Microsoft Outlook is an excellent tool to start with when it comes to email and scheduling.
However, when you dive a little deeper into resource utilization, they might not be the best options on their own. The following are some of the most common problems users experience when trying to book with Outlook.
Microsoft Outlook Allows Meeting Rooms to Be Double-Booked
You may have completed all of the necessary steps — found the correct room in Outlook, booked it for your meeting time — but when you show up, you see another coworker has already booked the room. What happened?
One of Outlook’s flaws is that space can be shown as “free” when it is booked for another event. This can lead to teams being under the impression it is available to book, resulting in multiple miscommunications between people and the software.
This would never be an issue with a more powerful calendaring tool that integrates with Microsoft Exchange. With Accruent’s space and resource scheduling software, EMS, rooms and resources are synced bi-directionally between the EMS system and Outlook using the Exchange Room Integration capability. This integration notes exactly when spaces are available or booked, eliminating double bookings.
Microsoft Outlook Doesn’t Offer Insight into Space Utilization
Meeting rooms and resource usage have a direct impact on operational costs. Without insight into how your rooms and spaces are utilized, it can be hard to optimize to reduce costs. When Microsoft doesn’t provide any way to see how often space is booked or left empty, you’re missing out on critical information that you could be taking advantage of!
Whether you are a CIO, facilities planner, registrar or conference center manager, EMS reporting provides the insights you need to increase productivity and reduce costs. Get on-demand access to all of your space, service and resource data. EMS allows you to track critical metrics such as space usage, cancellations, group and meeting type, service changes and more.
With a custom query builder and more than 110 built-in and automated reports, you can accurately and efficiently track, understand and optimize your space.
The System Lacks Asset Details for Spaces
Imagine you are trying to book a room for a conference meeting with colleagues from a remote office. It is imperative to have a space with A/V and video conferencing, as you will need to be able to communicate with each other effectively. Unfortunately, Outlook does not allow users to see the size of the conference room, the number of chairs available or any of the equipment within the space.
With EMS, you can quickly find the right room for any activity. Filter available rooms by location, capacity, or available resources and services, and ensure the space you reserve is exactly what you need. That way, you do not show up to your booking only to realize the space will not work for what you need.
Additionally, the video conferencing features EMS provides with its Exchange Room Integration integration allow users to work in a familiar interface to book meetings and spaces, while boosting utilization of video conferencing equipment since so many extra steps are eliminated.