Huddle Room

How to Choose the Best Huddle Room Technology

Choosing the best huddle room technology often means consulting experienced AV experts. Above all, this drags you into a lengthy pre-sales process, during which you are bamboozled and sold an overly complex huddle room solution.

Why Do Successful Businesses Want The Best Huddle Rooms?

Collaborative working is fast replacing disparate, siloed teams. Your most productive employees work flexibly, in any location, on any device. They harness team collaboration tools like instant messaging, social media, live chat, and video calling. Generally, they get things done faster and more informally. Apps like MS Teams enable project members to meet in real-time and drive actions to face to face. The days of stuffy conference calls booked months in advance are gone. There is a powerful reason why 90% of the fastest-growing companies in the world (Fortune 1000) use MS Teams. (According to Microsoft)

What are the main goals of a huddle room?

  • Meet informally at speed – Achieve real-time collaboration
  • A quiet place away from noise and distraction
  • Unite geographically dispersed teams
  • Above all, achieve the same level of high-quality video calls as a conference room, but in a small space

Why Choosing The Best Huddle Room Technology is Super Tough

Video is a critical part of a video room, so a huddle room without video is pretty pointless. Video is essential to the successful use of a huddle room and the main purpose of it. Research shows that relying on audio-only phone calls alone for collaboration is not conducive to collaborative distance working. Screen sharing is near impossible. Our brains have to work much harder to interpret the meaning of a conversation without non-audio cues, like body language and visual cues. The richness of face to face contact builds rapport and unites teleworking teams, setting them up for success.

Huddle room technology can be confusing

Choosing the best huddle room technology often means consulting experienced AV experts. This drags you into a lengthy pre-sales process, during which you are bamboozled and sold an overly complex huddle room solution. Your swanky new over-specified huddle room comes complete with a hefty price tag and lengthy service contract.

Complex IT reseller ecosystems

Your huddle room buying process should only be geared towards delivering what you need in the lowest cost and simplest way possible. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. The IT industry is run by resellers and distributors. You may think that you are consulting with a company that is audiovisual experts. However, it is more than likely that you are talking to an IT reseller. A reseller talks the talk and walks the walk, but they are not real, time served AV experts.

They exist only to partner with IT suppliers who pay them the most money to sell their products (resellers commission). You may ask them for specific huddle room features, but they will slowly convince you that solution X is best for you, regardless of your goals. But, you do not understand the tech so you believe their guidance and sign up.

How can you avoid this? Always ensure that you check that your AV team has real, genuine expertise and depth of experience in the AV industry and they are not just IT resellers.

Disparate video room estate

Many company owners start the huddle room procurement process from a place of chaos. They may already have a couple of full-sized conference rooms. Their conference room technology may be a mystery to them:

  • They may have several different IT suppliers, all charging different rates
  • They may use different video conferencing hardware
  • Their video conferencing kit may not run Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or join video calls with other video providers
  • They are unable to implement a company-wide video call joining procedure
  • They want a cost-effective way to standardise and simplify their meeting room estate

As a result, all of these goals can further complicate huddle room technology choices.

Company owners looking to standardise their meeting room estate will be relieved to know that our huddle room options enable them to:

  • Rollout multiple huddle rooms at cost-effective price points
  • Rapidly install huddle rooms in any space with no room preparation required at all
  • Standardise their meeting room estate and meeting joining procedure

A vast array of technical options

The entire AV industry profits from overengineered, over complex video conferencing solutions. Huddle rooms are no exception to this!

Unless you know what interoperability means or know your wireless connectivity from your gooseneck microphones, you may struggle to understand the solution being pitched to you. Unlike a car, there is no easy “test drive” for a huddle room. It’s the equivalent of signing a £50k purchase order for a car you don’t understand and have never even seen.

Our experienced AV team believes that the best huddle room solutions should be super simple and easy to use.

Why is a complex huddle room solution bad?

If people walk into a huddle room and they have to negotiate cables, dongles, WiFi networks, interoperability options and find pin codes, they generally give up. Consequently, when people struggle with technology, they stop using it, and “user adoption” drops. User adoption is essential to making a success of any technology you invest in.

Things that negatively impact user adoption are:

  • Poor video meeting experiences that involve downtime and thwarted workflow.
  • A video meeting that needs an IT person to start/finish/fix the call
  • Clunky interoperability – meaning the ability to connect video calls on different platforms.
  • Delayed meeting start times.

Visit this article Are bad video meetings costing your organization? and find out how to enable your business to perform better with video in 2020.

The implications of your huddle room‘s technical options

Kitting out a fully functioning huddle room involves choosing several components:

These include your huddle room camera, microphone, speakers, or webcam, furniture, including huddle room chairs and table.

For each of the technical options on offer, there are a whole host of technical implications.

For example:

  • The colour of your huddle room background can affect the level of glare on your call.
  • The type of carpet you choose can affect the acoustics and how sound behaves.
  • The video camera you choose dictates how professional your video call quality is. Low standard laptop-based video calls will leave you looking at the top of someone’s head (or nostrils).  The higher quality kit gives you a professional cameraman experience. (The price differential is not that huge either).
  • Choosing the right conference hardware will enable you to run MS Teams or connect to other video call platforms for truly unlimited business communications.

Most AV companies would have you believe that the above technicalities mean that every bit of your huddle room needs to be specified subject to survey. This approach slows things down, adds cost and complexity.

