These days, it seems like there is a ‘new normal’ every six months! Regardless of the current situation, the future of work is clearly here! This future promises us a new ‘digital revolution’ and is within our grasp: remote and hybrid workforce, flexibility, adaptability, efficiency – all within the digital environment. But before we get to realize these promises, IT organizations, in particular, must suffer through numerous problems: sophisticated technology, complexity, lack of interoperability, and integration headaches.
Remote and hybrid meetings are an essential part of our business lives now. There is no going back. Recent US stats indicate that on average 37% of employee time is spent in meetings, with some busy professionals attending over 120 meetings per month. If we can make virtual meetings stick and gain long-term value and productivity, there are enormous benefits to be had for any organization.
Part of building the future work environment, therefore, is creating a state-of-the-art conference room system with effective audio-visual capability. That doesn’t mean you have to invest in complex and expensive technologies. You must create a space that facilitates effective interaction and collaboration. Collaboration during hybrid and remote meetings must be simple, seamless, and intuitive for both on-site and remote users. Poorly implemented technology is doomed to collect the proverbial dust and sit in the corner without generating a return on capital.
There are many challenges in building a state-of-the-art conference room. Should you take a piecemeal DIY approach versus an out-of-the-box solution? What should you look for and what should you avoid?
When you consider the hybrid meeting workspace you must navigate through a dizzying array of technology. Everything from flat panel displays, projectors, and interactive whiteboards to wireless dongles. HDMI capture cards, microphones, speakers, and webcams also need to be installed and managed. Wireless connectivity standards such as Airplay, Chromecast, and Miracast must be combined with HDMI input and sometimes control systems such as Crestron or similar products in an attempt to tie various technologies together.
Getting disparate hardware to play well together is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you navigate all these technologies and standards you are faced with the challenge – how do you ensure that every participant in a hybrid meeting, whether in-person or remote, share the same experience? How do these technologies play together? The remote meeting revolution doesn’t mean that you can just rely on your existing tools anymore as many are not designed for sharing ideas, brainstorming, or resolving conflicts, which are often critical functions for any team. For that, you need to use advanced products that make your teams feel like they are there in the same room.
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