The ultimate guide to conference room technology

Learn how to effectively upgrade your meeting room technology to boost collaboration and productivity.

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Why Your Huddle Space Needs Collaboration Technology

Small to medium businesses have, in recent years, been shifting workplace designs to open plans free of offices or even cubicles, as a way of fostering more discussion and collaboration, and also to reduce floorspace and commercial leasing costs.

For more focused work, open plans are utilizing huddle spaces — small, dedicated meeting spaces that enable teams to meet quickly, easily, privately and in reasonably quiet settings. These huddle spaces — which typically accommodate four to six people — are ideally equipped with team collaboration solutions that allow them to generate ideas, talk through problems and develop plans.

Wainhouse Research estimates there are as many as 50 million huddle rooms already in existence globally, but only a small minority of those are equipped with more than a table and seating. Among those, Wainhouse suggests only some huddle rooms “might also be equipped with a standard dry erase or flipchart.”

That means while all those huddle rooms are providing the basics of a meeting space away from the din and distraction of the open-office floor, few have team collaboration equipment that will help propel businesses of all sizes.

Technology Tuned to Huddles

Adding more huddle spaces to workplaces has capital budget implications, and few organizations have the resources to equip all their smaller rooms with the kinds of conferencing and collaboration technologies found in the corporate boardroom.

Additionally, smaller businesses might not have staff available to set-up and support conference and meeting room technology, so it needs to be easy to use for all employees. Disorganized technology setups mean more time in meetings troubleshooting, switching equipment or asking remote participants to repeat things because they’re hard to hear or see.

This gap is being filled by team collaboration solutions more attuned to the scale of the space and the dynamics of impromptu meetings and focused on ease of use.

The Ultimate Guide to Conference Room Technology

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Samsung has just introduced a unique product specifically developed for changing workplaces, and borrowing heavily on a very familiar meeting tool: the flipchart. Samsung Flip is most simply described as a digital flipchart, but it does a lot more than just power note-taking in brainstorming sessions. It functions as a smart whiteboard or presentation display, and any lists, notes, charts or drawings produced on Flip are automatically saved, and easily shared and distributed.

Flip is light and designed to be used with a wheel-based stand (it should be ordered together with the display), making it portable and particularly suitable for small huddle spaces and even impromptu meetings desk-side in the open office. The screen can sit in a familiar flipchart-style portrait mode, or be pivoted to widescreen landscape mode.

Virtual Collaboration

For companies with remote employees, video conferencing set ups like Samsung and HARMAN’s range of huddle space solutions are ideal. The huddle room solutions come in a choice of four configurations, from basic video conferencing all the way up to enterprise solutions with ultra high-definition displays, wide-angle HD cameras, touch overlays and smart devices for content sharing.

For SMBs looking for an affordable video conferencing solution, the “huddle standard” is a streamlined option with a 1080p display and AMX Sereno video conferencing camera. The “huddle premium” is the next step up, with a UHD displays and an AMX Acendo Vibe conferencing soundbar featuring BYOD-friendly Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

For larger conference rooms, the “huddle enterprise” is built around a the AMX Acendo Core meeting space platform, which allows document exchange, multiple screen sharing and one-touch Skype for Business calls. It also features a Acendo Vibe and a UHD displays. The top-of-the-line “huddle enterprise plus” adds interactivity, with a 55-inch Samsung PMF-BC Series multi-point touch display.

Getting Collaborative

Adding affordable, easy-to-use collaboration tools can help employees make the most of quickly organized meetings, without the hassle of locating necessary hardware.

Fortunately, new solutions emerging on the office market like Samsung’s Flip and the Samsung and HARMAN huddle space solutions fit the bill — providing affordable but enterprise-grade equipment to SMBs and collaboration solutions that allow teams to circle up, find a space and be instantly productive.

Learn how Samsung Flip can provide drive collaboration in your organization.

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Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes is a well-known veteran in the digital signage industry. He consults to some of the world’s largest brands on their digital signage strategy and technical needs, but also spends time mentoring start-ups. A former daily newspaper journalist, Haynes has for the past decade written a highly-respected blog about digital signage, Sixteen:Nine. Follow Dave on twitter @sixteennine

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