Transform Outlook into a Meeting Power Tool

Matt James | November 13, 2017

If your campus or workplace requires a simple scheduling app, then Microsoft Outlook will likely get the job done. It allows employees or other users to self-book meetings and covers the basics of finding available times, inviting attendees and choosing meeting locations.

But if you need more centralized functionality, such as the ability to arrange catering services for that important client or alumni gathering, you’re out of luck. To really get the benefits of a full-fledged scheduling program, Outlook doesn’t quite cut it – at least, not on its own.

And that’s where EMS for Microsoft Outlook shines.

The EMS for Microsoft Outlook add-in provides one-click access to comprehensive self-service room reservation and resource bookings. You can filter locations, book A/V equipment, take care of recurring meeting conflicts, and more—all within the familiar Outlook interface, conveniently and quickly. With EMS for Outlook, you can streamline scheduling and transform Outlook into the tool your organization deserves.

True Self-service Booking in Outlook

Find, filter, and reserve available rooms.

For complex organizations, finding rooms in Outlook can be time-consuming because of a lack of filtering options. Suppose you need a room in the headquarters building with dinner options and a Microsoft Surface hub. Outlook natively lets you to see which rooms are available, but with EMS, advanced filtering mechanisms allow you to quickly locate and reserve optimal locations based on your specific criteria. And you can drill down on any space or room to show details like capacity and photos.

Another benefit of the add-in is the granular control it gives your organization over business or organizational rules such as which rooms are favorites, how far into the future a room may be booked, the number of bookings allowed per day, the length of those bookings, and more.

Get one convenient application for attendee management.

Today’s scheduling needs have surpassed the capabilities that Outlook alone can provide, and this is especially evident with regard to attendees. The EMS add-in addresses this shortfall in multiple ways, including offering strong support for visitor management. Not only can you simultaneously view room and attendee availability, and then book and manage a meeting directly, but an enhanced schedule view lets you to do so via a user-friendly grid.

In addition, you can add or remove attendees and invite and update all participants, right from within a single interface. You can also indicate attendee type (employee, visitor, etc.) and tie that information into your organization’s visitation policies, such as having badges printed up and waiting at the front desk for external attendees.

Save time with a one-stop shop for resources.

A successful meeting depends on getting the right people to the right place—with the right resources. In Outlook alone, managing A/V equipment, catering, and other services is cumbersome. No longer.

The EMS add-in allows you to reserve, track, and modify enhanced services, both for individual meetings and for recurring meetings. Support for complex series orders means you can take care of ordering meals for that quarterly all-day workshop in advance. Don’t know what you’ll need for the meeting three months down the road? No problem. Take care of these services during booking or post booking, whatever meets your needs.

Stay organized with simplified workflows and minimal clicks.

Without a streamlined interface for scheduling and managing meetings, it can be tough to keep track of all the required components. As a result, rooms get double-booked, billing information goes missing, services don’t arrive on time, and so on. EMS for Outlook walks you through all the necessary steps needed to ensure you’re delivering a superb meeting experience.

As an added bonus, the workflows allow you to take care of optional details without leaving the interface. For example, a law firm scheduling a deposition can have the software set up so that it triggers requests for additional information, like security and permissions, right there in the scheduler.

Resolve room conflicts easily.

If a room isn’t available for every date in a series, Outlook will not alert you to the conflicts. With EMS for Outlook, you are notified of conflicts before the booking is confirmed, so don’t have to wrangle last-minute for a room or settle for another location. Choose the room you desire for the dates it is available, and then select one or more other locations for the conflicting dates. Or, you can also skip this resolution process and resolve it later at a more convenient time.

Enjoy an enhanced native Outlook experience.

Schedule that important faculty luncheon in a familiar user interface. EMS recently overhauled the look and feel of the add-in, and the backend technology has been streamlined and modernized. This means you can use the theme you’re most comfortable in – the colors, styles, backgrounds, etc. – and have a unified user experience.

The Convenience of Outlook backed by the Power of EMS

Outlook alone simply wasn’t built to manage the realities of today’s complex workspaces. EMS for Microsoft Outlook turns the basic scheduling app into a rich, easy-to-use tool for self-service and managed bookings. And because all meetings and details are tracked in a centralized hub, you have quick access to useful utilization data, which you can use to ultimately save your organization money.

To learn more about EMS for Outlook, please view the EMS for Microsoft Outlook datasheet.

NOTE: If you’re a current EMS for Microsoft Outlook user, follow this link to see what’s new in our latest software release.

Matt James
written by Matt James, Associate Product Manager

Prior to joining EMS Software, Matt worked for six years in higher education event management and facility operations. During his tenure, he trained and provided EMS support to expert and everyday users as an EMS administrator. Matt joined EMS as an implementation consultant in 2013 and then transitioned to product management in 2017, where he now manages EMS for Outlook, Integration with Microsoft Exchange, Exchange Room Integration, and all EMS Campus components. Matt earned degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

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

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