Take a look at the next conference room or classroom you enter. Is it set up for a collaborative environment?
Collaboration is a key part to all types of work, from working with a team at your workplace to working on a project for class. In recent years, more organizations have been reaching out to AV/IT managers to design collaborative spaces. Before designing a space, it’s important to identify what is needed to retrofit a room for collaboration.
We asked our technical specialists here at Black Box what it takes to retrofit a room for collaboration. Here are the top six considerations we uncovered:
1. Ease of setup and installation. Collaboration technology has to be easy to setup and install. For example, organizations don’t want users to have to spend the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up the call, entering passwords, logging into a website, providing additional meeting information or credentials, working with others in the room to connect, finding the right cables, hardware, adapters, etc.
2. Ease of use with minimal or no user training. When your CEO comes into a conference room and wishes to share his/her ideas, he/she typically doesn’t have the time or inclination for a 30-minute training session on how to use the room. It’s essential to choose products that are intuitive and adopted with limited instruction.
3. Intent of the room. Ask the right questions to discover the intent of the room. How will the room be used? What are the user’s preferences in terms of sources? Will there be dedicated PCs, set-top boxes for video streaming, or other equipment in the room? Or, will content typically come in from outside the room on a user’s laptop, mobile device, or both?
4. Easily maintained. Collaboration technology must be easy to manage remotely. A centralized location brings simplicity to the task of updating and troubleshooting enterprise applications. Does your system have remote management capability?
5. Compatibility. Look for equipment with open systems that are non-proprietary and that will work with existing infrastructure such as presentation switchers, controllers, and other leading industry products.
6. Upgradeability. Choose products which can be upgraded as needs and technology changes. For example, software-based solution updates can be made without replacing the system.
Have any more equipment suggestions that can help optimize your rooms for collaboration? Let me know in the comments below!