Meeting User Demand for Self-Service Video Conferencing

Shasta Turney | July 24, 2017

Workplace and campus technology is a major investment driven by user demand, long-term cost savings, and the promise of increased productivity and collaboration. A well-executed workplace and campus strategy includes integrating technology solutions to maximize use and investment.

It is in this spirit that the EMS 2017 Spring Release has a special emphasis on making it easier to schedule and conduct video conferencing (VC), which is said to represent a global annual investment of over $6 billion.

An informative blog post by Microsoft® on the future of video conferencing (https://goo.gl/q2icmd) states that 87% of young respondents prefer to work for organizations that are ‘video-enabled’. Additionally, 75% reported they would not settle for low-quality video conferencing. Further, 84% say that they would use video for one in four meetings or interactions.

In short, today’s and tomorrow’s workforce demand high-quality video conferencing without fuss. Video conferencing should be easy to enable and convenient to access. With the EMS Spring 2017 Release, EMS now offers two options that give everyday users the ability to book video conferences themselves without needing to manage the backend technology:

  1. Skype for Business Integration: a new, one-click feature to add a Skype meeting to an EMS room reservation and allow users to join the Skype meeting from the reservation on any Skype-enabled device.
  2. Exchange Room Integration (ERI): an add-on method that automatically detects and invites video conferencing tools to an EMS meeting through an integration with Exchange resource mailboxes.

Skype for Business: Now A Standard EMS Integration
Skype averages 8 billion hours of social video calls every year according to Microsoft, making everyday user self-service an absolute IT administrative time saver. The EMS Skype for Business Integration is a new feature that lets users add a Skype meeting to an EMS reservation from the EMS Web App, EMS Mobile App, and EMS for Outlook.

A simple toggle of a switch allows users to (a) add the Skype meeting information directly to the EMS meeting reservation, and (b) invite any in-room Skype-enabled video conference technology (or select a mobile video conferencing resource) assigned to the meeting space. Attendees can then join the Skype meeting from the EMS reservation with a single click using any Skype-enabled video device, such as a mobile phone, laptop, or Microsoft Surface Hub.

Specific to Outlook, with the EMS Skype and Outlook integrations, users no longer have to copy and paste Skype meeting information into Outlook, or have to cancel and recreate a Skype meeting when a meeting time in Outlook changes.

Overall, the Skype integration creates a seamless user experience with minimal clicks and hassle — meeting user demand for ‘fast and easy’.


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Harnessing the Power of Exchange for Self-Service Video Conferencing

The EMS Spring 2017 release also includes Exchange Room Integration (ERI), an add-on for one-way syncing from EMS to Microsoft Exchange Resource Mailboxes. With ERI, users can automatically invite other mobile or in-room technologies such as Cisco and Polycom to EMS meetings without having to worry about the backend scheduling.

And, when it’s meeting time, one click on the fixed or mobile technology starts the video conference. EMS detects and invites the Exchange resource mailboxes for VC technologies, eliminating the need for A/V or VC technicians to have to separately book or update the meeting information as part of the video conferencing workflow.
 

EMS: Enabling the Digital Workplace and Campus

Both the Skype for Business and Exchange Room Integrations meet user demand for making video conferencing fast and easy for the everyday user. In terms of the bottom line, these two new integrations help organizations increase productivity, attract and retain people, and reduce costs.

Of course, the Skype for Business and Exchange Room Integrations are just two of the latest features within the EMS Spring 2017 Release. Stay tuned for our next blog post discussing other impactful features.

For more information about the Skype for Business and Exchange Room Integrations, visit our What’s New page or read our EMS Spring 2017 Release FAQs.

Shasta Turney
written by Shasta Turney, Contributing Editor

As a Contributing Editor for EMS Software, Shasta is responsible for covering the trends, news, and opinions about the Workplace of the Future. Shasta also provides in-depth pieces that help inform organizational leaders about the role, benefits, and value of a meeting and room scheduling solution within a Workplace of the Future strategy.

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