Hidden Pitfalls. There are quite a few “gotchas” involved in choosing the right huddle room technology.

Installation Costs

The entire video conferencing industry is geared up to be overly complex. This is how AV companies make their money. They pitch huge, overly complex solutions with profit loaded into key areas.

The installation can list things like a pre-installation survey (more than likely not necessary for a huddle room-sized installation). 

Room remediation. This means preparing the room. This can involve drilling, laying cables, covering up the cables with fresh plaster and redecorating. Our AV team believes that this level of bespoke design is overkill for a huddle room-sized solution. Our proposition is much simpler, fits in any space, and involves no room prep at all.

Installation of the entire solution. Their AV team comes out and because they have specified such a complex solution, it needs an expert to come out and install it. Our simple huddle room package is engineered to be so simple that you can install it yourself. You even build your own conference room table. (like IKEA) in under 2 hours.

Lengthy and complex process. There are many items involved in the purchase of a huddle room solution that does not necessarily carry a price tag to compare. But, they will inadvertently cost you time and money.

Long slow, time-consuming pre-sales process. Lots of meetings, lots of paperwork, lots of measuring, and consultation. It all eats your time and money

Disruptive installation process. Noisy messy installation upsets your workflow

The cost of delayed launch. If you order a huddle room and it takes 4 months to actually be operable, your team lose 4 months of precious collaboration time. Our all in 1 huddle room solutions allow you to be fully operable just a few days after you order. No surveys, no messy installation, just build it yourself and GO!

In this guide, we will cover the 4 main video room setups, you can jump to each part of the guide depending on what you need.

Traditional AV Approach – Ongoing Support Costs

Having invested in your new huddle room, you may be surprised to find that it is sufficiently complex to need a lengthy after-sales maintenance contract. This is of course, separate to the huge amount you have already invested. You may be taken unaware by this bad news. Long contract gives you the privilege of a telephone number to call when your huddle room equipment no longer works. By the time you actually use this IT support everyone will have forgotten the name of the company and lost the phone number, or the admin lady who knew has now moved on.

Many huddle room extras are cleverly labelled as other things to hide them in a cost/price breakdown.

Why Is Our Huddle Room Solution Better Than This?

Our AV team wanted to bust apart the traditional limitations of the AV industry. Most audiovisual teams will put together a huddle room solution that is loaded with hidden costs, complexity, and profit. Our goal was to strip out the cost, disruption, and complexity, massively speeding up the process. Doing this has made high-performance huddle room technology rapidly available to companies of all sizes.

Our team has innovated a unique approach to the growing demand for MS Teams and Zoom compatible video-enabled huddle rooms. Our low cost, self-assembly video rooms offer an affordable way to rapidly roll out huddle rooms and full-sized conference rooms.

These fully Microsoft Teams and Zoom native “All-in-one video huddle rooms” are deployed in just 120 minutes. Being priced at an affordable monthly price point, the packages are commercially disruptive. All furniture, video devices, interoperability, licenses and 24/7 support are included.

No drilling, plastering or meeting room preparation is required. These packages have been custom-built to overcome the barriers to video room ownership. By challenging the traditional approach to pricing and delivering video rooms, they make them readily available to smaller businesses, that ordinarily couldn’t afford them.

What Are The Benefits?

No room preparation is needed. No drilling or decorating. Our simple 3 in 1 video device needs no IT skills to install. Build your own specially shaped conference table in under 120 minutes.

Fits any space. Our solutions fit from 2-15 people with no installation costs, expensive consultations, mess or disruption.

Enterprise-grade video conferencing hardware. PolyTM  Studio X30 and X50 devices deliver 3 devices in 1 – 4k HDR video camera experience with digital zoom, crystal clear microphone with AI-driven noise cancellation, stereo speakers with exceptional audio clarity.

The Poly Studio X Series is a purpose-built all in one video device. The device has its own internal operating system, controlled by a simple touch-controlled tablet, which stays permanently in each huddle room. Your huddle room does not require an external PC, keyboard, laptop, mouse, etc to drive video calls.

When users decide to initiate a video meeting, they simply stand up and walk into the huddle room. They launch a browser-based video call within seconds and meet face to face. They don’t have to uncouple their laptop, mouse and power and set it all up again in another room. Meeting is simple and instant.

Video licensing, native teams and zoom compatibility and interoperability as standard. You can also connect video calls with Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, Webex Teams, Zoom, Bluejeans and more.

Full support is included. Our costs are not charged on top or hidden. Full support is included in our packages. Our AV team believes that your solution is so simple and intuitive that you don’t need much support at all.

Affordable payment options. Our budget-friendly package is usually paid for on monthly terms, to break up your payments. Companies pay a single, fixed package price with no unpredictable or hidden infrastructure costs. No upfront investment is needed.

Why You Need to Talk to Our AV Team

Our AV team are genuine experts. We have gathered decades of experience by working together in the AV industry. We believe in simple huddle room solutions that actually work in real life. Believe in huddle rooms that are available and easy to use for everyone.

We despise the complexity of the traditional audiovisual industry. They will give you honest, sound advice, and easy solutions that put your team on speed. Our AV team will deliver huddle rooms that are affordable, scalable, easy to use, and maintain.

Book a demo to speak to them now!

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