Make Meetings Count With The Latest Collaborative Technology


Time wasting or thought provoking? Whatever people’s views are on the relevance of business meetings, it is one of those necessary business traditions that is not likely to disappear any time soon. Done badly, meetings can zap both company costs and employee productivity. However, at the opposite end of the scale, with the right mindset, and the right technology – meetings can significantly boost collaboration and efficiency across a business.

The meeting environment has to have the right set up, with a well-planned agenda and the ability to share visuals or information from different devices. This will help to engage the participants and encourage collaboration to make the meeting far more effective. Collaboration is the key to provoking meaningful discussions and in practical terms this means putting meeting room technology in place that will allows attendees to show and share information on a shared screen.

This concept becomes even more powerful if various people can share content at the same time, rather than it being limited to one person. Particularly, in today’s digital world, where the majority of employees take at least one personal device into the workplace. Whether that device is a laptop, smartphone or tablet, being able to utilise it in a meeting room set up will help rather than hinder productivity.

The easiest way to support this is to take advantage of the latest wireless collaboration systems, a new technology that has been designed specifically for meeting and conference rooms. Sharing content from different devices running on different, often incompatible, operating systems, is usually a fairly complicated and time consuming process. Multiple cables and connectors would have to be used to link these devices and IT support staff frequently have to intervene to ensure the sharing can take place.

This hassle is removed with the wireless collaboration systems as these simple tools allow participants to share content from any device, without having to waste time fiddling with wires and adaptors. The technology is simple but it can play an invaluable role in the meeting room. Connecting the devices will be seamless and straight forward, and whether it is Wi-Fi, USB or Bluetooth, no software downloads or settings changes are needed.

This will help to negate any potential security concerns that many companies tend to associate with BYOD. The one place security should not be a worry is in the meeting room. Whether a business is hosting clients who want to connect to the meeting room technology, or consultants, or even colleagues from another city, IT might have a problem bringing foreign devices onto the company network. If the meeting room technology has its own Wi-Fi capabilities that enables users to connect with it directly, while not actually on the company network, it will alleviate any security concerns and make for a more efficient meeting.

Meetings are unlikely to be abolished, but by embracing the new technology trends we can put a stop to the time wasting and frustrations caused by the technical equipment. The meeting room could be the main hub for collaboration and with the simplest tools, all participants can come together and share their ideas from whichever device they choose.

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Jan Willem Brands is General Manager for the Collaboration division of Barco. He is based in Taiwan from where he manages the innovation and marketing teams for ClickShare and WePresent in Europe and Asia. Jan Willem joined Barco in 2008 as Chief Technology Officer with responsibility for Corporate Research, Intellectual Property and Methods & Tools. Under his guidance Barco has developed and commercialised the worlds first high-power fully solid state laser projector as well as introduced major innovations in networking technology for Healthcare applications. Previously he was with Philips Electronics where he held senior management positions in R&D and product management at Consumer Electronics and Semiconductor business units in Europe, Asia and the US. Jan Willem holds a Masters degree in Applied Physics.