Does your huddle room have the right tools?

Everyone is taking about huddle spaces and small meeting rooms. With the conflicting issues of office space being at a premium, but employees requiring more space to be collaborative, companies are dividing up larger meeting rooms and making the most of under used smaller spaces by turning them into huddle spaces.

In an article written by Business Insider in February 2019, stats were shown of two very distinct people as to how many meetings they had been in over a year, and the number of attendees within each of the meeting. Whilst clearly not statistically important, it does

1.      Show the variation in the amount of time people can spend in meetings

2.      Show that the number of meetings with 8 or less people involved is 68%

This second stat is something that business are becoming more aware of. Forbes produced an article stating that 7 people is the maximum number of people you should ever have in a meeting.

So, if the number of people in the average meeting is lower than it used to be, then the size of the average meeting room should therefore be smaller. Makes sense no?

With these smaller meeting rooms comes a whole plethora of meeting technology. The vendors have been quick to pick-up on the fact that there are around 50 million huddle spaces worldwide, and that the vast majority of these currently only have the basics, such as a flip chart, table and a few chairs in. Collaboration today requires a combination of audio, video, file sharing, real-time annotation, instant and or persistent chat and a whiteboard, all dependant on the users requirements.

As a video conferencing and collaboration expert for over 20 years, we have become accomplished to designing and supporting meeting rooms of all sizes. What would we suggest to put in your huddle space when looking at all of the new technology available.

Well, firstly it depends on what technology or service you are currently using, and what your strategy going forward is.

Here however is our high-level suggestion of some of the hardware available from just a few of the vendors:

For users of Microsoft Skype for Business there are many PC based solutions of which the HP SRS Bundle is just one. It allows you to have flexible options for native Microsoft video meetings. Within this bundle you would get an HP Elite Slice G2 Audio Ready touch panel, a Polycom Trio 8500 to act as the microphone and a Polycom EagleEye IV USB camera. Alternatively, StarLeaf offer the Teamline 5140 as a non-PC based alternative meeting room solution for seamless collaboration with Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.

If you don’t use Microsoft Skype for Business or Teams and have no plans to move to either of them, then with pure Polycom technology there are a few different options. The Polycom Trio 8500 or 8800 can be used as a conference phone and/or microphone for the room. The Trio can also be set up with a Trio Visual+ and an EagleEye Mini or EagleEye IV USB Camera to add video to the huddle space. You could opt to have Polycom Studio’s in your huddle rooms. These are USB video bar with plug-and-play functionality that allows you to connect to most video services.

If you are a company that has Cisco technology, then you might be interested in having the Cisco Webex Board 55 in your huddle room. This is an all-in-one device that provides everything you will need to collaborate effectively. Similar to the Polycom Studio, Cisco offer the Cisco Webex Room Kit Mini and a camera and codec all-in-one device that will connect to a 4K screen. If you are looking to simply share content, then the Cisco Webex share is a device that provides high-quality cable-free content sharing for local meetings.

This of course is just the tip of the iceberg when looking at huddle room technology, we could easily also include Logitech, Crestron and many others, but you would be reading for days. It is easy to understand how and why companies can find it confusing or overwhelming when trying to decide what they should deploy.

At Videocall we have a team of Solution Engineers who are accredited with many of the main collaboration vendors. It is their job to understand the customers strategy and the users requirements and current workflows so that they can help make an informed choice as to what will work best, what will be easiest, reliable, can be supported and is futureproof meaning that it will generate ROI. Read more about the changing world of business collaboration in our whitepaper.

If you are looking at your meeting rooms and how to get the most from them, then give us a call on +44 (0)1276 706 706, email us at information@videocall.co.uk, or use the live chat or contact form on the website.

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