This is an excerpt from Crestron’s new eBook, “Keys to the Digital Workplace.” Download the full copy here.
The digital workplace — with its combination of remote and in-person collaborators who need to communicate effectively — is here to stay. This begs the question:
What’s your preferred conferencing platform and operating system?
Whether your organization prefers Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or another product, finding a solution that’s designed to work effortlessly with your preferred platform will maximize room uptime.
Things to remember:
Implementing an open platform that is equipped to meet the needs of each space will provide consistency. For example: Your organization might have several huddle spaces, boardrooms, interactive classrooms, a training facility, and an auditorium. Each of those spaces will need specific solutions to deliver the right user experience, but they should all be easy to operate, so choose a solution that supports a consistent experience everywhere.
Whether you use Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or your own conferencing system, you should be able to leverage a single interface to facilitate all your conferencing and collaboration needs. This method will ensure that everything works, that no device is vulnerable, and that none of the solutions require a certain skill set to operate in advance.
Even if your organization uses Teams or Zoom – and that conferencing platform has been standardized by the IT department – there will be guests, clients, and vendors who won’t necessarily be using your preferred platform. Can the system support other options with minimal effort?
Is Windows® your preferred OS? Apple® iOS or OS? Are many of your employees on Android™ tablets for a particular job?
Whatever solution you choose, you’ll need to confirm that it integrates well with your OS. Additionally — especially when BYOD employees and guests enter the collaboration — any ecosystem you run with needs to function on multiple operating systems.
Cloud-based Deployment, Management, and Monitoring
There are a broad range of advantages when a system features cloud-based deployment, management, and monitoring.
Some questions to consider:
Can the solution support rooms remotely?
There are solutions that send automated, event-based alerts to laptops and mobile devices so you can resolve issues — and if there’s a problem, you can take control of devices remotely to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues faster. The last thing anyone in your organization wants is a call to IT for assistance in the middle of a critical meeting, or a room going unused because an issue hasn’t been reported. Issues that are resolved quickly — from anywhere — make for fewer interruptions and smoother workflows.
Can you manage device lifecycles?
Look for a system that provides a comprehensive view of device lifecycles, which enables you to schedule updates, prepare budgets, and anticipate needs more efficiently. Imagine a system that tracks when licenses will lapse — how can that help you with planning and budgeting? What workflow interruptions could you avoid if you had complete control of the timing of software and firmware updates? Additionally, a well-designed, intuitive dashboard can make a world of difference.
How simple is it to maintain operations standards?
Does the system allow you to establish standard room configurations and remotely deploy them to individual or groups of rooms at the same time? Can firmware and software updates be pushed remotely to individual, groups, or all devices at once? Can you establish event schedules for turning rooms on in the morning, off in the evening, and account for weekends and holidays? You’ll also need a solution that can identify threats and breaches, especially on networks with BYOD options.
What data can be collected and analyzed?
There are solutions that automatically collect room and device usage data and generate reports to drive better planning and budgeting. Some systems provide granular info about what technology is used down to individual button presses — including how it is used (e.g., connectivity methods), and how often devices are used.
For more info and a handy checklist of action items, download the full Crestron eBook “Keys to the Digital Workplace.”