Huddle Room Demand Is Growing in 2019 and This is Why

The modern workplace is shifting and we are seeing increased demand for room-designated video conferencing systems. Understanding the key drivers and best practices of huddle rooms ensures your reputation as the knowledgeable, trusted advisor in cloud communications.

What Are Huddle Rooms?

Huddle rooms are small meeting spaces and conference areas that can accommodate several people. They are equipped with audio and video to become transformed into informal spaces that support interaction, ideation, and ultimately, agile collaboration.

large huddle room deployment

One of the major aspects of huddle room collaboration that differentiates it is the all-in-one, plug-and-play, easy-to-use interface. Successful huddle rooms are set up once and then always at the ready to start a meeting with the features of robust audio, intuitive content sharing, engaging video conferencing, interactive whiteboards and more.

Why Should VARs and MSPs Sell Huddle Rooms?

There’s no doubt that business owners are searching for collaborative workplace solutions this year in 2019. From workplace mobilization to work-from-home days becoming a common employee benefit, the modern office is anything but stationary.

And if you dive deeper into specific industries, you’ll discover that video conferencing deployment is becoming much more common across the board. Video conferencing has been used in public schools to keep at-risk students from dropping out and in the healthcare industry, where staff like doctors and nurses are always mobile, yet still, have a need for telepresence technology.

This means that business owners across a multitude of industries are shopping for real-time, collaborative solutions. Offering those cutting-edge features in addition to standard technology services will set you apart as the strongest fit with a streamlined solution.

How Huddle Rooms Play a Key Role in Video Conferencing 

Telepresence is huge for 2019 and by offering a huddle room appliance in your product suite, you are sure to pique interest. In fact, according to a Visual Communications and Collaboration Research Study, by the end of 2019 we can expect to see:

  • 35.8% of organizations increase large-room deployments
  • 29.4% of organizations add mid-size rooms
  • 25.9% of organizations add small rooms

A few of the key drivers (and great selling points) towards the increased demand for huddle rooms include:

  • External office meetings are easier to set up with simple scheduling, Outlook integration and superior performance. This is especially useful for remote teams that cannot physically meet at the same location.
  • Video conferencing can help provide transparency between teams and aid in making important decisions happen faster. A study by Frost & Sullivan reports that 86% of employees agree that video conferencing accelerates decision making.
  • Overall collaboration across teams, offices and external organizations/business partners becomes streamlined.
  • Video conferencing can help reduce travel expenses while simultaneously speeding up decision making
  • For teams spread out throughout the nation (or even internationally), training is more effective for new hires.

Choosing the Right Huddle Room Hardware

In order for a huddle room to deliver its fullest potential, users need to first choose the right video conferencing hardware for their needs.

As far as hardware goes, our Meeting Manager Huddle Room Solution (HRS) is great for creating an immersive experience. The HRS works in conjunction with a SIP conference phone registered to the PBX and through our Meeting Manager Client software. Other pieces of equipment needed include a webcam, wireless keyboard and television of your client’s choice.

Our team at SkySwitch has personally tested the following components and can recommend:

  • 1080p LCD display (up to two can be connected)
  • Logitech C930e 1080P HD Video Webcam
  • Logitech K400 Plus Wireless Touch TV Keyboard
  • Yealink CP960 Conference Phone

To learn more about how your business can benefit from adding huddle rooms to your product lineup, contact a SkySwitch sales representative for a demo.

Significant Upgrades And Improvements to Meeting Manager with Release 7.0

The ability to collaborate with co-workers or clients is a key driver for companies moving to a Unified Communications as a Service Platform. The upcoming release of Meeting Manager will significantly improve and enhance the user experience for this key component of our offering.

Highlights of the version 7.0

An Entirely New and Modernized GUI

All the functionality is there and accessible through a much smaller widget that takes considerably less desktop space. During a session, it can be minimized all the way down to this:

But just hovering over the widget instantly exposes every control Icon:

There is even more functionality available under the icons:

This is just the start of the benefits from the new interface. Here are a couple of screenshots showing off the new interface.

This is the new look for meeting set-up

 

Here is the scheduler:

 

Improved Integration with SkySwitch Platform

The web meeting audio will automatically be connected with the Meeting Host’s PBX conference bridge when a meeting starts. Previously, this required the Meeting Host to press a ‘Connect’ button. This screenshot shows a meeting in progress with the direct PBX Integration:

Additional New Features

Live Streaming.

Stream desktop, HD video, and audio to browser-based viewers across all platforms including PC, MAC, iOS and Android.

Up to 20 frames per second desktop sharing.

Share HD video and audio from your desktop to attendees at up to 20 frames per second. This incredible feature brings desktop sharing to the next level over the public Internet by delivering a smooth HD experience in real-time with only milliseconds of delay.

MAC HD Video Recording and Conversion to MP4.

It is now possible to record HD video and desktop sharing sessions on a MAC.  The file format of the recording can be converted to MP4 from the MAC.

More improvements in the future

We are already working on the next release of Meeting Manager that will include an integration with Google and Outlook calendars.