Category AVI-SPL Partners

Creating Better Workplace Meetings With Crestron Flex

In a fast-paced, productivity-focused workplace, time is at a premium for everyone. Meetings have to start fast, run as expected, and support the way participants want to collaborate. Less time worrying about how to use technology means more time to maximize productivity and create new ideas that benefit the business. 

Because not every meeting has the same number of people or same general purpose, smart workplaces will feature a variety of spaces: huddle rooms, open areas, personal desks, executive boardrooms, and traditional conference rooms designed for small, medium, and large groups. 

These spaces are typically aligned with purposes suited to their size: the quick brainstorming huddle, the strategic presentation, the training session, the group presentation. Though different in size and purpose, most share similar technology systems. The types of collaboration technology in these spaces often include preferred UCC platforms (think Microsoft Teams Rooms), wireless connectivity from BYOD, ready-to-go video conferencing, and interactive displays. 

Regardless of your particular industry — whether it’s higher education or any number of corporate sectors like energy, finance, legal and transportation —  you can make use of the variety of collaboration spaces for quick huddles, training sessions, and strategic-minded presentations. Common to these organizations is their reliance on speed and agility. To reach business outcomes and outdo the competition, they must give their talent the tools they need to quickly come up with ideas and strategies that they take to market. By establishing technology standards for each of these spaces, you create a consistent, a high-quality experience that encourages collaboration and optimizes your workforce’s effectiveness. 

Crestron solutions set the standard for collaboration across industries and applications. In particular, Crestron Flex is a pace setter for key activities like quick-start meetings, video conferencing, collaboration, and content sharing. There’s a Crestron Flex solution for any size and type of conference space – including private and custom spaces and rooms designed for groups of various sizes. Wherever they gather, even from remote locations, meeting attendees have the same easy ability to work together. 

Users can connect their personal devices into their Crestron Flex device and start working with one another from their preferred UC platform. Crestron Flex natively supports whichever popular platform you choose, so once you connect your laptop via USB, you’re ready to collaborate. 

I encourage you to look at the Crestron Flex series of products so you can get an idea of how they’ll play in your workplace. For companies like yours, you’ll have a meeting-room solution that’s affordable and supports the way your teams produce the outcomes that drive your success in the marketplace. These solutions include:

  • Crestron Flex B-Series Smart Soundbar
  • Crestron Flex C-Series Integrator Kits
  • Crestron Flex M-Series Tabletop AV Conferencing
  • Crestron Flex P-Series Desktop Phone

You can learn more about each of these solutions at the Crestron Flex page.

Want a demo of Crestron Flex so you can see firsthand what it can do? Contact us at AVI-SPL and we’ll answer your questions and show you how Crestron Flex transforms your meeting experience so you get the business outcomes that spark success.

 

 

 

 

Five Steps to an Outstanding Video Conferencing Experience

A big part of the user experience in meeting rooms is the user interface. And by that I just mean the control panel that participants will use to start the meeting, video call, and sharing capabilities. As I’ve learned from AVI-SPL’s programmers, these control panels should support the different ways people want to work in these spaces.

David Thorson, vice president, programming at AVI-SPL, reviews five steps to building a video conferencing user interface (UI) that delivers a positive meeting room user experience (UX) in your digital workplace. Thorson will help you understand issues like:

  • Defining user expectations for the meeting room experience
  • Creating the UX architecture
  • Choosing the right hardware and software based on your user interface blueprint
  • Using meeting room standards for a consistent experience
  • Monitoring the usability of your solution

You’ll also learn about some specific Crestron solutions that help meeting attendees experience an outstanding video conference.

Read “User Experience-Driven Meeting Spaces Meet the User Interface” >

 

7 Tips for Successful Workplace Meetings in 2020

A new year presents the motivation for resolutions that we hope will improve our lives. Since so much of our time is devoted to our careers, I’m going to focus on a strategy that can lead to a better workplace experience and business success in 2020.

During a 2019 AVI-SPL webinar, Lieven Bertier of Barco explained the ingredients to a perfect workplace meeting and how collaboration technology supports these meetings. Bertier is the director of go-to-market strategy and services for Barco’s meeting experience business.

He noted that Barco’s own research indicates millennials and Gen Z will make up 59% of the workforce this year (a figure not too far off from the 50% figure I found in this source). This matters because they are natural collaborators who embrace digital technology. As I frequently mention in this blog, companies that want to attract and keep the best talent need to give them the tools to succeed.

During the webinar, Bertier touched on stats and findings that illustrate the connection between meetings and meeting-room technology, including:  

  • 30% of organizations in 2020 will find their greatest competitive asset in their workforce’s ability to creatively use digital technologies.
  • 72% of employees say their companies need to invest in better meeting technology (most say it needs to be intuitive and plug-and-play).
  • Most millennials (78%) and everyone else (75%) want a fixed place for their meetings.

That last point should matter to anyone involved in business, because millennials are already the largest segment of the U.S. workforce. (As an aside, be skeptical about reports that claim millennials will make up 75% of the workforce in 2025. Recent research shows that’s an inflated number that keeps getting circulated without fact-checking.)

