What will the meetings of the future look like?

What will the meetings of the future look like?
A roundup of the latest technology that will transform the way we organise and partake in meetings

Richard Humphreys |

Over the past twelve months we’ve seen a surge of technology that has been built to transform the way we organise and partake in meetings. Here’s our roundup of some of the best features that we believe will shape the way we collaborate in the years to come.

Join a Skype for Business meeting from your car
At its annual ‘Innovation Days’ event in Chicago last year, BMW announced it will expand its connected car services, which already include Office 365, to include Skype for Business, making Skype meetings available in car. This functionality will be integrated and operated via BMW’s iDrive system. The services will be offered in Germany, France and the UK, with other markets coming soon.

“In today’s always-on culture, people need to be productive from anywhere – including their cars,” said Ulrich Homann, distinguished architect for the cloud and enterprise, at Microsoft. “Commute times are reaching record highs and people work from a variety of locations. This means that people need a way to capitalise on time spent in their cars. At Microsoft, we believe that cars should be more than just a ride, and also be a personal office on wheels, helping people be productive and giving them time back to enjoy their lives. Our partners at BMW share that philosophy and have positioned the company for a future where the nature of work is more mobile.”

Automatic transcription and timecoding
Microsoft Teams is to release new features for intelligent communication later this year, including cloud recording, which will provide meeting recordings with automatic transcription and timecoding, enabling all team members to read captions, search within the conversation, and playback the meeting.

Manage all aspects of a meeting, using a single tool
According to Andreas Kuisl, sales director at TimeFleX, clients often struggle whenever they need to do more than just send an invite – they want one easy tool that manages all aspects of a meeting, from booking rooms with the right seats and audio/visual equipment, to ordering beverages for attendees.

“Our updated Catering & Services module extension makes it easy for authorised users to manage upcoming meetings by creating a profile with information about required seating, catering services, location information, block parking space, print badges and more. Everything is done automatically within the same workflow, so all attendees get up to date information,” he said.

The rise of entity management software
According to Alister Esam from eShare, boardroom communication is the only way to improve governance within an organisation, through more transparent and auditable communication methods.

“By keeping track of the frequency of board meetings held, as well as what was discussed in those meetings with a secure minute library, those responsible for the management of meetings, as well as those in control of compliance, can easily see what was discussed and the performance of the boards responsible, creating greater transparency and levels of control,” Esam said.

“Using the right entity management software puts you in the driving seat and helps you stay on top of compliance, and by linking this with your board portal used throughout the organisation, transparency is guaranteed and the audit trail for actions and decisions becomes crystal clear.”

Skype meetings that transcend organisational boundaries
PGi’s audio conferencing solution GlobalMeet, now integrates with Skype for Business Server environments, which will allow workers inside and outside of an enterprise to join a Skype meeting directly from a desk or mobile phone with adoption and support provided by PGi’s global customer care team.

“PGi’s new premise-based offering for Skype for Business Server will help enterprises get the most from their investments,” said Rob Arnold, principal analyst, Frost & Sullivan. Today, we see millions of dollars of unrealised technology potential within investments made by enterprises. PGi’s GlobalMeet integration will help close that gap for the IT professional.”

NFC-powered door panels
New TimeFleX NFC door panels can be placed outside meeting rooms to display relevant information about room occupation, seating, upcoming events, required catering services and much more.

“Thanks to the NFC technology, authorised meeting participants can confirm their attendance, or add new meetings, by simply touching the display,” said Kuisl. “At TimeFleX we believe that event management can be much more efficient and less time consuming, which is why we are proud to announce a new way of managing all of these activities.”



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