Category AV in Meeting Spaces

The New Microsoft Surface Hub 2S Is Here!

The second generation of Microsoft’s Surface Hub is on its way, and you can get yours through AVI-SPL. For meetings of different sizes, the Surface Hub 2S is your pathway to turning any space into a teamwork space and bringing remote teams together. When the first Surface Hub arrived in 2016, it empowered groups of different sizes to collaborate through an interactive display that included their preferred collaboration tools. Colleagues could be in the same room or spread out around the world, and the Surface Hub brought them and their ideas together in one place.

In creating this updated version, Microsoft has listened to its customers and improved the Surface Hub’s physical design and its integration with software applications. The new Microsoft Whiteboard app gives you the ability to find people, and includes image stacks and intelligent ink. Everyone can take part in the brainstorming session, because you can share your whiteboard across Android, iOS, and Windows 10 platforms. And you can pick up from where your team left off. Other features and benefits include:

  • 50% faster graphic performance over the first Surface Hub
  • 40% lighter than the original version
  • More intuitive user interface
  • 50-inch collaborative canvas
  • Fluid team collaboration through Surface Hub Pen and touch
  • Enhanced 4K camera
  • Can be easily moved when paired with a Steelcase Roam™ Mobile Stand
  • Remote collaboration using Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business
  • Integrated with Windows 10 and Office 365

The Surface Hub 2S empowers you with mobile, cordless, uninterrupted teamwork. Any place can be a collaboration space. AVI-SPL is an official Microsoft partner, and we are your source for the new Surface Hub, which is scheduled to ship in June. For more information, and to reserve your Surface Hub 2S, visit AVI-SPL’s dedicated Surface Hub page. >

Webinar Recording: Creating a Customized Collaboration Space for Any Environment

Watch this on-demand AVI-SPL webinar to learn about the NEC solutions that are designed to improve collaboration between teams in the same workplace and across different locations. Chris Feldman, product manager for NEC Display Solutions, addresses:

  • Roadblocks to incorporating collaboration technology
  • NEC solutions for team collaboration, wireless presentation, and interactive whiteboarding
  • The collaboration challenges solved by NEC’s Mosaic Suite, CB Series, and InfinityBoard.

You’ll also discover how you can choose from NEC’s hardware and software options to create the collaboration solution that works best for your organization.

During the Q&A, Feldman addresses how to save work from a session, typical equipment and capabilities in a huddle room, and the best system to use in a classroom environment.

Get the recording for “Creating a Customized Collaboration Space for Any Environment” >

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.  

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 collaborative workplaces that inspire 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.

  • 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 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 meeting room experience

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 Solutions

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.

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 guide now.

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TechBoost Events Reveal Future of Work in Canada

Throughout 2019, AVI-SPL Canada is hosting its TechBoost series of networking events that give you access to digital workplace experts and technology providers that improve team productivity and reduce your real estate costs.

At venues across Canada, you’ll learn about the meeting solutions, video collaboration, and enterprise video capabilities that attract and retain talent.

You’ll understand how to apply technology strategies and solutions that increase business agility and results. You’ll also learn how AVI-SPL managed services ensure they measure up to your objectives. We’ve got our complete slate of events scheduled and ready for your registration.

TechBoost Cities in 2019

Join AVI-SPL and select partners as we spend an afternoon exploring the technology and unified communication trends that are facilitating groundbreaking changes to the workplace. Lunch will be served at each event.

Click the links above to register for the TechBoost event you’d like to attend.

Tout au long de 2019, AVI-SPL Canada est l’hôte d’une série d’événements de réseautage sous le nom de Pause-Techno, qui vous donnent accès à des experts en environnement de travail numérique et à des fournisseurs de technologie qui améliorent la productivité des équipes et réduisent les coûts immobiliers.

Partout au Canada, vous découvrirez les solutions de réunion, la collaboration vidéo et les systèmes de diffusion vidéo d’entreprise qui attirent et retiennent les talents.

Vous comprendrez comment appliquer des stratégies et des solutions technologiques qui augmentent l’agilité et les résultats de l’entreprise. Vous apprendrez également comment les services gérés d’AVI-SPL s’assurent qu’ils répondent à vos objectifs. Nous avons notre liste complète d’événements prévus et prêts pour votre inscription.

Pause Techno- Villes en 2019

Rejoignez AVI-SPL, et sélectionnez des partenaires, pendant que nous passons un après-midi à explorer les tendances technologiques et de communication unifiée qui facilitent les changements révolutionnaires dans le monde du travail. Le déjeuner sera servi à chaque événement.

Cliquez sur les liens ci-dessus pour vous inscrire à l’événement TechBoost auquel vous souhaitez participer.