Meetings, whether online or in-person, are usually the core of communication and collaboration for most businesses. In a world of increasingly geographically distributed teams and the ever-increasing popularity of hybrid working, effectively bringing those that can’t make the meeting physically into the room is key. Wessex IT can work with you to extend Microsoft Teams into the meeting room to provide the ultimate meeting experience. We can deploy and manage the simplest room through to the most complex solution.
Our clients have been asking us for help to find the right solution for their big and small meeting rooms to enable successful virtual meetings, and we would love to share with you the recent Microsoft Teams Room project, that Jon and Andy have installed in Scope Group’s conference room and the possibilities of what your business could create with it.
We helped to set up the meeting room for Scope Group back in March, but they have decided that the time was right to modernize some of the equipment that they had in place already to take full advantage of what Microsoft Teams Room have to offer.
What is a Microsoft Teams Room?
A Microsoft Teams Room is a physical space where you can use Microsoft Teams as part of an enhanced video conferencing set up, supported by video, audio and content sharing. You’ll also be able to join a meeting from anywhere, on a number of different devices to support various types of internal and external meetings.
Microsoft Teams Room basic licences now part of your Office 365 package, which hasn’t always been the case, so now is the perfect time to review what your business needs. Microsoft Teams Room Pro licenses have an additional cost but they do add extra features (like multiple displays).
How can you use Microsoft Teams Rooms?
Businesses need conferencing facilities for all sorts of interactions – from corporate meetings and formal client calls to virtual team catch ups and informal team social events. So it’s important to have a flexible space and to make the best use of the areas available. Microsoft Teams Rooms can be created in small spaces ideal for focused, collaborative discussions, small formal meeting room set ups and larger formal spaces that accommodate 14 or more people, and there are a whole lot of benefits:
- Clearly see and hear meeting participants
Patchy video and audio quality is a huge frustration in meetings. You can deliver an inclusive experience for everyone in your meeting with a wide range of Microsoft Teams Rooms certified equipment.
For example, we have recently installed a Logitech MeetUp with a wall mounted TV screen with ultra-high-definition (4K) auto-tracking and framing camera in a client’s small meeting room. This has a super wide field of view to ensure everyone at the table is visible on screen and is designed to support collaborative working in smaller rooms. This also has a built-in high quality microphone to transmit clear sound.
In Scope Group’s larger meeting room, we have installed twin screens which gives them multiple displays to see meeting participants and meeting content side by side. In these bigger spaces, we often use Logitech Rally cameras and ultra-low distortion speakers that deliver crystal clear, room-filling sound and make sure every voice is clearly heard. This also included additional microphone pods to ensure everyone’s voice is captured perfectly no matter where they are in the room.
- Familiar, easy to use technology
Your workforce is already familiar with how Microsoft products work so using Teams for video conferencing is easier to embed in small businesses, even with colleagues who are not particularly tech savvy. As the system is fully integrated with Teams and Office 365, colleagues can reserve the room or check availability through Outlook or Teams.
One of the challenges we often see is meetings stalled when colleagues don’t know how to connect cables. In a Teams Room, you can set up an integrated meeting room PC and avoid the need to connect your laptop to the screen or battle with cables – just walk in, tap, and off you go. You can also use ‘Bluetooth nearby join’ to switch to the meeting room setup when you walk into the room with a device that’s already in a meeting.
There are other useful features such as controlling the meeting with a table-mounted touch screen meeting controller (shown below) or through Cortana voice assistance (Microsoft’s equivalent of Siri).
- Compatible with other platforms
Microsoft Teams Rooms devices also allow you to join meetings hosted on other platforms, such as Zoom or Cisco Webex through Direct Guest Join. This has proved to be invaluable for clients who take part in external meetings through different technologies.
- Secured and managed
Devices are protected through up-to-date software releases and security patches. At Wessex IT, for clients who have a managed IT service, we monitor their systems to ensure updates and other security features are up to date. We also keep on top of new functionality and work with businesses to test and roll out to the team.
What can you create?
With such a flexible system, you can scale up (and down) Microsoft Teams Rooms to suit the types of meetings you hold and fit the space you have available. If you’re unsure what technology you need, give us a call for a chat.
As we have already done with other businesses, we will review your needs and space and propose the right Microsoft Teams Room solution. Our team of engineers will install and test the new technology and get you set up and ready to go. It’s all part of the service!