Communication and collaboration are vital to getting things done in the workplace. But collaboration spaces have changed dramatically in the last few years. While the typical ‘cables, cords and whiteboard’ conference space still exists, it has evolved to become a far more feasible and viable hybrid communication experience.
In today’s hybrid workplace, meetings are no longer confined to a boardroom table, and attendees don’t need to be physically present. Communication technology was once housed solely on-premises and managed by in-house IT teams. Today, a meeting can take place wherever it needs to, utilizing a combination of different devices, communication platforms and applications.
Why flexible collaboration spaces are important
For true collaboration, people need to be able to come together to generate and share ideas, no matter where they’re located, what equipment they have - or what time of day it is. Today’s communication solutions enable it all.
Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Webex combine camera and audio solutions to allow a streamlined, inclusive and often enjoyable hybrid meeting experience.
Sound solutions have developed to allow microphones to distinguish sound from any participant speaking, while isolating background noise. Good quality audio is key to any virtual collaboration experience – if you can't hear what someone else is saying it makes collaboration extremely difficult.
Display screens and screen sharing allow both in-office and remote participants to see everything going on in a meeting with clarity.
To achieve optimum engagement levels and inclusivity for in-office and remote participants, collaboration spaces need to be flexible. But with flexibility comes complexity.
So how do organizations ensure that everyone has equal quality of experience whether they’re within the office, or working from a remote location? How do IT teams gain the capacity to manage the technology required to create an effective hybrid collaborative workspace?
Managing the evolving hybrid workplace
To achieve agility in a world of legacy hardware, dispersed software and cloud-powered digital technology, there’s a lot for IT teams to consider.
Health and safety in the office
Every organization has had to deploy strategies like social distancing and limited attendance capacity while the threat of COVID remains.
Many office infrastructures have even undergone changes to limit transmission of the virus like the installation of smart and touchless technology, which can require additional IT support.
With capacity limits within office buildings and meeting rooms, rotation systems require many employees to ‘take turns’ or stagger the times they spend in the office or attend in-office meetings.
However, each employee workspace and communication space can differ. Meeting platforms, devices, software applications and settings that one employee uses can be entirely different for another, potentially wasting time reconfiguring settings and equipment for the next user.
Creating an equable collaboration space
Bringing the outside into the office and taking the inside out of the office requires a huge amount of technological juggling. Today, in-house meetings will almost always be joined by outside participants, meaning the quality of connection, sound and video can differ greatly.
IT teams need to be able to accurately pinpoint where problems are occurring. For example, whether a connectivity problem originated from malfunctioning in-office hardware, or a remote device. Or why a participant can’t login, or why audio and video is dropping out.
For an equally consistent experience for all users lT teams need to effectively monitor, manage, and troubleshoot an entire hybrid collaboration workspace – and have the convenient option of doing it remotely.
As organizations navigate new hybrid ways for working, and the purpose of physical offices evolves, it’s predicted that video conferencing will grow by five times by 2025, driven by the video enablement of collaboration spaces.
This means a large enterprise could have hundreds of collaboration spaces, across multiple locations. Without ways to efficiently and effectively manage these spaces, organizations could be spending significant amounts of time, resource, and money making sure these spaces are set up properly and meeting-ready.
Introducing IR’s Collaboration Space Management solution
Collaboration Space Management expands the reach of IR Collaborate’s monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities into physical collaboration spaces.
It enables remote management and proactive monitoring any conferencing-enabled collaboration space - including collaboration platforms AV equipment and endpoints - using a single solution.
Our new Collaboration Space Management solution has been developed to scale collaboration space management and maximize efficiency by creating a seamless, cohesive experience for every user.
- Enabling full visibility and insight into platforms, devices, applications and equipment in all collaboration spaces.
- Allowing proactive remote maintenance to avoid preventable issues by keeping systems and software up to date.
- Enabling rapid troubleshooting to identify and resolve the root-cause of collaboration space issues, ensuring consistent, high-quality collaboration experiences.
- Automating room-readiness and minimizing wasted setup time with self-healing triggers to ensure optimal settings.
- Reporting on critical statistics such as space utilization, occupancy, and performance to help organizations adhere to health and safety requirements and provide insight into the usage of collaboration spaces.
Digital transformation is changing the way we do business, simplifying global communications networks, and allowing team members to collaborate from any location. This transformation relies on a new generation of technology, enabling IT teams to use the power of proactive, real-time visibility to optimize business operations to ensure they can deliver high-quality services to all users, no matter where they are.
Want to know more about how we can help you ensure your collaboration spaces are always meeting ready? Check out our webinar - Introducing Collaboration Space Management.