The other day, I was chatting with one of my sales colleagues. He had been in touch with a large enterprise that was planning on moving its offices in a few years. The preliminary plans included around 30 brand new meeting rooms of various sizes, that would be fully equipped for video conferencing. My colleague mentioned to his client how the average meeting room is used for six hours each working day, with six members of staff attending, on average. The chief technology officer of this enterprise then replied: “I wonder how our numbers compare.”
Both my colleague and I were baffled by that remark. To us, it seemed mind-blowing that, in this day and age, companies would spend thousands without making sure that they will actually use the product they are buying. Maybe I could understand if the only way to collect this data was by posting an employee at the door of each meeting room, seeing how many people attend the meeting, and asking if they used video conferencing. But this isn’t the case.
For a fraction of the cost of equipping an unnecessary number of meeting rooms with redundant technology, you can buy a tool that provides all the information needed to make an informed decision. There’s a reason that the Microsoft Azure-based Crestron XiO Cloud is marketed with four words: deploy, manage, monitor and evolve. By evolve, we mean collect data to help customers make the right decision for them. How often is the room being used? By how many people? How long in advance is it booked? What are the most popular times? Was a video conferencing tool used? Was a screen shared? Wireless or cabled? Does anybody ever use the wall mounts, or are tabletops all that is needed? Is the occupancy rate increasing?
Enterprises can access information like this and much more to help them base their expensive real-estate decisions on intelligence, rather than guesswork.
Stijn Ooms is the director of technology at Crestron Europe
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