But of all the statistics that Bertier shared, the number that struck me and inspired this post is this one: 51% of employees attend meetings that they say are irrelevant to them

Let’s give this the context Bertier provided: The average meeting length in the U.S. is 48 minutes. So if you attend 10 meetings a week, that accounts for a full day of work each week. No one who cares about their career and responsibilities wants to be part of a day’s worth of being unproductive. Now consider that there are about 3 billion meetings in the U.S. every year and that the Fortune 500 wastes $75 million a year on meetings. As Bertier notes, it’s no wonder that nearly 60% of employees think meetings should be shorter.

Meetings Aren’t the Problem

The problem is poorly conceived meetings. Meetings should be where people formulate their strategy and tactics, brainstorm ideas, make decisions, work with one another, and make progress on their shared projects. Where time is at a premium, meetings can’t be interrupted by digressions, small talk, and technology that hinders rather than helps. With that in mind, here are Bertier’s list of seven tips for better meetings:

    1. Add the technology and rooms that will empower people to have better, more productive meetings.
      • So what does better technology look like? It’s simple and intuitive. That means it works at the touch of a button, is wireless, compatible with any device, and is easy to set up. 
    2. Reduce the number of meetings. Don’t mistake this for less collaboration. Empowered by meeting spaces with collaboration technology, you may find your employees getting together frequently in quick huddles to review plans of action, answer lingering questions, and map out strategies.
    3. Assign clear roles and responsibilities: A meeting that has a chairperson, note taker, facilitator, and timekeeper can keep it focused and productive.
    4. No interruptions or distractions. Most participants are offended by someone who uses a phone or computer during a meeting. This can be impractical to eliminate, since we rely on our personal devices to take notes and contribute to the discussion. It may be better to encourage attendees to use their devices only for purposes related to the task at hand.
    5. Use multimedia. 72% of survey respondents feel more engaged with multimedia presentations.
    6. Embrace huddle spaces. Huddle spaces with ready-to-use collaboration technology benefit those who want to work together in small groups and do so at a moment’s notice.
    7. Aim for the 17-minute meeting. In countries around the world, most employees want their meetings to be shorter. By setting a time limit on meetings, you encourage organizers and participants to focus on the agenda.

With these tips in mind, you have a good foundation from which to empower staff with the type of meetings that improve productivity, reduce stress, and create a collaborative environment that leads to better business outcomes. For help with putting these recommendations into action, work with a services provider who has deep experience in workplace collaboration. AVI-SPL has that experience, so reach out with your questions and requests.

How Small Collaboration Spaces Deliver Big Results at Work

Sometimes you just need a quick get-together to organize a plan of attack. At other times, you’ll want to gather a few people to work on a project. Or you may need to consult right now with colleagues who are at another location.

What solves the challenges in each of these scenarios? The value of having a small collaboration space where core members of a team can share ideas, work on documents in real time, and connect with colleagues and clients at remote locations. In “Small Spaces, Big Outcomes,” find out why small spaces like huddle rooms have become popular and will continue to be an essential part of the workplace. This guide also explores other benefits of small collaboration spaces, including:

  • Better use of your real estate (large meeting spaces are rarely used to capacity).
  • Attracting and keeping the employees that drive your business success.
  • Efficient use of technology. Equipping a series of small spaces with unified communications technology leads to better collaboration than experienced in large conference rooms.

Technology for Your Small Collaboration Spaces

This guide includes a look at specific Poly technology solutions and their benefits to your workplace collaboration efforts. You’ll get concise explanations of the benefits and features of:

  • Polycom Studio
  • Polycom + HP SRS Bundle
  • CCX Business Media Phones for Microsoft Teams
  • Polycom Trio

You’ll also learn about the advantages you can gain when integrating Polycom room solutions with Alexa for Business.

If you have any questions about what you’ve read, or you’d like to read more content that will help you make an informed decision about improving your workplace with collaboration and AV solutions, we’re here to help. Visit the  AVI-SPL Resources page for more content (you can narrow your results by focusing on technology type, the content format, and vendor partner). 

You can also connect with AVI-SPL via web form by going to the AVI-SPL contact page. Prefer talking to someone? Reach out to AVI-SPL at 866-708-5034.

Get your copy of “Small Spaces, Big Outcomes: Trade Office Spaces for Engaging Collaboration Environments”  >

Find Your Path to Workplace Transformation in the AVI-SPL Concept Catalog

If you’ve been wondering, “What are the steps I should be taking to improve my organization’s collaboration experience,” AVI-SPL’s Concept Catalog has the guidance you need to confidently approach a challenging workplace transformation project. In this new edition, we give you our advice for:

  • Setting your project scope and expectations
  • Creating your digital workplace committee
  • Defining your business goals
  • Mapping your technology solutions to the desired user experience
  • Identifying measurable objectives

You’ll find two case studies that show how organizations like yours are benefiting from workplace transformation guided by AVI-SPL. You can also read those case studies on our website: RMIT University and Business Development Bank of Canada. In the RMIT case study, discover how their students, faculty, and IT leadership saw the benefits of our Symphony user experience management application as soon as it went live. 

Our new catalog includes an overview of Symphony, which gives you a single-pane view of your AV and UC estate and delivers the analytics you need to wisely invest in collaboration rooms and solutions. 

We couldn’t put this issue together without our manufacturer partners, and our advertising section showcases the latest solutions from companies like Biamp, Cisco, Crestron, Harman, and many others. Their products are designed to enhance your workplace experience, so look them over at your leisure. If you find something that interests you or if you have any questions, connect with us at contact@avispl.com.

Read the AVI-SPL Concept Catalog >