As we all come to terms with the ‘new normal’ of business, it is clear that hybrid and digital working are here to stay, both for their convenience and improved productivity.
However, deciding what is best for your business is a challenge. It is crucial to understand the various aspects of hybrid working to know what will work for your business, your employees and your customers.
The right digital workplace should seamlessly link team members anywhere in the world. And while specifics can vary — from the physical footprint of a room to a team member’s individual needs for sharing content — there are some fundamental factors everyone should consider when choosing a solution.
- Is the platform easy to use, monitor and troubleshoot? And are there clear and concise training resources available?
- Does it include purpose-built devices? Can those devices provide intelligent video, clear audio and effective video conferencing solutions?
- Does the solution include scheduling tools to ensure that rooms, desks and equipment are all available?
- Is the solution scalable – can you easily add or change spaces, and support those spaces?
- Can the platform handle upgrades as new technologies are developed?
Next, you need to think about your business’s specific needs.
- What types of spaces will best serve your organisation?
- Will on-premises or cloud functionality best serve your remote and mobile workers?
- What kind of operating systems and conference platforms will match your needs?
- What resources are you using to prop up what may be a legacy system? What are the costs of operating and maintaining those systems as technology advances beyond their capabilities?
The right video conferencing solution is key to implementing a strategy that meets these requirements and ensuring the success of your chosen digital workplace.
In terms of video, it’s important to have the right camera for the space, for example by considering whether the lens needs to provide coverage for a room full of people or a single individual. For even better visuals, look out for features such as framing and tracking to ensure that all participants have an equal seat at the table.
Speakers and microphones are just as important as video considerations, arguably even more so. Microphones that provide proper coverage for the size of the room, ensure speakers are free from distortion, and deliver features such as echo-cancelling facilitate more natural conversations and effective presentations.
Cloud functionality can also be extremely beneficial when deploying, managing and monitoring a video conferencing solution. But again, there are some questions to consider.
Can the solution support rooms remotely? There are solutions available that send automated, event-based alerts to laptops and mobile devices so that, in the event of a problem, businesses can take control of devices remotely to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues faster.
Can you manage device life cycles? Look for a system that provides a comprehensive view of device life cycles, which enables you to schedule updates, prepare budgets and anticipate needs more efficiently.
With all this in mind, the following checklist is designed to help you identify the issues you’re facing and choose the right solution.
Step one: understand the challenges you – and the system you choose – will be confronting.
Step two: define objectives and craft your plan.
Step three: implement a solution and pick a partner to help keep the human experience top of mind.
Lauren Simmen is director of product marketing at Crestron