Microsoft Outlook and Google Workspace are excellent tools 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 or Google.

1. 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 This is just one example of why, as a standalone conference room software, Outlook is outdated and not the best choice in setup.

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.

2. Neither Google nor Microsoft 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. Neither Google nor Microsoft 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. As the demand for a flexible workplace becomes increasingly relevant with today's workforce, room utilization data is one way to understand the effectiveness of your office design and your workplace strategy. Without such data, it is nearly impossible to make informed strategic decisions about your facilities and the way in which your people interface with it. If employees are booking desks, how often are those being abandoned? Do you need to convert underutilized meeting spaces into additional desks or private offices? Would investment in better in-room technology reduce your IT or A/V team overhead so they can focus on more strategic projects? These are just some of the questions that can be addressed with insights driven by EMS data.

3. Both Systems Lack 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 and Google do 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. "Areas" is one method EMS uses to better organize your spaces for your users. Areas allow you to logically group your spaces—even across multiple locations—to make finding the right space easy. For example, all spaces with in-room video conferencing, a smart white board or with available catering service. Additionally, EMS allows you to include images of your spaces to quickly inspect what you are booking so that 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 and Google integration allows 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.

Combine Microsoft Outlook or Google Workspace with EMS and Boost Your Conference Room Scheduling Software To The Next Level

Outlook or Google Workspace alone simply are not built to manage the realities of today’s complex workspaces and campuses. By combining these tools with an equally powerful, purpose-built scheduling solution, you can turn these simple platforms into rich, easy-to-use tools for self-service and managed scheduling without fear of double bookings. Because all meetings and details are tracked in a centralized hub, you have quick access to useful utilization data, which you can use to save your organization money.

Is there a mobile version of EMS?

Yes. EMS offers both a native mobile app as well as a mobile-friendly web application to give your users the flexibility of booking their spaces and meetings in the most frictionless way possible. If your users are already comfortable booking spaces through Outlook or Google, EMS offers integrations to keep space booking within those applications as well.

Learn how Accruent’s EMS solution can boost your Outlook or Google platforms. Schedule a Demo Today!