Category AV in Meeting Spaces

Webinar Recording: Devices That Improve Cloud Collaboration

In this session presented by Sherri Pipala, you’ll learn how Poly devices bridge the gap between platforms and how they ensure the best collaboration experiences for your users. You’ll also learn about:

  • The prevalence of UCC solutions in the workplace
  • What people expect out of their workplace meeting experience
  • Top three collaboration pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Poly solutions for Amazon, Microsoft, and Zoom
  • How the AVI-SPL Symphony user experience application manages and monitors the Poly devices that drive your collaboration

Get the recording for “Why Devices Matter: Realizing the Full Potential of Your Cloud Collaboration Solutions” >

About the presenter
Sherri Pipala joined Polycom in 2008 and has held numerous sales leadership roles.  She currently leads the Poly Field Alliance Team, where she’s focused on alignment and joint solutions with Poly’s Strategic Alliances. Sherri has over 25 years of experience marketing and selling collaboration solutions and advanced services for the enterprise and global account markets.  She focuses on executive relationships, business development, and partner enablement to support the best solution engagements. Sherri brings a “voice from the field” perspective to ensure product solutions, marketing and support drive customer success.

How to Build Huddle Rooms That Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a crucial success factor for staff retention and company profitability. Gallup reports that “companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share.” Meanwhile, “87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged.” What does this mean for you?

The challenge is on to create workplaces like huddle rooms that inspire collaboration and employee engagement.

How do you deliver a digital workplace where on-site and remote coworkers can easily connect and share ideas? Offer plenty of video-enabled huddle spaces for small, impromptu working sessions. Need inspiration? Follow this roadmap to build huddle rooms that increase employee engagement.

Create your huddle room success team

Start by creating a huddle room success team. Include stakeholders who support or will benefit from attracting and retaining top talent through employee engagement. Consider the desired huddle room user experience or UX, before you build or upgrade collaboration spaces.

  • It’s essential that the group represents the departments that hold the project’s purse strings too.
  • Consider huddle room build, design, video conferencing systems, support, and software budgets.
  • The team may consist of C-Suite members, end users, human resources managers, workplace strategists, IT staff, and facilities managers.

Define employee engagement benchmarks and goals

Next, define what successful engagement looks like by identifying benchmarks and setting goals. Example benchmarks include average employee tenure and current conference room utilization and the number of video meetings booked each month. 

Third-party focus groups and one-on-one interviews can also help you define current engagement levels and collaborative workspace preferences. Now set goals based on how much you want to improve these metrics each quarter, or annually after you’ve installed your huddle rooms. 

Develop a huddle room video adoption plan

Beautiful huddle rooms outfitted with the latest digital workplace solutions won’t necessarily increase employee engagement if your small collaboration spaces sit empty. Before the team starts construction, write a video adoption plan to encourage huddle room utilization.

  • The adoption plan should include employee training and a way to measure room and technology use.
  • Staff must know how to reserve huddle rooms and use new video conferencing and collaboration tools.
  • It’s also helpful to identify an influencer at every level from executives to end-users to champion video adoption and encourage employee engagement.

Design a user-friendly huddle room

Ever have to wait 10 minutes for a video conference to start? To encourage video adoption and engagement, ensure that huddle room equipment is easy to use. Include equipment and software staff members prefer, and that IT can easily support. Refer to your research to review which collaboration tools staff members like to use.

You can track current conference room usage via existing support software, or your scheduling system such as an Outlook calendar. Look at which rooms employees reserve most often. Study what type of video conference equipment is in your small meeting rooms.

Also, track how many employees were in the room and the number of remote employees that logged in to each meeting. Use this information to determine how many huddle rooms you need, and the room sizes that work best for your teams. Consider how to support bring your own device (BYOD) preferences when designing your digital workplace.

Use Room Standards to Create a Replicable, Positive User Experience

Based on your research and goals, develop huddle room equipment and software standards. Your standards are a finite set of hardware and software options. Most importantly, stick to these guidelines when building new collaboration spaces.

With standardization, employees will be familiar with meeting room controls. End users can walk into any huddle room and start the meeting quickly and easily. Remember that meeting that took too long to start? Standards help eliminate wasted meeting time. Limiting available options can streamline the IT support process also.

