Universal collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business have become an indispensable part of our working day. Contact with customers, partners and colleagues is increasingly independent of place and time. Nowadays, in fact, over half of all meetings involve an individual at a remote location. Fortunately, our working environment and tools are growing along with this changing way of working. But which solution do you use in what circumstances?
One of the attendant trends is that we increasingly work in project groups and teams. These forms of collaboration may comprise people both within and outside the organisation. In order to facilitate productive brainstorming and communication, companies increasingly opt to set up huddle rooms. Huddle rooms are compact spaces that can accommodate two to six people, and significantly increase productivity. Huddle rooms are designed to enable teams to work together swiftly and without distraction. Ideal for a project meeting, creative session or a video consultation therefore.
Three options for Skype in the huddle room
Sometimes, team members are not physically present. They can nevertheless participate in consultations, with the aid of Skype for Business. However, such a Skype meeting all too often reveals the limitations of personal devices. Our laptop’s built-in microphone and camera are not of suitable quality for group use. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions. Which solution shoots best depends very much on the type of consultation, what the users are accustomed to and the required quality and ease of use.
1 – Bring your own device
In this option, one of the team members takes his/her laptop to the huddle room. The Skype meeting is then started on the laptop. The huddle room has a large display, a high-quality external camera and a microphone suitable for group use. By connecting the laptop to the audiovisual media, the group can acquire the added benefits of the superior group facilities.
One example of a compact huddle room solution is the Logitech MeetUp. A single USB cable is sufficient to connect your camera, microphone and speakers, thus taking video conferencing quality to the next level.
2 – Skype room system
Option 2 is a fully stand-alone Skype solution in the huddle room. Use of a tabletop control panel enables the team to conveniently start a Skype meeting. The team used the standard Outlook Skype meeting request to invite one another and reserve the huddle room. The scheduled Skype meetings are displayed on the control panel, allowing you to start consultations at the touch of a button. It’s also easy to make unscheduled calls to a colleague or room using Skype from the address book.
Logitech’s Skype Room system (SmartDock) shown opposite enables users to start a meeting right away, without having to bring a laptop with them. The interface runs a familiar Microsoft application, which means it can be operated instinctively at the touch of a button.
3 – Interactive Whiteboard
If a more dynamic and interactive form of collaboration is required, then this final option is best suited. It offers the team support in collaborating in a creative and agile manner. This includes digital whiteboarding functions and the option of bringing together various types of relevant content. Moreover, participants at remote can also get actively involved via Skype.
A touch screen with the Skype for Business application forms the basis of this solution. Interactive applications and functions enable users to collaborate with one another. Peripheral equipment such as cameras, loudspeakers and microphones can also be added.
Field of View
The Field of View (FOV) of a Conference Camera expresses the width of its viewing angle in degrees. The wider the viewing angle, the greater the chance that everyone will be visible. An FOV of 120°, such as that of the Logitech MeetUp, ensures that everyone is clearly visible, even in small huddle rooms where one has to sit close to the camera.
A lot of existing video-conferencing rooms are not directly compatible with modern collaboration tools. So as to prevent those video-conferencing rooms from being used or reused as collaboration rooms, we offer additional (cloud) services in order to facilitate multi-platform meetings after all.