In today’s increasingly global workplace, enterprises of all sizes and across all industries are placing significant focus on helping end users work more efficiently, increasing their productivity, and of course, making it easier and more seamless to work effectively across teams—wherever those teams are located. So it’s no surprise that integrating and updating conference room solutions is high on IT managers’ list of initiatives in 2019 and looking ahead to 2020. Fortune 500 corporations, small and midsize businesses, universities—virtually all organizations—are looking for easy-to-use, yet feature-rich conferencing solutions to keep their end users connected, whether they are in the same building, across campus, in another state, or around the world.
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We recently polled these groups to dig deeper on their high-priority conferencing initiatives. Examples of priority projects underway or in the planning stages across organization sizes and types in 2019 include:
- Completing a nationwide rollout of Skype for Business
- Updating conference rooms to move from older technologies such as VGA to current standards such as HDMI and USB-C
- Conference room build-outs for a new location
- Planning for on-campus learning spaces, including classrooms, meeting rooms, and seminar rooms
- Simplifying audio/video solutions to be user-friendly and platform-agnostic
- Updating end-of-life hardware
Sound familiar? The good news: There’s a wide range of conferencing solutions now available to help organizations easily accomplish all of these goals. From virtual collaboration platforms to huddle rooms to full-blown conference rooms with feature-rich A/V components, there’s a solution to meet every requirement and every budget to enable better collaboration across teams and locations.
Virtual collaboration platforms: Virtual collaboration solutions are designed to enhance the way that teams work together across different physical locations. As organizations look to enhance collaboration between, for example, students and teachers, or quickly organize a meeting between salespeople and a client, user-friendly virtual collaboration solutions allow them to quickly and cost-effectively set up and tear down online conference sessions, share notes and presentations, and review progress of projects. New features such as white-boarding, one-click recording, and integration with leading business tools make on-demand virtual collaboration solutions a key business tool for organizations of all sizes.
Huddle rooms: Open-concept office space eliminated many of the gathering places for team members to congregate as small teams and share ideas. Huddle rooms have emerged as the solution. Analyst groups that study the space estimate there are between 30 million and 50 million huddle conference rooms globally. Smaller than traditional conference rooms, huddle rooms generally can house up to five people, allowing employees to host ad-hoc meetings in small groups, review presentations as a group, and join video chats and conference calls with colleagues, partners or customers in other locations. New solutions in the huddle space are helping make these mini-conference rooms just as powerful and technology-rich as their full-fledged big brothers, yet customized for small spaces. New capabilities include AI-driven systems with 4K displays, one-cable designs for simple installation and use, and biometric fingerprint recognition for added security.
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Conference room systems: Today’s solutions for larger conference rooms have all of the bells and whistles you’d expect—including flexible, integrated unified communications kits for an all-in-one endpoint for office collaboration. New capabilities such as triple-screen 4K capabilities, powerful in-room controls, and AI features like noise suppression, intelligent views, facial detection, and people count help efficiency and productivity during the conference, while also helping operations teams understand room and feature usage.
As organizations evaluate solutions, ease of use and the user experience are high on their priority lists, as is security—especially in a BYOD world. The next generation of conferencing solutions has checked all of these boxes and more. When it comes to enterprise-ready conferencing solutions, as the saying goes, there’s truly something for everyone.