browser, single-wire connectivity, several wall and lectern mounting options, and the brand’s respect UC ENGINE. It can also be preconfigured prior to arrival as a serial number and MAC address is provided on shipment.
Meetings Aren’t Going Anywhere
Depending on which professional you talk to, meetings are either the source of or obstacle to productivity. What every professional can agree on, though, is that meetings will continue to be an important corporate function for the foreseeable future. Modern meeting room technology is an important investment for companies, and if implemented by an AV integrator, it may even bring some of those meeting doubters around.