Returning to the office post-lock down, with MS Teams & CVI
We still don’t know when, but we should be thinking about returning to the office because there are a lot of question marks over how that will play out and what the new working norm will be. When the time comes, it will be crucial for business to adapt quickly and smoothly to returning to the office and strategies ready to tackle some of the challenges of working in the post-COVID19 world.
Remote working, client and supplier meetings, meeting spaces and collaboration strategy are all going to require new approaches.
One scenario we saw repeatedly as lock down happened was large enterprises using the soon-to-be discontinued Skype For Business, quickly deploying Microsoft Teams to support their workers during the lock down.
A smart move for a lot of enterprises, as it quickly enabled large scale groups of remote workers to collaborate and communicate within a controlled environment that the IT department could support remotely.
But despite that we did hear about a few user and service issues. Its not an ideal time for IT to give staff learning new workflows and collaboration tools.
Taking it back to the office
One challenge the recent Teams adopters will face is how Teams will integrate with their existing room infrastructure. Skype for Business rooms will not work with Teams meetings which presents a real headache for returning IT leaders.
The issues are exacerbated by the fact that how we use meeting rooms will have to change, at least in the short term. With social distancing rules, many meeting rooms will have their capacities drastically reduced and small spaces will now only support single occupants.
Larger team meetings in the post-COVID world will likely include a mix of participants spread out across available meeting spaces and remote/home workers “dialling” in.
And what happens when you need to connect to clients, external offices or suppliers using a different video platform with incompatible protocols?
CVI to the rescue?
It will certainly solve some issues, but It’s not quite so straightforward. Microsoft have rolled out CVI (Cloud Video Interoperability) fairly recently as a service to support non-Microsoft based endpoints (internal or external) connecting to Teams-based meetings. On the face of it, that helps to tackle some of the afore-mentioned challenges.
Enterprises using cloud or on-prem CVI will be able to host Teams meetings that those using different video clients or room systems can still attend.
But CVI is only available through certain vendors and must be purchased through a specialised integrator such as Videocall.
Videocall are well placed to help enterprises evolve and adapt their Teams-based collaboration strategy for the return to the office. We are partners with Microsoft and all of the key vendors on the market today and can advise, design, deploy and support a huge range of solutions and room integration options.