24th March 2017
Please Remove Your Shoes - A post About Technology in Meeting Rooms
Last week I visited a friend and, as always, as soon as I stepped into his hallway, I kicked off my shoes and set them neatly beside all the other pairs of shoes in the hall.
My friend says he asks everyone to take off their shoes because he believes it's a "great leveller"; everyone is the same and it produces a much more communal ambience. The real reason, I believe, is that my friend doesn't want to get his carpets dirty but that's beside the point.
So, as I kicked off my shoes and thought about the act of kicking of my shoes, how it's my friend’s house and therefore his rules, I was reminded of this great discussion by Phil Edholm about meeting room technology, which takes a look who should choose the tools for a meeting room: is it the person hosting the meeting, the person attending, neither or both?
In this article, Phil poses the question, who should provide the technology for the meeting and do 'things' need to work together. By things we mean video call, audio, content.
Think about how you use the web. In any given day you'll visit lots of different sites, each of them doing lots of different things in a different way: they don't really need to connect? You go to one site for one thing and others for other things.
Think also about messaging apps. It's the norm to have different apps for different groups. I have active groups, like my running group and family conversations in WhatsApp, work stuff in our in-house Montage For Teams app, social groups and family messaging in SnapChat, contacts in Instagram etc. etc. They all do different things with different people and groups and I know what tool to use for each group.
So, can meeting room technology work in the same way: I simply expect to use a different tool for different meetings with different people or is that just too much pain? Does that open the door to having to spend time in advance of connecting to anyone, going through the connection process?
Maybe that's the job of the vendor - to ensure that even if I'm using a system for the first time, it should be easy: no configuration, no having to prepare things in advance? Or maybe, that's stating the case for needing things to work together.
The other side of the coin is different services being able to work together just makes much more sense, especially if we consider the traits of collaborative working:
Collaboration teams create and share lots of work involving many drafts and revisions. Interim and final work products include documents, images, walk-throughs, videos, web pages, blog posts, software code, whiteboards, diagrams, designs, reports, graphics.
Collaboration work across departments within the enterprise and with outside sources such as customers and suppliers.
Collaboration workers are nomadic within their work environment as they interact with other team members. They may also travel outside the physical location. They prefer wireless devices so they can take their work with them. They prefer working in open spaces with smaller team interaction spaces that are consistent across locations.
Working collaboratively involves lots of content or every shape and size. That work is a very iterative process: drafts, revisions, edits, comments on documents.
It also means working across different spaces with different technology over different boundaries. To have to think about connection logistics, learning new processes, figuring out if system x works with supplier y surely only serves to get in the way of working with others.
Of course, every solution working together seamlessly is its very own utopia (is that what the U in UCC stands for?) but for us, even if that utopia serves only to remove friction and make it easier to bring people and ideas closer, then I know what side I'm on.
It’s our ‘removing friction’ hat that has guided us somewhat in our approach to building a wireless presentation system for meeting room productivity and collaboration. We want everyone to be able to cast their content from their device to the main meeting room display: those in the meeting room and those remote.
We also believe that with any wireless presentation system, attendees shouldn’t have to spend any time at all preparing content before casting to the screen.
Montage is a wireless presentation system that helps brings people and ideas closer together. Made to scale, it allows multiple meeting attendees, whether in-room or remote, to cast their device to a main meeting room display.
Find out how Montage can help improve your meetings.
You may also be interested in 5 Must Have Features of a Wireless Presentation System