Positive user and IT staff experiences can lead to increased video conferencing adoption and employee engagement. Ask for staff suggestions on how to make meeting room control more user-friendly too. Allow users to provide feedback anytime through apps or email.

Consider Huddle Room-Specific Devices and Software

The popularity of huddle rooms has sparked suppliers to create hardware and software specifically for use in huddle rooms. When outlining your room standards, consider these collaboration solutions designed specifically for small meeting spaces. Huddle room gear can be more affordable than hardware designed for larger areas. Streamlined collaboration solutions can also be installed faster than more complex systems.

Cisco WebEx® Room Kit Mini

Cisco’s WebEx Room Kit Mini huddle room solution is easy to install and use. It’s a single device includes the codec, speakers, microphone, and camera.  This Cisco hardware is ideal for teams of two to five people. It allows users to connect to laptop-based video conferencing solutions via a USB connection.

Barco Clickshare CS-100 Huddle

Barco’s Clickshare CS-100 Huddle wireless presentation system helps small teams collaborate with fast and easy screen sharing. Users can share content from any laptop, tablet or smartphone using the Clickshare app or button.


Monitor huddle room devices and track room utilization

Tracking the goals your team set at the start of your project is essential to measuring room utilization and employee engagement. AVI-SPL’s Symphony user experience application makes it easy to monitor global room and device usage on a single screen, from anywhere.

Symphony proactively monitors conference room equipment. Your staff can address issues before they negatively impact huddle room user experiences and employee engagement. If your IT resources are already strained, consider a managed services solution as well.

Keep in contact with end users and IT support

While you deserve to celebrate your huddle room success, don’t disband your team once your small conference rooms are in use. Review end-user feedback to find ways to improve the meeting room experience and increase room utilization rates.

With your huddle room utilization rates in hand, measure them against changes in staff turnover. Look for correlations between employee engagement via collaboration in huddle rooms, and longer employee tenure. Update your room standards as needed.

Get more huddle room planning ideas

Ready to get started? Check out the How to Create Inspiring, Collaborative Huddle Rooms guide for further details on how to build small collaboration spaces that increase employee engagement. Read ideas on how to determine the number of huddle rooms you’ll need and how to estimate costs. Download the huddle room guide now.

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Webinar Recording: Design Basics for the Audio-Enabled Conference Room

During “Design Basics for the Audio-Enabled Conference Room,” you’ll learn best practices for well-designed conference rooms and meeting spaces with exceptional audio. During this AVI-SPL-hosted webinar, Gino Sigismondi, associate director of technical support and training at Shure, explores topics including:

  • Benefits of high-quality audio in the conference room
  • How we measure speech quality
  • The three basic elements of the conference room
  • Phases of the room-design process
  • Microphone selection for video conferencing
  • Four ways to improve room audio performance

Sigismondi also offers examples of AV connection scenarios, microphone characteristics, and how different mic types respond to input.

Laurie Berg, director of services product management for AVI-SPL, explains the benefits of Symphony, the user experience application that supports an integrated collaboration workflow and helps manage and monitor your AV and UC estate, including Shure devices and the meeting rooms where they’re used.

Get the recording for “Design Basics for the Audio-Enabled Conference Room” >

About the presenter 

Gino Sigismondi, associate director of technical support and training at Shure, is a Chicago native and Shure Associate since 1997. In his time at Shure, Gino has been a member of Applications Engineering and managed the Technical Training and Systems Support departments, assisting Shure customers with choosing and using the company’s vast array of products. He’s the author of the Shure educational publications “Selection and Operation of Personal Monitors,” “Audio Systems Guide for Music Educators,” and “Selection and Operation of Audio Signal Processors.” Gino was recently awarded status as an “Adjunct Instructor” by InfoComm Academy.

The Four S’s Are Your Keys to Collaboration Success

You want your workplace to be more than a building where people are obliged to meet for at least eight hours a day. It should be a home where teams can share and build upon ideas that help your company grow. To create the spaces that inspire your workers, AVI-SPL follows the “four S’s”: simple, standardized, scalable and serviceable. Each of these guidelines work together to form the workspaces that help meet your organization’s desired outcomes. Below, we look at what each of these principles means, why they matter, and how they work together.

Simple, Standardized, Scalable, and Serviceable

Simple — Are you going to use a conference room where the technology is an obstacle course of complexity, unreliability, and frustration? If you’re inclined to use a collaboration space, you want to work with colleagues on a project, not wonder why you can’t get the interactive display to sync to your device.

