It’s a pretty basic expectation. You want to be able to walk into a meeting room, connect your laptop, and make a presentation. And you can. Your conference room or huddle space system can be a simple plug-and-present. It can be a wireless solution or one that is controlled by your smart phone. Like all good designs however, desirable outcomes depend on great input. While each of those solutions provide effective collaborative capabilities, if it doesn’t suit the needs of the user, it will fall short. An effective presentation system is not as much about the technology as it is the user experience, and that starts with a few simple questions.
Define and design
The first step in designing a system is to define the desired user experience for all users. The right solution will depend on:
· Who will be using the system?
· What is their experience level?
· Are you wanting audio conferencing, video conferencing, content sharing, whiteboarding, etc?
· What are your company’s workflows?
· Is there a company standard such as Skype for Business?
· What is the desired interface? Minimal interaction, single button press or plug-n-play? Do you want to avoid the use of small, uninstalled units such as a hand-held remote control that may disappear in a huddle room?
· Will users be mobile – on phones and tablets? And how many connections?
· Are you wanting to create a standardized solution that will be replicated companywide?
Effective Communication – Are we speaking the same language?
In this era of rapidly evolving technologies, new terms and acronyms abound. VTC, VC, VMR and UC, for example, can mean different things to different people. One person’s definition of video conferencing may mean a traditional conference room setting with dual screen monitors that display far-side participants as well as shared content, while another may be imagining a video call in the cloud with a completely remote or mobile staff of a few dozen. Collaboration is another term that requires a clear definition. To some it means simple screen sharing via Go-to-Meeting or Webex while others imagine a fully interactive experience that allows wireless sharing of multiple PCs.
BYOD and IT
Wireless presentations from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone (BYOD – bring your own device) can offer seamless, convenient connectivity to the shared display, but due to network security, not all IT departments embrace this access. Several solutions are available today offering point-to-point connectivity. Accessing a self-contained Wi-Fi or presentation button, users can present without being on the network. Some companies require heightened security measures, restricting wireless and providing only a secure wired solution.
Designed to Scale
Your communications, conferencing and presentation systems are a strategy, not a trend. Be sure your system is based on your needs and desired outcomes and not a particular manufacturer’s product. It should take into account your potential for future growth and needs and provide that scalability. As you add spaces and staff, it is a clear cost advantage to standardize on a solution that can be replicated throughout the building, across a campus or across the country. Not only will it save in design and installation costs, but users will be more likely to adopt and use the technology in the room if they are already familiar with it. Employee training costs are significantly lower as well.
Scalability needs to meet technology. A well thought out strategy and design will provide IT infrastructure to support growth over the next 5 years. Network and data requirements, multiple VLANs and robust Wi-Fi can be implemented now, along with conduit and pre-wire for future expansion.
The solution drives the best possible outcome. Partner with an AV/IT professional to create huddle spaces, meeting rooms and board rooms that are efficient, effective and impactful, for your users and for your bottom line.
PC Magazine’s “The Best Video Conferencing Software of 2017”
Tags: Video Conferencing, Teleconference, infrastructure, UC, BYOD, huddle room, conference room