• February 15, 2024
  • by Ethan Bailey

Managed vs Unmanaged Meeting Rooms

Managed vs Unmanaged Meeting Rooms - Featured Image

Organizations are investing in their meeting rooms more than ever. New conferencing hardware and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams are helping them bridge the gap between remote, in-person, and hybrid work. These investments are made with the intention of helping employees improve collaboration, communication, and productivity.

But is that really happening?

While meeting room technology is getting more powerful, the traditional meeting room approach has stayed the same. This is creating new challenges where technology fails when you need it most. This could be right before a board meeting, in the middle of a client presentation, or while collaborating on an important project – it’s only a matter of time before it happens.

To better understand these challenges, let’s talk about the traditional meeting room experience.

Unmanaged Meeting Rooms

Setting up a new meeting room typically follows this general approach:

Traditional Meeting Room Approach
  1. You contact an audio visual (AV) company looking for information.
  2. They assess your needs, establish a budget, and select the equipment.
  3. The AV company installs the new equipment.
  4. The AV company configures and optimizes the equipment for the space.

It is a straightforward process that focuses on making sure the right technology is installed to meet your needs. However, a meeting room is more than just the hardware and conferencing software. It is about the end-user experience.

Let us put this into perspective by going over a common story.

You hire an AV company to set up a new meeting room in your office. The technology is installed correctly, all the wires have been tucked away, and the meeting room looks great. Everyone is happy with the project and your employees are excited for the new space to collaborate with their coworkers.

That night Microsoft pushes a software update.

The next day your employees try to join a Teams meeting and the audio will not connect. There also seems to be an issue with the camera. The tech savvy person in the group tries to troubleshoot the problem. They fiddle with the permissions and try rejoining the meeting.

Nothing seems to work and now the meeting is running late. The group decides to abandon the room. To make things worse, the bad experience undermines their confidence in the new room. The new meeting room is actively avoided, and the promise of improved collaboration and increased productivity disappears.

A ticket gets submitted to an already busy IT team or a call is made to the AV company who installed it. The problem eventually gets fixed, but it is destined to happen again. In fact, this problem is happening more regularly than people think. On average, we have seen the technology in unmanaged meeting rooms go down anywhere from 3-5 times a month, per room.

Regardless of the size of your business, that is a whole lot of downtime. And this downtime has an impact on your business. It creates challenges like:

  • Security risks and the increased likelihood of a data breach or unauthorized meeting access.
  • Wasted time by employees spent getting into meetings.
  • Lack of confidence in meeting room technology and employees not leveraging the investment.
  • Valuable IT resources being tied up with break/fix support.

Does this mean that companies have made a bad investment in meeting room technology? No. Does it mean they purchased the wrong equipment? Probably not.

Does it mean that there is an opportunity to rethink the modern workplace to ensure that employees receive the productivity and collaboration gains that technology promises?


Managed Meeting Rooms

The idea behind managed meeting rooms is simple: the value from meeting rooms begins after the installation ends.

A meeting room is greater than the sum of the hardware and software required to run it. It is about the experience. Modern meeting rooms put the experience first with active monitoring, self-healing updates, insights into meeting room utilization, and the ability to get support on demand in the event where something is not working. This ensures that your hardware and software stay up to date to create a seamless, secure, and reliable experience.

With managed meeting rooms, you can rest assured that your investments are working for you, not against you.

Managed Meeting Room Experience

Organizations like the Saskatchewan Roughriders are using this service to transform their meeting room experience. Instead of taking the traditional meeting approach that is bound to cause problems, managed meeting rooms create a feedback loop that empowers you to prevent problems before they happen.

This means more productive meetings and less time spent trying to troubleshoot problems. It is the difference between being proactive instead of reactive, and leveraging your meeting rooms as an investment, instead of waiting for them to become a liability.

Final Thoughts

“Technology alone is not enough.”

We believe that technology can drive innovation and create incredible outcomes for our customers. It is our firm belief that your meetings should not start with someone asking, “Can you figure out how to get the meeting on the screen?”

And they don’t have to.

Technology should be a business accelerator, not a liability. With managed meeting rooms, you have the peace of mind that your organization is getting the most out of their meeting room investments.

If you are interested in seeing what managed meeting rooms can do for your organization, reach out to us below to learn more.

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Ethan Bailey

Ethan Bailey

Ethan Bailey has worked with WBM Technologies for over 3 years, helping to create the Managed Meeting Room offering as a Workplace Collaboration Strategist. Ethan leads the discovery and design of modern meeting solutions powered by Microsoft Teams and managed by WBM to enable virtual collaboration across Western Canada and beyond.

Ethan was born and raised in Saskatoon Saskatchewan and is a big Edmonton Oilers and Formula 1 follower.

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