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Monday, 15 November 2021 23:16

It's time to prepare your office for hybrid conferencing experiences


GUEST OPINION: With lockdowns ceasing and borders opening the future of work will be hybrid experiences. It’s important to have seamless conferencing products for those in and out of the office, such as those provided by Crestron.

While many companies already had remote working policies and systems in place, and others intended to move that way, there’s no denying remote working has accelerated rapidly these last two years, far in excess of the original plans of many organisations.

The rise of remote working was also the rise of videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others - so much so they became household names and embedded in pop culture.

Now people are returning to the office it's clear the future of work will not be 100% remote, but nor will it be 100% office-bound. Leading organisations are taking this opportunity to consider how to run a flexible, and productive, workforce that is distributed, yet collaborative.

A hybrid approach allows companies and workers to meet face-to-face, or to work from remote locations to attend to personal tasks at the same time. A hybrid approach means companies can still congregate leadership or certain functions in key locations, while also having the flexibility to hire the best people no matter where in the world they live, without any requirement to relocate.

Yet, the software-based tools that got us where we are now won't be the same tools to take us to that future. It’s imperative that our collaboration tools drive happy, productive, and effective workplace experiences. It’s similarly imperative they provide meeting equity where those in the office, and those outside the office, can all participate equally well without disadvantage.

I've seen meetings where those dialling in could barely hear the conversation, let alone see any materials being distributed. I’ve also seen a daily standup where a mobile phone running Google Meet was passed around and people provided their updates, speaking primarily to the person on the phone to the exclusion of those in the room with them.

Neither is effective, and neither will lead to satisfactory, long-lasting, effective collaboration or communication.

What you need is a conferencing solution that seamlessly integrates with your existing devices and your existing software. Here’s where Crestron comes in. It works with any personal device and video collaboration platforms like Teams or Zoom - but it is not one of these platforms. Instead, Crestron makes video conferencing hardware and meeting room equipment that seamlessly integrates with the building and room and works with everything else, to ensure the greatest experiences and therefore the greatest outcomes.

Crestron has been known for its audio-visual equipment for half a century and has evolved in that time to be a smart space Internet of Things company. It provides enhanced experiences for commercial and residential customers, and its solutions cater to all the places where people live, learn, work, and play.

Crestron's options include Cloud-based unified communications, meeting solutions, collaboration tools, presentation solutions, and more which can be remotely managed and deployed. These are powerful and fully featured yet are crafted to be simple to deploy and manage, and which largely are set-and-forget.

For instance, Crestron's Flex MX allows any user or visitor to connect and present on any platform with one touch, whether a native Microsoft Teams or Zoom device or any other platform via its simple BYOD functionality. The Flex M-series can extend beyond the camera, microphone, and touch panel, and is able to easily handle shading, lighting, environment controls, audio, scheduling, and more, all without any custom programming.

Another option is Crestron's AirMedia, which provides wireless sharing over an organisation's existing network.

The Crestron range is designed to fit around your business and provides ease, efficiency, and above all, effective communication between all parties no matter whether they are participating in the meeting in-person or remotely.

There is a rich range of Crestron solutions and possibilities, all aiding your business and your staff to get on with the job of working together no matter where in the world they may be.

Learn more.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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