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Showroom to working environment Transforming meeting areas to promote interaction
By Rob Balgley, CEO, Mersive Technologies
What football manager would give the centre-forward the ball and have the rest of the team sit in the dugout watching him try to score? There are eleven players in each team on the pitch, and good teams pass the ball fluently from one to another. So why are meeting rooms designed to encourage one person to hog the “ball”? The impressive 4K screen or projector at the end of the boardroom table usually has one and only one connection to it – the person who owns that connection owns the meeting. Handing over to another presenter requires inconvenient fumbling with cables – and then a different person owns the meeting. That’s like our football manager calling the centre forward back to the dugout and sending another player onto the pitch, rather than using the whole team.
10-20% of a typical office or commercial building is devoted to meeting room space . Are these spaces set up to facilitate productive meetings? The furniture and technology provided in employee work areas are carefully managed for comfort and productivity. Meeting spaces by contrast are often dressed to impress—outfitted with the latest and greatest high-tech AV and IT equipment While these high-end products are impressive (and costly), they rarely make sharing content during a meeting easy and intuitive.
Current technology degrades the meeting experience
I remember when we brought paper to meetings and used pens to write on flipcharts or whiteboards. Paper is democratic. Anyone could leap up and add thoughts to a flip chart or whiteboard. Simply by making copies ahead of time anyone could share a document with those around the table. No fumbling.
The biggest cost of a meeting is, of course, the attendee cost. The higher the salary of each attendee, the higher the cost of the meeting. In order to derive as much value as possible out of a meeting, every attendee must be actively engaged in the discussion and striving towards reaching the meeting’s goal.
Unfortunately, the technology in many meeting rooms inhibits rather than encourages meeting engagement and content sharing—effectively wasting an incredible amount of money unnecessarily.
New technology facilitates information sharing
In order to drive more effective meetings, meeting spaces including conference rooms and huddle spaces should be outfitted with technology that makes it easy and intuitive for participants to share content from laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Wirelessly stream device screens, app windows, HD videos and more – whatever it takes to drive consensus and get the job done.
Mersive Solstice, an award-winning wireless collaboration platform, enables meeting participants to easily share content to any display from any device they bring to the meeting. Solstice effectively makes sharing a piece of content as easy as throwing a piece of paper down on a conference room table leading to improved decision making and better meeting results..
For example, BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas has deployed over 100 Mersive Solstice Pods in meeting rooms and spaces in its new and award winning 75,000 m2. headquarters in Rome. Commenting, Antonio Amoroso, Technical Architect at BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas said, “In our new headquarters, we wanted to offer our co-workers access to the very latest technology, to maximize collaboration and to make information sharing fast and simple. Plus being in the financial industry, data security and centralized management are paramount. We sought the right wireless solution to create a clean, easy and inclusive working environment. Our vision was that anyone in a meeting could securely share content from any device quickly and easily including smartphones, laptops, tablets and other devices. Solstice is the perfect solution as it allows for a number of devices to be connected to one screen without any risk of data breach or viruses. It enables a truly interactive meeting whereby all participants can contribute content to the display as part of the discussion.”
Addressing network security concerns
Connecting any device to the corporate network brings a potential security risk – which is compounded if those devices are owned by employees rather than the company or worse still associated with visitors to the premises. Security is a key concern. However, Solstice’s dual-network mode supports secure collaboration between users on two separate WiFi / Ethernet networks, such as corporate and guest users. Solstice has been deployed in some of the most secure government and private organizations in the world and is hardened with multiple layers of security features and protocols. User and admin authentication, network encryption of Solstice traffic, code obfuscation, and annual 3rd-party penetration testing — these features and more ensure every Solstice deployment remains secure.
Solstice Dashboard and Kepler, a powerful cloud-based deployment monitoring and meeting analytics tool, make implementation and management of any number of Solstice Pods easy to manage, control, and monitor. Further, Kepler streamlines the day-to-day oversight of Solstice while also providing data analytics on meeting space utilization. How often is each space used and by how many participants? How many share content and from what type of device? How interactive are the meetings? You can even obtain participant feedback on the quality of each meeting.
Antonio Amoroso continues, “We were impressed by the central management facilities offered by Mersive. We are allowing a massive number of devices including employees’ own phones to access screens on our corporate network across over 100 rooms. In evaluating the solution, we were very impressed with the consideration given to the security implications by Mersive. Solstice Pods are an enterprise grade solution that is designed to support central management by an IT team. For example, we are able to use the Solstice management interface.”
“Solstice has exceeded our original expectations,” Antonio Amoroso concluded. “Because Solstice is essentially an in-room software platform, we can continue to develop new use cases. For example, we are now able to display corporate messages of our choice in meeting rooms and public areas – reminding staff of promotions or events for example. We look forward to future releases of the software so that we can continue improving ways we can share content and collaborate.”
More engaged teams – better business results
By redesigning meeting spaces and deploying the right technology companies can help ensure more robust, engaging meetings. Changing the environment with comparatively inexpensive technology transforms the meeting environment to facilitate collaborative content sharing. This will bring about improved decision making and better meeting results. By fully leveraging the insights of the whole team in every meeting you will not only get to your corporate goals faster but also achieve greater employee satisfaction for the team.
Showroom to working environment
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