Top 5 Factors to Consider When Upgrading Conference Rooms

Upgrading your conference room should be a simple undertaking. And it can be, as long as you consider 5 essential factors in determining the expected outcome.

AV Upgrades or refreshes are not as simple as removing existing technology and replacing with new.  You need to consider the real drivers behind the need to upgrade, and as such, you may soon realize it’s not always such a simple decision after all.

From the start, one faces several hurdles, not the least of which is collecting feedback from all users, support staff and decision-makers on why an upgrade is even necessary, but also managing multiple vendors, coordinating timelines and scheduling logistics throughout the upgrade process.

A discovery call is essential in determining needs and requirements to ensure expectations are achievable. Feedback information helps formulate the end-user experience by identifying needs and setting expectations for new features and functionality.  These are business drivers that will affect the level of effort to upgrade, budget planning/ considerations and support models, which may ultimately have a greater impact on how you conduct business outside the four walls of that particular room.

5 key factors to consider for conference room upgrades:

  1. Collaboration Tools: The need for team collaboration and increased workplace efficiencies are the primary drivers for introducing video conferencing as an organizational standard. Face-to-face meetings with other sites, desktop users and a mobile workforce contribute to process improvements and faster decisions. When you provide for wireless content sharing, BYOD, interactivity and persistent Teams rooms, these Collaboration tools becomes the essential means for all lines of communication. Make sure that this experience is consistent across all room systems, locations and is easy to use.
  2. Visual Displays: There are many options available… whether it’s a projection system, large display (single or dual) or interactive touchscreens, you need to consider what is being presented, how does this fit into the room design and how does this meet the established standards for support. A Webex Board or interactive displays provide for great team collaboration, while dual displays offer both full-screen content and far-side video, for a true immersive experience.
  3. Audio: Easily overlooked, but incredibly important when considering the near and far-site experience. Can you be heard, and can you hear well enough?  Gone are the days of table-top speaker phones and mic extensions.  The video collaboration system integrates with your VoIP phone system, so the experience and quality, whether it’s an audio call or a video conference, is exactly the same.
  4. Scheduling: Invite people, reserve the room and join a meeting via One-Button-to-Push (OBTP). Room systems, when integrated with your calendaring platform, will make it easy for users to check, availability, schedule people and book rooms. So, joining a Webex or Team call is simple, familiar and standardized, which leads to greater adoption and increased use.
  5. End-user Training: Very important, dare we say critical! No matter the investment in technology, it won’t help improve meetings if your employees don’t know how to use it. A good project plan includes documentation, end-user training, as well as Administrative, Help Desk and Adoption training. No matter what room technology you choose, this is the most important aspect to ensuring that users are enabled, meetings run smoothly, and the experience meets expectations of performance.

The results can transform an organization’s way of doing business.  With improved usability, these systems lead to greater adoption of the technology, producing more-productive meetings, more engaged participants and improved workplace efficiencies. Collaboration systems offer many new advances in technology, all designed to provide greater value to your organization and increase the usability.  The advanced camera technology turns your 4K displays into powerful video conferencing systems for rooms of all sizes by tracking and framing the speaker, for a superior far-site experience.

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All Cisco Room Series endpoints capture room-use analytics, to include types of calls/ meetings, people count and call quality, allowing you to gain better insights into how your investment is delivering value and helping you to better plan for growth.

The result is a host of valuable benefits for both your operation and your bottom line:

  • Improved User Experience: Reduce downtime. Fix problems faster. Improve call quality
  • Increase Adoption: Understand usage. Identify growth opportunities
  • Optimized Resources: Find underutilized assets. Avoid capacity outages. Improve ROI

If you are interested in seeing what an optimized collaboration environment can do for your organization, contact SMP, where we have been delivering strategic IT solutions for over 20 years… Guaranteed!