implementing a communication system in your office
Office communication systems have come a long way since the basic telephony systems that were commonplace only a couple decades ago. For today’s teams to thrive, organizations require robust video conferencing systems that enable workers to collaborate seamlessly wherever they’re located.
But to get the most out of these systems, it’s important to choose the right solution for your space and needs. If you’re upgrading or replacing a traditional communication system in your office with a more advanced meeting solution, here are a few things to consider.
1) Video is vital
58% of companies now use video conferencing solutions in their day-to-day operations. These numbers climbed significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic as businesses shifted to remote work. But this also means that the remaining 42% of companies are still likely relying on traditional telephony communication systems.
For a long time, telephony systems made sense because phones were the only option for conference calls. High-end video conferencing systems were mostly out of reach for smaller businesses, and even then, the technology was very limited.
But things have changed rapidly over the past couple decades (and even more so in the past two years alone). The ubiquity of high-speed broadband ushered in a new wave of high-quality video conferencing systems that were fast, dependable, and affordable for any budget.
Why does video matter so much?
Video makes communication stronger. It allows participants to better see and understand others in the meeting in ways that aren’t possible with audio alone. Plus, the ability to simultaneously share visuals – with screen sharing, presentations and so on – makes meetings even more productive.
With today’s workers increasingly working remotely, across large distances, there’s simply no better way to conduct meetings than with video conferencing.
2) Select a meeting solution
Today’s video communication systems require a dependable platform to power and manage your meetings. Thankfully, there are several great meeting solutions that do this exceptionally well, while also being easy to use.
Some of the most popular meeting solutions today include:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
Which is right for your organization? It all depends on your needs and your existing operational infrastructure.
For example, if your organization already runs primarily on Microsoft’s suite of tools, then Teams may be a natural fit. Or, if you prefer the flexibility of a system that isn’t tied to one O/S and can support users on any device, then maybe Zoom or Google Meet is a better option.
Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s really a matter of choosing the platform that best fits your needs. Here are some things to consider as you compare your options:
- Participant limits
- Collaboration tools / sharing capabilities
- Ease of use
- Video quality and overall performance
- Ability to integrate with other apps
- Pricing and terms
- Cross-device compatibility
3) Consider room size
The size of your meeting space will largely determine what equipment you need, including:
- Tabletop touch panels
- Video displays and/or projectors with screens
If you’re looking for the simplest deployment possible, consider all-in-one conferencing tools, such as Logitech’s Rally Bars or Poly Studio Bars. These bars have everything built-in: the camera, speakers, and microphones, so that they merely need to be connected to a display to get started. Some video bars even have multiple cameras, which can automatically detect and highlight active speakers.
Alternatively, many organizations will prefer to design a custom meeting solution with more expansive audio-visual equipment that fits their specific needs. This ensures a more immersive and engaging meeting experience.
4) Full room integration
Another popular option for deploying today’s meeting solutions is fully integrating the meeting platform with the hardware. Two common examples are Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Teams Rooms.
These are essentially packaged systems that integrate cameras, speakers, and monitors tied to the meeting solution of your choice. But you’re not limited to any single brand of hardware – you have the flexibility to integrate different devices to fit your needs.
One of the greatest benefits of Zoom Rooms and Team Rooms is the simple, cohesive deployment. Everything is designed to be tightly integrated while offering more robust collaboration features and one-tap meeting kickoffs.
You also have the option of deploying touch panels outside the meeting room, which can be used to reserve the room or show that meetings are in progress.
Your meeting communication system can also be integrated with other systems in the room, such as window shades and lighting.
Why does this matter?
It’s another way to kick off meetings faster and with less hassle. For example, you can design your meeting space to automatically lower the shades and dim the lights when the host starts the meeting. This eliminates the need for someone to manually adjust the lighting, which causes unnecessary distraction and delay.
6) Don’t forget meeting equity
Last but not least: always consider meeting equity.
Meeting equity is the idea that all meeting participants should have an equal meeting experience, whether they’re in the room or connecting remotely. In today’s era of remote work, off-site workers often get the short end of the stick. Poor-quality conferencing systems make it difficult to hear and see what’s happening in the meeting. This causes frustration and prevents remote workers from reaching their full potential.
Meeting equity can be achieved by deploying better video conferencing solutions that capture every participant, every moment, every document and every word spoken, so that everyone feels like a valued member of the team.
See how AVDG’s video conferencing solutions can bring better communication and collaboration to your organization. Request a consultation to explore your options with one of our AV experts.