Category AV in Meeting Spaces

Five Best Practices for Adopting UC and Video

Unified communications and video collaboration tools improve the user experience when they align with business goals AND are used throughout an organization.

But getting people to use these solutions can be a challenge.

AVI-SPL’s Customer Advisory Board, which includes Fortune 500 companies and large enterprises, shared the value of UC and video in their organizations and how they increase user adoption so that the company and its staff reap those benefits. Their advice and recommendations are summarized in a LinkedIn post by AVI-SPL SVP of Marketing Kelly Bousman.

In Kelly’s article, you’ll learn:

  • Why adoption matters and how to measure it
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect how often video for collaboration is used in meeting rooms
  • Five best practices for increasing video adoption

Read “Five Best Practices for IT Leaders to Increase Video Adoption” >

 

Workplace Transformation Starts With a Goal

In recent posts, we’ve looked at the value of activity-based work spaces, how to calculate the value of collaboration solutions. We’ve also heard from experts in workplace transformation. In this post, let’s look at ways you can start to channel your efforts for improving the workplace. 

AVI-SPL’s 2019 Concept Catalog offers steps you can take at the beginning of project to improve collaboration in the workplace. Let’s briefly go over some of those points:

  • Assess the state of collaboration. Take an honest assessment of where your organization is with collaboration. Begin by asking employees about their work preferences and where they would like to see changes. Rather than implementing technologies or changing methods piecemeal, you will get a big picture of the kinds of changes you will want to make.
  • Uncover cultural challenges. Learn where the roadblocks to collaboration are within your organization. Outline what you want your collaboration culture to look like and create a plan that includes encouraging openness and rewarding collaborative behaviors.
  • Decide what metrics you will use. You will want to continually evaluate the value and effectiveness of your collaboration solution. To do so, the company needs to first identify and prioritize goals.

After defining these spaces, here are four considerations that can help you determine what type of room would work best in your organization. Those considerations include:

  • Employee work styles
  • Room and device intelligence
  • Management and maintenance
  • Equipment standardization

Each of these tips will bring up more questions, but for now you have an idea of the kind of questions and issues that need to be considered. Ask us anything if you want to dive deeper and go into specifics: sales@avispl.com or 866-559-8197.

Case Study: Business Development Bank of Canada

BDC, the Business Development Bank of Canada, wanted its new Montreal headquarters to be a place for what it calls “social collisions” — areas that invite collaboration and knowledge sharing among team members. AVI-SPL’s design and integration work aligned with BDC’s desire to work in spaces that inspire collaboration and lead to improved innovation.

The new headquarters now has areas that promote entrepreneurship among its employees and offer its clients a space where they can interact with their representatives while collaborating over shared content. And those in the head office can quickly and easily connect with colleagues at other branches for video collaboration and content sharing.

Your company may have discovered that its current collaboration solutions aren’t delivering the expected user experience or needed outcomes. I encourage you to take a look at this case study and see what’s possible.

Read the BDC case study >

Q&A on Supporting Productivity in the Workplace

Beau Wilder of Poly is an expert in what companies can do to shift their organizations toward the future of work. In the Q&A below, I spoke with Wilder, Poly’s VP of innovation waves and new products, about creating a workplace that enables people to be their best. 

Q: Why is workplace transformation so important?
Wilder: We’re all in this war for talent. The companies winning are the ones recognizing that their most important assets are their people.

We can work anywhere, anytime on any device using UCC technology. Those solutions have allowed work policies to be flexible, so we need spaces where we can make best use of that technology and its capabilities. If you don’t provide those spaces, people will vote with their feet and move on to a better situation.

Q: Considering the ability for people to work from anywhere, how important is the workplace?
Wilder: Even though research shows people are more productive at home, most choose to go back to work because they miss the collaboration. We want people to work together and feel empowered when they’re in the office. It’s that cross-pollination where new thinking happens. We’re always looking for the next big idea, and so we need to make it easier for people in the workplace to work together.

Q: How did the open office take hold as the new template for the workplace?
Wilder: We thrive as humans when we’re outdoors. The open office offers flexibility in creating an environment that mirrors the one outside. In these spaces, we’ve seen huge trends with health and wellness. Biophilic design that includes natural light and greenery sets people up to be their best. When people are happier and healthier, you have more productivity and creative output. But the open office comes with its own set of challenges.

Q: What are some of those challenges?
Wilder: Although companies have raced to open offices, some didn’t do it thoughtfully. It can be hard to work while people are collaborating near you. Therefore, we need to focus on a human-centric design in the office so we can be at our best by using technology that blends distracting speech into the background.

Q: What are the solutions for these challenges?
Wilder: Do your homework ahead of time and bring in your vendor partners early. You’ll also want to include your users in the journey toward workplace transformation. Focus on the human experience above the cost-savings. Collaboration in meeting spaces should be intuitive and easy. When you design for open spaces, consider the activity that will be happening and build in choice that allows for a personalized experience.

Q: What’s a realistic expectation for companies that want to transform their workplaces?
Wilder: Ask targeted questions of your staff. Find out where things aren’t working. As you design open spaces, let the technology do the heavy lifting. 

This process continues even after you’ve made the transformation. Understand that you won’t get your building right from day one. But by collecting data like occupancy and use of technology, you can be proactive in refining it.

How to Choose Collaboration Systems for Your Company

As mentioned in our 2019 Concept Catalog, creating a smarter workplace starts with understanding the way your employees want to work and the business outcomes your company wants to achieve. To achieve those outcomes and a better user experience, your organization may focus on technology solutions that give each user valuable capabilities like:

  • On-demand collaboration with in-room and remote participants
  • Wireless presentation of content
  • Simple control of room devices

As you work to improve the employee experience through better room design and technology, you’ll want to consider factors like how your employees want to work together, what is preventing them from working at their best, and plans for company growth.

Assess how they are currently working and identify areas that are efficient or inefficient. Form a task force that includes representatives from different departments so you have comprehensive insight into the ways they work. 

Enlist the help of consultants and experts in the digital workplace experience. They can help you notice the fine details you might otherwise overlook when it comes to designing collaboration spaces and AV solutions. They’ll also work with your IT department to create a plan for onboarding solutions to the network and to explain the importance of support services so they can fulfill their core responsibilities.

The 2019 Concept Catalog includes steps you should take to make sure you’re building the right collaboration environment. It also includes a long list of topics — like technology roadmaps and change management — you can include for discussion with your partner for workplace success