UC Trends 2022: Meeting Rooms Round Table

Marian McHugh

We gathered specialists from Webex, Jabra, Yealink, Zoom and Logitech to offer their insights on meeting room solutions

Insights
UC Trends 2022: Meeting Rooms Round Table

Meeting Rooms solutions have undergone a transformation over the past two years.  

No longer a mice-to-have for organisations, meeting room solutions are now a necessity for organisations transitioning into  a hybrid working model. They have evolved to incorporate not just the traditional video capabilities they were traditionally know for, but also interactive and engagement technologies, and collaboration features.  

We spoke with executives from Cisco Webex, Yealink, Zoom, Jabra, and Logitech to gather their thoughts on the transformation meeting rooms solutions have undergone, as well as where they see the technology delivering the greatest value going forward. 

What are the most significant customer trends from 2021?

Nigel Dunn

Nigel Dunn

Nigel Dunn, Managing Director, EMEA North at Jabra:  

Jabra’s Nigel Dunn noted that organisations are operating with distributed teams now “more than ever before”. As a result of this, video collaboration solutions are increasingly being placed at the heart of the company’s digital transformation, he added.   

Dunn also cited Jabra’s Hybrid Ways of Working 2021 Global Report which revealed that 71 percent of knowledge workers view the office as a social hub that enables collaboration, while independent working happens off-site.  

Businesses have started to plan for a future of hybrid working, assessing whether they are getting the most value from technology investments,” he stated. 

“This means changing the reactive, knee-jerk approach that many were forced into at the start of the pandemic, and now taking a strategic, long-term view.  

“Companies are also reviewing how offices and facilities are being used to optimise space, with the aim of creating workplaces with meeting rooms and collaboration spaces that meet new requirements” 

Sean McCarry, Head of Video Collaboration Europe at Logitech: 

Organisations and their employees are now well-versed in the art of working from home and are now seeking better quality devices that complement both working from home and the office, according to Logitech’s Sean McCarry. 

“With the world, and offices, continuing to open up, businesses have their sights set on hybrid working and the tools that can help facilitate this in the office,” he said. 

“The focus is now to equip offices with seamless technology that ensures a hybrid virtual meeting is just as engaging and productive as meetings face-to-face.” 

What will be the top challenges facing end customers in 2022?

Mark Needham

Mark Needham, EMEAR Hybrid Work Lead at Webex: 

One of the main challenges facing businesses next year is getting staff back in the office on a regular basis, said Webex’s Mark Needham. 

He echoed Dunn’s sentiments on the office becoming a social amenity that facilitates collaboration between teams rather than just having workers show up only to work by themselves.  

According to Cisco’s Global Hybrid Work Index, 98 percent of meetings will have at least one remote participant, and its Future of Technology survey also revealed that  47 percent of meeting participants don’t contribute to meetings. Therefore,  meeting room solutions should as inclusive and engaging as possible to encourage contributions from all meeting attendees, said Needham. 

“Yes, you still need an office, but it will have to work much harder to motivate staff to return. It will become a place for the richest level of social collaboration and interaction, not a place to do head down work – an experiential experience far beyond what you have at home. This impacts the technology choices, workplace policies and the physical environment” 

“For remote participants in meetings, there is the opportunity with the right technology choices to make those meetings far more inclusive, and more engaging for the attendees, bringing more intelligence to bear in solving business problems, challenges and innovating with greater velocity.” 

Vincent Gao

Vincent Gao

Vincent Gao, Principle Product Manager  Teams Device Solution at Yealink: 

Yealink’s Vincent Gao believes that in order to ensure efficient remote collaboration, businesses need to recognise what tools they need to ensure productivity and invest in them.  

“It can be tough to share information and coordinate activities when everyone is working remotely,” he said. 

“Therefore, utilising essential tools and devices such as collaboration platforms, file-sharing software, and whiteboarding is critical for teams to achieve seamless collaboration and expected results.  

“Take whiteboarding for example: it breaks the limitation of distance and space, allowing users to jump into a brainstorming, project planning, or problem-solving meeting with anyone by leveraging the advantage of cloud services.” 

Which technology will deliver the greatest value to your customers in 2022?

Heidi Elmore

Heidi Elmore

Heidi Elmore, Head of UCaaS at Zoom: 

Zoom’s Heidi Elmore believes video conferencing will still hold the greatest values to customers next year. She cited the findings of a Qualtrics Research report (commissioned by Zoom) which stated that over 75 percent of respondents believed that video communication offers everyone an equal opportunity to participate.  

“Co-workers from different offices or on separate teams can participate at the same time and in the same virtual space without having to spend time and money on travel” 

Mark Needham, EMEAR Hybrid Work Lead at Webex: 

Technologies that offer an intelligent workplace will be one of the most in demand technologies from customers next year because of their cost-saving features, according to Webex’s Needham.  

Offices are one of the highest costs to a business,” he stated. 

“We know employees are not going to use them like in the past, therefore there are opportunities to innovate new workplace experiences, such as intelligent hot desking, moving video technology into open spaces – which increases engagement – and workplace optimisation, which removes OPEX and frees up budget to invest in the tools needed to thrive in a hybrid world.” 

Sean McCarry

Sean McCarry

Sean McCarry, Head of Video Collaboration Europe at Logitech: 

Logitech’s McCarry reckons that next year will see an increased demand for meeting room solutions from SMBs as they recognise that, like their enterprise counterparts, they too need high quality technology to support their operations.  

“For SMBs, video conferencing solutions designed for small to mid-sized meeting or huddle rooms are perfect tools to bridge the gap between those in the office and those working remotely,” he said. 

“Their need for high-quality and seamless technology is the same as large businesses, only scaled down; it’s equally important for employees to be engaged in a team of 10 as it is a team of 100. 

“The hybrid office has the potential to make employees happier, more motivated and equipped to do their best work. To ensure this, businesses’ attention needs to be on adopting quality and easy to use solutions – helping them not only survive but thrive post-pandemic.” 

Vincent Gao, Principle Product Manager  Teams Device Solution at Yealink: 

An increasing number of businesses are recognising the power of AI in enhancing their productivity and collaboration experiences, according to Yealink’s Gao.  

The tech’s capabilities are particularly notable in improving audio experiences for users, he added. 

“AI technology can bring a better audio experience to customers, satisfying theirrequirement for clear and crystal sound when they are working remotely,” he stated. 

“For example, the deep learning-driven acoustic noise cancellation can suppress or remove unwanted noise coming from the surrounding environment. Also, the acoustic fence can create a boundary around the meeting participants so that outside or background noises beyond the conferencing space cannot be heard ”

“All these AI-enhanced features empower a more focused and effective meeting experience for customers.” 

Nigel Dunn, Managing Director, EMEA North at Jabra:  

The technology that delivers the greatest value for customers in 2022 will be that which combines high-quality video solutions with a management that can effectively lead hybrid working teams, according to Jabra’s Dunn.  

There are big gains to be made from technology that enables you to collaborate in meeting rooms, virtually, in hybrid situations and across multiple time zones, keeping staff motivated and engaged,” he elaborated. 

“By combining video collaboration solutions with the right leadership and understanding of how to effectively manage hybrid teams, companies can retain and attract top talent, and drive their business forwards in a work-from-anywhere future.” 

 

 


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