For those of you who are new to Microsoft Teams, or recently migrated over from Google Workplace, let me introduce you to the Microsoft Teams Rooms business benefits. These integrated hardware/software products provide a range of video conferencing solutions designed for meeting rooms of various sizes. They are equipped with high-quality cameras, microphones, and speakers, and integrate seamlessly with the Microsoft Teams communication platform to simplify the process of joining and conducting virtual meetings. Organizations already using Teams for online meetings, these modernized conferencing packages are a fabulous option to upgrade your office meeting spaces.
Microsoft Teams Rooms support screen sharing, recording, and other collaboration features to help remote teams work together effectively. And the hardware devices included in the Teams Rooms deployments are much less expensive than the traditional meeting room setups from other solution providers. In this Blog, we are going to discuss some of the business benefits of using Microsoft Teams Rooms. In the end, you will find links to multiple websites where you can find a treasure trove of additional information about Microsoft’s Video Conferencing solutions and the certified devices that you can integrate through plug-and-play. In addition, if you’d like to do a great job of monitoring and troubleshooting the performance of your Teams Rooms deployments, we have a scalable solution available in OfficeExpert TrueDEM that we describe at the end of this blog.
1. Scalable Video / Teleconferencing for Every Office Budget
One of the biggest benefits is without a doubt the cost aspect. The amazing price options from Microsoft and the ability to reuse existing equipment, such as cameras and microphones, instead of investing in new devices make it very interesting to many organizations. Back in the 90s and early 2000s when video conferencing was starting to gain momentum, the price from Cisco and other high-end providers to set up meeting rooms was in the mid-five, to the high six-figure range. Yeah, that was too costly for most organizations to deploy in bulk.
The beauty of Microsoft Teams Rooms is that they are fully scalable, starting with low-cost options which would require an investment of less than 2000 dollars for the necessary hardware to fit out a small meeting room. But they can also support very large meeting spaces with more advanced hardware for larger setups or specific purposes. By adding an external microphone to your package, for instance, you can easily turn a large presentation space, meeting room, or boardroom into a Microsoft Teams Room. Add a ceiling microphone and even a large town hall space can become a Teams Meeting Room. And the software price from Microsoft to run the required Teams Room software is very affordable. Teams Rooms basic is free, and the Pro version is only $40/month.
The pricing for certified hardware from providers like Logitech, HP, Lenovo, and others is also very reasonable. Microsoft also supports both Windows and Android-based systems but do be aware that some limitations apply to Teams Rooms on Android. Check out these options and prices from Microsoft’s website on available Teams Rooms hardware setups.
Tangible Business Benefit: Microsoft Teams Rooms offer organizations the ability to quickly set up affordable and fully integrated meeting room facilities for their organization. Using affordable licensing and scalable hardware for every situation/price point or even reusing existing hardware already there.
2. Easy Deployments and Management for IT Operations
Time spent by IT admins deploying, managing, and supporting video conferencing and personal collaboration devices is another input that should be included in your ROI calculations. When it comes to the Microsoft Teams Rooms solution platform this is a humongous benefit. When you purchase a Microsoft Teams Room kit, it includes everything other than the TV screen. This is the only additional requirement for your room – you don’t need to worry about cameras, microphones, or any other pieces of hardware. And setup is a breeze since it integrates seamlessly with an existing Microsoft Teams environment that most IT organizations have already deployed.
If your IT group needs assistance, there are loads of options. Most of the recommended Microsoft Teams Room hardware suppliers, such as Creston, Logitech, and Lenovo will have a list of certified integrators. These are AV installers that they recommend as having undertaken a high level of training in the Microsoft Teams video conferencing solution. Alternatively, if you feel that you have the required expertise in-house, there is nothing stopping you from installing a Microsoft Teams Room yourself.
Tangible Business Benefit: IT groups are often worried about the unknown administration overhead required for any large investment/deployment of new technology. With Microsoft Teams Rooms and the simple integration with the existing Microsoft Teams and Windows OS environments, the same management tools can be leveraged along with common best practices that are already in place. This makes any additional admin requirements for monitoring and troubleshooting extremely low. IT administrators will also appreciate the easily deployed and managed Windows 10 Teams Rooms app for monitoring and troubleshooting.
3. Ensure The Adoption of Video Conferencing in Meeting Rooms
Video conferencing systems are a big investment for IT organizations, and every rollout comes with the big worry about them gathering dust and not getting used. Well fear not. If your end-users are already familiar with the Teams meeting interface then adoption of Microsoft Teams Rooms will be easy. Microsoft Teams Rooms connects the Microsoft Teams platform to your meeting room devices. This gives users a native, accessible meeting environment that enables them to have more efficient meetings. With the same intuitive Teams controls they already know, employees can easily start meetings with just the touch of a button and have their colleagues from the home office or other workplaces participate.
