Category Video Collaboration

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” >

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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Webinar Recording: Collaboration for the 21st-Century Classroom

This AVI-SPL webinar looks at Newline Interactive’s TRUTOUCH X Series, an immersive collaboration system that makes students feel like they are in the same classroom with their remote peers and helps teachers focus on teaching.

Tim Garber, manager of professional development at Newline Interactive, explores the X Series’ educational applications, built-in whiteboard, and IdeaMax collaboration software. The X Series enables participants to interact via voice and video and to annotate shared content. Other features include:

  • InGlass interactive touch technology
  • Content annotation
  • Object recognition
  • Video conferencing
  • Windows shortcuts
  • Newline Assistant

Get the recording for “Collaboration for the 21st-Century Classroom” >

About the presenter
Tim Garber is the manager of professional development at Newline Interactive. He manages the day-to-day execution, priorities, and scheduling of the team conducting in-person training sessions. He has developed training materials for K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

Poly’s “Power of Many” Message for Businesses

Poly made noise in the AV and workplace collaboration industry this week as it became the new face of the combination of Plantronics and Polycom.

The company is supporting its first marketing campaign, “The Power of Many,” with some high-profile announcements that focus on product integration with technology from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Poly made these announcements while at Enterprise Connect in Orlando.

In the days that followed the rebranding as Poly, the company announced:

The Power of Many

Common to these products is their emphasis on bringing people together, which is the message of Poly’s “Power of Many” campaign. The “power of many” also describes the functions that are brought together in a solution. Systems that combine useful functions are what you might envision when you hear the term “unified communications” — the ability to review one’s calendar, join a meeting, and make video calls from one device.

Along with this versatility, the goal is simplicity, which is key to the user experience of solutions that combine multiple functions. You could say that’s the main appeal of a solution that includes Alexa, making it possible to manage meetings and room devices through voice.

Poly’s solution announcements this week indicate their focus on a positive user experience. Common to each of them:  These solutions integrate with systems that people are comfortable with and want to keep using in a way that isn’t needlessly complex. One phrase on the Poly website touts the ability to “concentrate on ideas in the air, not devices in the room.” When people use workplace collaboration solutions, they shouldn’t notice the technology to an extent that is disruptive. Rather, they should be able to give their attention to the collaboration that the technology is making possible.

As new solutions enable us to do more from more places, companies are wise to incorporate those solutions in the workplace to attract talented people who want to be able to collaborate in a variety of ways and do it on demand.

The solutions that are easiest to use will be the most attractive, as long as they have the capabilities that people expect. Those capabilities are with us in a variety of solution packages. The power of Poly’s message is in its focus on how its solutions make it easier for people to produce the products, ideas, services and innovations that keeps their businesses growing.

Five Ways to Appreciate Your Employees

Today, the calendar on the wall — or your desk, or your smartphone — is asking companies throughout the United States to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day.  Companies are their employees, so a business’s success depends on the success of its workers. To attract and keep the employees that make their businesses succeed, an organization’s leaders should remind them that they are valued. Here are a few ways you can show your appreciation for your colleagues.

1. Provide time off and transportation for volunteer work

Support your employees and their dedication to improving their local communities by organizing or taking part in events that help people in need or causes they believe in. From its Tampa headquarters, AVI-SPL takes an active role in Feeding Children Everywhere, which works to ensure that kids don’t go hungry. We also contribute through groups like Metropolitan Ministries, Paint Your Heart Out Tampa, toy drives, and bike-building events. Go to Charity Navigator to find evaluations of charities and choose the ones that you think are worthy of your effort and will do the most good.

2. Share snacks or have a food truck day

Morning bagels or donuts can help your employees get over the midweek hump and keep them buzzing on Fridays, when energy and enthusiasm flags with the weekend in sight. Once a month, AVI-SPL hosts a free dessert day from our Tampa office. And we often have a different food truck visit our business campus during the Friday lunch hour. Sometimes a department will bring in snacks and share them in the break room. A holiday like Valentine’s Day can provide all the excuse you need for a pizza party that encourages people to get away from their desks and connect with each other.

3. Offer day care services or flexible hours

Show the parents in your office that you value their contribution by giving them the time to care for their children and make it easier to attend to their day care or school schedule. It can be difficult — especially for new parents and those with long commutes — to be away from their children and deal with drop-off and pick-up times, so giving them the opportunity to work from home at least part time (such as the morning or late afternoon hours) can really help those who are always rushing through traffic to make it to work or their kids’ school.

4. Reward employees for outstanding teamwork

Invite employees to nominate each other in recognition of their outstanding teamwork and accomplishments. Winners may be recognized with gift cards, company-wide announcements, and other perks, like a monthly parking spot of their choice. You’ll reward coworkers for their great contributions and inspire others to up their game. Tie accolades to activities designed to increase fitness, like walking competitions, and you’ll have set the stage for a lifelong commitment to one’s health.

5. Provide a modern digital workplace

Empowering employees means committing to a culture that values flexibility in the way they work and generate the ideas that spark a company’s success. Modern digital workplaces with collaboration spaces and their technology systems allow people to share content in real time from their personal devices during same-room gatherings, as well as during video conferences that bring in teams from remote locations (such as another office or one’s home).

By implementing a variety of spaces with collaboration technology that is easy to use and meets the variety of ways people prefer to do their work, you’ll be showing you value your employees by supporting their ability to work efficiently in teams of various sizes, and to do it from a variety of locations. And you’ll be effectively meeting your desired business outcomes.

Transforming the workplace can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Visit AVI-SPL’s landing page “Digital Workplace Strategies to Attract and Retain Top Talent” for a look at the top considerations when choosing collaboration technology for your workplace, the variety of work spaces that support different styles of teamwork, and the technology within those spaces.