Introducing the EMS Spring 2017 Release

Akshay Mahajan | June 30, 2017

In 2016, we innovated at a furious pace. We introduced the EMS Mobile App, added highly-requested features to our Desktop Client, and overhauled both the EMS Web App and the EMS for Outlook add-in.

This year, we’ve been working diligently on our Spring 2017 Release, which will refine many of our existing capabilities and add some interesting new features to the EMS scheduling platform. As we invest in EMS, our development has been guided by three areas of focus: Architecture, Integrations, and User Experience.

        Picture1-(1).png

In this upcoming release, we’re targeting four major new features to improve your workflow and use of the EMS Platform. Let’s take a look.

Booking Resources through Exchange

For 2017, we’re increasing the investment in our integrations with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, and this spans all four focus areas above. On the Outlook side, we’re adding many small refinements that will make your experience even faster and easier. On the Exchange side, we’ll be introducing Exchange Room Integration (ERI), an add-on method for one-way syncing between EMS and Microsoft Exchange, in the spring. Two-way Exchange syncing is planned for later this year.

For one-way syncing, administrative users who set up rooms or equipment as ‘resources’ in Exchange will gain a distinct benefit from EMS. When users book rooms through EMS interfaces — Web App, Mobile App — EMS will now invite the room resource or a requested resource mailbox as part of the booking. There’s no longer a need to worry about errors connecting to a backend technology such as Cisco, BlueJeans, or Polycom because Exchange will automatically do that for you.

Self-Service Video Conferencing (Skype for Business)

We recognize that our customers are striving for self-service video conference workflows that allow everyday users to schedule and initiate their own video conferences without A/V intervention. Recognizing the rapidly rising adoption of Skype for Business, we’ve added an integration for this video conferencing (VC) tool into our spring release.

Using a simple toggle in the Web App or Mobile App, users can add Skype for Business to their EMS booking and email invites. When attendees arrive at their meeting space, they can open the Skype meeting with a single click, whether through a location-based Skype-enabled device like a room panel or mounted Surface Hub or a mobile device like a personal laptop. Attendees can join from anywhere, and since the meetings don’t require a host to start, any invitee can initiate the conversation.

The Modern Room Sign

Rooms signs and desk signs are also becoming a must-have for corporations, firms, hospitals, and campuses. On-location self-service for simple meeting, work, or learning spaces means increased productivity and far less hands-on involvement of scheduling professionals.

With our spring release, the EMS Room Sign App (formerly Glance) will offer a far more streamlined user experience, with a new look, more information, better security, and easier customization. Welcome to effortless, on-location scheduling, branded to impress employees and visitors. Of special note is the new portrait mode with an agenda view for the day.

Integrating with EMS Platform Services

For many years, EMS has offered an API that our customers and third-party integrators have used to connect EMS to other systems. This year, we’ll start exposing EMS Platform Services - a new RESTful API - that will improve performance and make EMS easier to integrate to other systems, hardware, and custom access points like simple mobile apps, simple Web apps, and kiosks.

Moreover, we’re using EMS Platform Services for architecting our front end products, like our mobile app and our digital room sign app. This means that our customers and partners will benefit from continual improvements in functionality, performance, and stability.

We’ll continue to support our old API for many years so that our partners have plenty of time to make the transition to EMS Platform Services. And we’re working closely with our partners to make sure our new API meets their needs.

Anything Else?

Since our last large release, we’ve made steady improvements in almost all of our access points, from streamlining the EMS Mobile App to adding functionality to our EMS for Microsoft Outlook plug-in. We’ve got plenty of other refinements on our list, each of which will extend existing functionality, support more use cases, enhance the underlying architecture, and make EMS even easier to use.

* This blog post contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions such as those associated with developing and delivering new functionality and new releases of our software. Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other blog posts, presentations, press releases, or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who seek to purchase our services should make their purchase decisions based on the features that are currently available. We assume no obligation and do not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

Akshay Mahajan
written by Akshay Mahajan, Vice President of Product Management

Akshay is responsible for product strategy and execution. He works closely with major clients and prospects to define product roadmap and vision. Akshay is particularly focused on building products that add value to the customers by solving real problems using innovative technology.

Get the best meeting and room scheduling content straight to your inbox.