And to make it even easier to log into a Teams Room, Microsoft has plans to launch a new QR code sign-in experience later in the summer of 2023. This will allow hotdesking users to easily access their personal Teams account by simply scanning the QR code on the Teams Room display, then using the Teams app on their mobile devices to sign in faster.
Previous investments in video conferencing systems are not lost. The integration of the Teams Rooms platform into your existing conference room technology enables a comprehensive hybrid meeting experience. As it stands today, a Microsoft Teams Room can join Microsoft Teams calls, and Cisco Webex calls, with Zoom calls coming soon. And with a 3rd party subscription, you can open your Microsoft Teams Room systems to any other SIP/H323 video calls.
Tangible Business Benefit: All IT investments have a similar question mark attached to them. Will they get adopted and used by the intended audience? By deploying a simple platform extension like Microsoft Teams Rooms, that worry goes away. CIOs and CTOs alike can be confident that the investment in Teams Rooms will provide the requisite ROI.
4. Improved Group Interaction during Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings with video and screen sharing facilitate face-to-face communication and collaboration in real-time, regardless of the physical location of participants. Video conferencing allows for more meaningful interactions, increased engagement, and improved communication, which can lead to better decision-making, increased productivity, and a thriving environment of collaboration between team members, clients, and business partners.
Microsoft Teams Rooms provides a more immersive meeting experience by integrating multiple tools and features like whiteboarding and screen sharing. And new enhancements from Microsoft are also beneficial for meeting interaction. Some new and coming soon features include Front Row which leverages intelligent audio and video coverage to put the attendee gallery on the bottom of the screen for more natural face-to-face interactions with remote colleagues, while the current speaker or their content is displayed on top alongside additional meeting information and chat, raised hands, and live reactions. Plus, the new Speaker Coach in Microsoft Teams uses AI to privately provide you with guidance on your presentation pace, and it will notify you if you are interrupting someone and remind you to check in with your audience.
Tangible Business Benefit: Video conferencing eliminates the need for travel, reducing costs and environmental impact. Organizations can receive the same type of personal interaction during a meeting without the investment in plane fare and hotel accommodations. Microsoft Teams Rooms makes that a reality, at a low-cost investment to any organization.
5. Secured and Managed Virtual Meetings
There are lots of cool security features available for Microsoft Teams Rooms when it comes to the Windows operating system. To help understand all these different options and capabilities, please use this link to a recent posting by Microsoft engineers. Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows security.
In addition, there are some excellent security features provided to meeting facilitators and organizers. One of the most helpful is the ability to close access to a meeting after it starts by stopping uninvited guests or even latecomers from interrupting you. Microsoft offers a couple of ways to do this, but one option is to simply lock the meeting. That capability is an improvement over the older process, in which you had to respond to each visitor individually. When you lock a meeting, the person receives a notification telling them that the meeting is locked. People who were invited to the meeting but are unable to join can still access the meeting chat, recording, and other info. If necessary, you can easily unlock an existing meeting to allow latecomers to participate. Here’s a link to an overview article explaining how it works.
Tangible Business Benefit: Security is a major concern for all IT operations groups. Since most organizations are already familiar with the Windows OS platform and Microsoft Teams, there is a comforting sense of acceptance for new solutions that fit within that ecosystem, without the worry of additional security reviews and IT support headaches. Microsoft has also announced that it will be further enhancing Team Rooms’ endpoint security for Teams Rooms Pro to ensure that the meeting experience is always secure. Long term, Microsoft intends to integrate Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 2 into the Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro license and the Pro Management Portal by the end of Q2 2023, thus making the experience better and more secure.
What Does This Mean for Your Organization?
Teams Rooms is Microsoft’s video and teleconferencing solution designed to transform your meeting rooms into rich, collaborative experiences. As we described in this Blog there are huge benefits for the minimal investment in this platform to bring video conferencing to all meeting spaces, large or small. If your organization has already standardized on Microsoft Teams as your day-to-day communication and collaboration platform, then choosing Teams Rooms is a natural extension. Please use the links below to find more information on supported devices and view online demonstrations of Teams Rooms in action.
Get Into Your Users’ Shoes
If you have already deployed a number of these Microsoft Teams Rooms at your organization and want to keep track of their usage and performance, then we have a proven SaaS solution for you called OfficeExpert TrueDEM. Key benefits include the following:
- Higher employee satisfaction with Microsoft Teams usage
- Faster, proactive identification of performance problems for Teams endpoint devices, including Microsoft Teams Rooms
- Call analytics for all calls and meetings using Teams Rooms, including impact analysis of third-party processes running on your Teams Rooms devices during calls
- Fewer calls to the Helpdesk about performance or connectivity issues with Microsoft Teams
If you are interested in finding out more about our OfficeExpert TrueDEM solution and how it can help you proactively optimize the digital experience for Microsoft Teams at your organization, please visit our overview page online, or sign-up for a trial at https://www.panagenda.com/products/officeexpert