Challenges of Deploying Microsoft Teams Rooms and The Future
We spoke with Eric Bixler, New Era’s National Director of AV Solutions to talk about how our customers are currently deploying Microsoft Teams Rooms to support their hybrid working strategies.
Eric regularly talks to customers about their upcoming changes to hybrid office development, and how Microsoft Teams can be a part of the solution. The below five points are some insights into what challenges businesses are facing and what the future looks like for Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR).
What are the biggest challenges for organisations deploying Microsoft Teams Rooms?
1 – Supply chain
We are seeing a distinct trend where organisations are focused on how fast their meeting rooms can be video-enabled. They want to know how quickly they can transition to MTRs including converting their existing conference rooms as well as adding approx. 20% more MTR capable meeting rooms.
2 – Coordinating deployment across multiple locations, quickly
How do organisations coordinate this at scale? As an example, a recent customer approached us, and over a four-hour window said they needed 100, then 300, then 800 rooms. The number of rooms they were needing to deploy and the speed that they are looking to do this will have a huge impact on how they implement, manage, and support these rooms moving forward. In the end, this customer decided to implement 300 rooms for the first phase, with a target of completion in six weeks. So, although the supply chain challenges are significant; fast and impactful projects are still possible.
3 – User experience
Since moving back to hybrid office environments there has been an increased focus on a consistent user experience that is equitable for all participants. Organisations need to ensure that whether employees are in an office or at home, it’s a great experience for all users, with a workflow that reflects in-office or remote work.
4 – Project management
Companies are experiencing different project management challenges; sometimes it’s a new technology and sometimes it’s the number of rooms – and for many, it’s a combination of both.
5 – Interoperability
Customers need their meeting rooms and technology to work with multiple video conference solutions from Poly or Cisco, as well as ever-changing software-based collaboration solutions like Webex, Zoom and Google. The need for flexibility and a simple user experience has become the goal of any business supporting virtual meetings.
Support is integral to success
Being able to quickly adapt is important, however, Eric highlights that while businesses are deploying MTR rooms they also need to ensure the right support is put in place. Taking time to consider how these rooms will be supported, what the impact will be for future changes and the increase in technology is a step that should not be skipped. When customers take the time to think about the data and insights that will be needed to manage this technology going forward, it can save considerable effort and money.
The future Microsoft Teams rooms
There is no doubt that many organisations are adopting Microsoft Teams to support their hybrid working. With this, Eric predicts that every enterprise will look to increase their video-enabled rooms by at least 20%.
It doesn’t matter if an organisation was a heavy user of Video Conferencing in the past (for example, 50—70% of their rooms were enabled) or a light user (15-30% of their rooms enabled) – customers are indicating that every meeting room, huddle room, board room and larger halls need to be video-enabled.
Organisations will need a solution that is reliable, resilient, and productive. A solution where an employee can walk into a meeting room and start working – supporting BYOD and collaboration beyond the office.
How can organisations make this transition easier?
Organisations can make the transition to video-enabled rooms easier by working with a partner who can manage the deployment on their end, as well as providing strategic advice from start to finish. New Era Technology is experienced with designing and deploying Microsoft Teams Rooms as well as proactively managing and supporting all aspects of the video conferencing experience.
Eric Bixler’s Top Tips
- Standardise the video meeting experience. Make sure the user experience is the same in every room; from three-person huddle rooms to large board rooms. This will keep the transition from hybrid to office-based as smooth as possible.
- Standardise hardware. Be thorough on your choices and make decisions based on what you actually need, rather than quick deliveries. Work with a partner who has the relevant experience and can give you the best advice. It will make the hardware easier to manage.
- Plan how to manage this increased footprint and usage. Hardware updates, security patches and performance, these things are constant. Some rooms might have 10 different items that each have their own schedule of updates. How effectively and how quickly can you manage these? Do you have visibility into these systems and hardware?
New Era delivers this as a managed service for Microsoft Teams
Our Video Collaboration Managed Service for Microsoft Teams offers a complete end-to-end video estate management service. We can deliver proactive monitoring, management and transparency in reporting alongside a cost-effective solution, with the added benefit of full support if needed. Our solution provides comprehensive managed video conferencing services to ensure the best possible video experience and maximum up-time.
These services are backed by our global team of video experts and professional customer support staff. Additionally, New Era offers behind-the-scenes monitoring and management to ensure all elements in the video conferencing and collaboration ecosystem are performing optimally.