Conference rooms remain essential to corporate communications, and when they are driven by AV technology, they can drive productivity as well. Americans are involved in more meetings than ever, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2000, the average meeting length has increased by 10 percent, and U.S. businesses hold about 11 million meetings a day. In short, professionals spend a lot of their time preparing for and executing meetings. Give them better tools, and they’ll prepare and execute those meetings with greater impact and efficiency.
That’s where AV solutions come in. With the help of an AV integrator, companies can leverage the best conferencing technologies on the market, in a way that best fits their needs. Integrators are experts in this process, in that they work with clients to develop a set of objectives that the solution must satisfy. The AV integrator will help the client select the proper equipment, install and configure the system, and train the staff on its use. Some AV integrators offer long term service plans for their solutions, ensuring the system operates optimally throughout its life.
Poly is one of the giants of conferencing technology and provides room solutions for any size conferencing space. In a standard conference room, which accommodates seven to 10 people, Poly’s solutions include:
• The RealPresence Group Series – Poly’s RealPresence Group Series includes a hard codec, an EagleEye camera and a microphone array or acoustic camera. This is a favored option among companies running Skype for Business, as Poly’s products are designed with the familiar conferencing software in mind. With the RealPresence Group Series, professionals can get their meetings started faster, using an interface that’s similar to the desktop version. It’s perfect for companies that want to upgrade their conferencing technology, but don’t want to train staff on an entirely new system.
• The Poly Pano – The Poly Pano is designed to expedite meetings, especially when it comes to the annoying details – like connecting and sharing content. The Pano is about the size of a paperback book and guides people through the connection process when they walk into the room. With Pano, professionals can share up to four screens at once, and can do so from any device. The Pano allows companies to use the tools they’re familiar with, too, like Miracast or Airplay.
The Pano is perfect for rapidly sharing work and annotating over it, using the technology’s whiteboarding and annotating software.
• The Poly Trio – The Poly Trio is a leading-edge audio conferencing solution that can be added to video conferencing and content sharing solutions. It is future-proof, in other words. The Trio comes with a large, vivid LCD screen that feels like using a smartphone, so it allows professionals to get into meetings quickly and control them precisely.
Audio clarity is critical for audio conferencing, though, and the Trio delivers the industry’s best. The Trio is designed with its Acoustic Clarity technologies, which include advanced audio processing and full duplex echo cancellation. Poly is also known for its audio-enhancing features, and the Trio’s NoiseBlock technology is one of the most notable. During a meeting, NoiseBlock will automatically detect any non-speech noise and mute the microphones it is coming from.
Perhaps most importantly, the Trio is built to accommodate future solutions. It is designed with open standards technology and broad interoperability, so it will never restrict a company’s conference room solutions.
Crestron is another major name in conference room solutions, and is specialized in solutions that leverage unified communications. Some of its standout offerings include:
• Crestron Mercury – The Crestron Mercury is a conference room solution that can support audio conferencing, video conferencing, content sharing and BYOD (bring your own device) presentations. It’s a compact hub that’s placed on the desk, and it’s built with a vivid touchscreen for easy controlling. It comes with built-in AirMedia technology and can be connected to content sources via HDMI. It works with Skype for Business and with any SIP VoIP phone, and can be paired with mobile devices using Bluetooth. It can also be USB connected to laptops running web collaboration or conferencing technology.
The Mercury ensures a consistent experience across the company’s conferencing rooms. It supports room scheduling efforts and comes with corporate directory access functionality. Finally, it’s easy to install and easy to secure, as it can be provisioned and managed using Crestron’s cloud service.
• Crestron Flex – The Crestron Flex can turn any conference room into a space for collaboration, and is designed to work well with Microsoft Teams. In a single tabletop device, the Flex can support one or two video displays, provide high quality audio conferencing and make it easy to control everything from a touchscreen. It’s also built with a compact camera capable of 1080p HD resolution and a 150-degree field of view.
The Flex offers a native Microsoft Teams experience and can bring Office 365 users together with online meetings, content sharing, voice over IP, conferencing and messaging.
Both Poly and Crestron have built a strong reputation of quality hardware and quality solutions, and they can fit into any conference room setup. As powerful and intuitive as they are, though, an AV integrator should be trusted to handle their implementation. This ensures the conference room solutions function exactly like they should – frustration free.