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Key Considerations when Choosing Meeting Room Technology

Written by: Lloyd Langenhoven
01 April 2019

Key Considerations when Choosing Meeting Room Technology

 

Often we see clients selecting their meeting room technology based on a specific feature or even a plethora of features offered by a product.  Selecting a technology solution based on features can be a trap.  Features are nice but often they aren’t enough to ensure adoption (and in fact sometimes they can be a real hinderance to adoption).  What makes matters worse is that "feature selling" seems to be a common marketing tool that many technology companies exploit!  Clients spend fortunes on rolling out the product only to realise later on that the average user can't figure out how to use the technology without an IT support tech being called in, or they discover that certain features they were sold are actually of no benefit to their use case and create a distraction that confuses users.

Here are some key questions to ask when selecting meeting room technology to ensure that you don’t fall into this trap. These questions can be your litmus test for good/bad meeting room technology:

 

1.    What will the User Experience be like?

                                                                                                                   

User Experience is the single most important aspect to consider.  Without a seamless and easy user experience your meeting room technology will become the elephant in the room that everyone is too afraid to use.

Here are some typical questions to ask regarding user experience:

  • How many steps will it take the user to present their laptop or initiate a Video Conference?
  • Will they need to download and install any software to present or Conference?
  • Will they need WiFi access to present or conference?
  • Will I need to give guest users access to my LAN to be able to present or conference?
  • How easy will it be to share content from any device in the room through a Video Conference Call?
  • Will the user still have Internet access when presenting?

 

2.    Is the Technology Integrated?

                                                                                             

Integrated Meeting Room Technology ensures that all features and applications of the room and the organisation blend into one another.  It also ensures that no functionality is lost when using the room for different applications.  Without an integrated solution your users will never quite be sure of what steps they need to take to perform the required task.

Here are some typical questions to ask regarding Integration:

  • Will the user need to pick up any device remote controls and make a selection (such as turning the TV on or selecting a TV input) to setup the room?
  • Can any BYOD (Bring your own Device) be presented seamlessly including guests and internal users.
  • Can BYOD Devices utilize the room's camera and audio to conduct their own VC Calls when needed?
  • Does the presentation system link into the Dedicated Video Conferencing system seamlessly?  ie. Will the user need to follow a different process when presenting locally or through a VC Call?
  • Can the Meeting Room Video Conferencing System communicate with desktop VC users seamlessly?
  • Can the Meeting Room VC System communicate with any VC hardware vendor as well as with any soft conferencing platform such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc?
  • Can the Meeting Room hardware integrate with the organisation’s current VOIP system so that the meeting room mics and speakers can also be used to conduct a voice call?
  • Can the Meeting Room devices be monitored centrally by facilities or IT for health state monitoring and current usage?

 

3.     Is the Technology Scalable?

                                                                                    

Scalable Meeting Room Technology allows for growth and customizations without ripping and replacing any of the existing tech investment.  Modern Meeting Room technology has to be able to adapt to changing needs, customizations and growth within your company.  Sharing of resources between meeting rooms should also be possible.

Here are some typical questions to ask regarding scalability:

  • Can features and applications be added to my existing Meeting Room techology without removing existing equipment
  • Can custom changes be made to the meeting room technology to suit my custom user needs beyond the "in-the-box" features
  • Can the User Interface and User Experience be customized to suit both a technical user or a completely non-technical user.
  • Can additional Audio/Video inputs and outputs be added to the room system without ripping and replacing existing equipment?
  • Can the system share resources between meeting rooms without requiring fixed hardware installed in every room that goes to waste when not in use?

 

All these questions will help guide you and ensure that you don’t get lost in the hype and ensure that you end up with a technology solution that meets your needs and is adopted seamlessly by your organisation.

 

Call us at Peripheral Vision on +27 11 840 0860 or contact marketing@peripheralvision.co.za

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