To apply simplicity to a space doesn’t mean you’ve limited its capabilities. Rather, you’ve removed the complex barriers to using and benefiting from those capabilities. This is usually the meaning when you hear someone describe a technology system as “frictionless.” Starting a meeting is streamlined, so that you can quickly start the display, audio, video, presentation, and get the purpose of the meeting underway.

Standardized — Regardless of where you’re working from, the technology experience needs to be the same among similar rooms in all locations. An employee that knows how to use a collaboration room in his or her home office should be able to do the same in another regional office. Applying standards and best practices makes the experience simple for the end user. Some of our clients have room standards that AVI-SPL must deliver reliably and in a way that allows their organizations to grow.

If you’ve yet to settle upon standards, AVI-SPL can help develop and provide them through its Rapid Rooms and Smart Spaces. These are collaboration spaces of various types that have been preconfigured with essential collaboration tools for various group sizes.

Your regional requirements may mean substituting one solution for another based on product availability. AVI-SPL lets customers know how their budgets may fluctuate based on those regional preferences. Because we are aware of differences within the same company, our designers, programmers and integrators ensure that your room functionality is consistent across locations.

Scalable — A scalable set of solutions are easily repeatable from office to office. By keeping room solutions simple and standardized, we can quickly deploy your rooms so that your regional locations stay connected. As your company grows and adds more collaboration spaces and solutions, so does AVI-SPL’s support of those solutions and your user experience through our managed services.

Serviceable — AVI-SPL considers serviceability as a design element when developing standards for your rooms and technology systems. That’s because spaces that are easy to use should also be easy to support. We assess the network topology where the solutions are being deployed so that the IT stakeholders can deliver and support the solutions on a consistent basis.

Serviceability means IT and/or  your managed services provider can proactively resolve issues and acquire the analytics that provide business insights, like how often your collaboration spaces are being used, the quality of the experience, and the number of service tickets that were generated in a particular time frame. From the data analysis of those standardized rooms, your organization continues to adjust its standards and conference rooms, and improve the user experience.

We find that customers are demanding actionable business intelligence about their collaboration solutions. They want to know if their technology systems are delivering ROI by improving productivity and if they need to reconfigure their collaboration spaces. AVI-SPL’s Symphony managed services platform provides the analytics to let you know whether your systems are delivering their intended value.

Work With the Experts in the Collaborative Workplace Experience

By following the four S’s, AVI-SPL creates meaningful spaces and better workplace experiences. Contact AVI-SPL and let us know where we can help improve the business outcomes for your organization.  

Webinar Recording: Intersection of AV and ADA Compliance

Access this webcast for a look at the issues you’ll encounter with accessibility and ways you can ensure your AV technology complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

When technology solutions don’t follow compliance dictates, they have the potential to create more barriers. For example: a lectern where the AV controls are not accessible to people in wheelchairs or a display that sticks out too far from the wall and becomes a hazard for those with sight disabilities.

In this AVI-SPL webinar, Legrand | AV’s Kathryn Gaskell and Karen Smidt discuss a few sections of the ADA (American With Disabilities Act) most relevant to AV, including:

  • Reach Ranges (section 308)
  • Operable Parts (sections 205 and 209)
  • Protruding Objects (sections 204 and 307)

You’ll gain an understanding of the AV challenges inherent in each section, and learn solutions for creating a more inclusive environment.

Get the recording for “The Intersection of AV Technology and the ADA: Challenges and Solutions” >

About the presenters

Kathryn Gaskell
Director of Product Management – Chief Brand
Legrand | AV
 
Kathryn has worked at Legrand | AV for six years, leading product management for the Chief brand. Her efforts have led to the development of industry-leading display mounting solutions for education and corporate environments, digital signage applications and more. Her interest in ADA was spiked by frequent questions from customers, and a desire to solve their accessibility challenges with practical, well-designed solutions.
 
Karen Smidt
Director of Marketing – Commercial Brands
Legrand | AV
 
Karen began working at Legrand | AV 13 years ago and is currently leading the commercial marketing team in their efforts to provide useful, educational content to our customers and end users. Working with Kathryn to better understand customer questions around ADA, she has developed educational resources to help explain and solve many of the challenges at the intersection of AV and accessibility.