Finding a wireless conferencing solution that makes meetings simple
Nov. 8, 2023 - As the need for connected conference spaces grows, so does the need for intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that can handle an expanding variety of applications and demands. The technology you choose needs to be reliable and secure to boot (with fewer help desk tickets, too) — and all of these considerations mean that you're likely best served by solutions from a single vendor.
Crestron's AirMedia® wireless conferencing technology is built for precisely that purpose — it's a suite of products that can help you transform any part of your building, from lounge to conference room, into a high-quality conferencing space.
"Ultimately, all of these considerations should point to one goal: Making meetings simple," says Joel Mulpeter, Crestron's director of product marketing.
What should a wireless conferencing solution provide?
Ask yourself the following questions — if you can answer "yes" to all of them, you've found the right solution.
Here's how AirMedia® technology easily solves those nine common concerns when you're creating a conferencing space before the meeting, during the meeting, and behind the scenes. As with any technology one brings to their business, you'll need to consider both the solution's ease of deployment as well as how it performs once it's in use.
The Benefits of AirMedia Wireless Conferencing Technology
USING THE AIRMEDIA SOLUTION
Before the Meeting
Providing Digital Signage — "As people return to the office, keeping them informed about what's happening within a company is important," says Mulpeter. "A worker who's remote for part of the week should feel welcome when they're back at HQ. They should feel involved. They likely need to feel there's a connection point when they come in." Digital signage can play a key role in imparting key info to strengthen that connection: As collaborators file into a room prior to a meeting, they're learning about initiatives and company news, even benefits. "Imagine rotating content that lets you know there's a yoga class on Wednesday, an appreciation day on Friday, or that the company won an award or hit a critical goal," Mulpeter explains.
Room Scheduling — Although it's something of a subset of digital signage, it deserves consideration as its own critical function, says Mulpeter: "Many of the meetings we attended may be in smaller rooms now that everything's connected. If there's no booking panel outside the space, we can put this information on the display in the room." The display can immediately convey needed info without anyone having to open up a shared room calendar on their laptop or phone. "The screen can tell us that a) we're in the right room, b) how long it's booked for, and c) if another meeting follows ours so we can clear out in a timely fashion," says Mulpeter.
During the Meeting
No Drivers to Download — "The process is this: Plug in the AirMedia Connect Adaptor and start your presentation," says Mulpeter. "In terms of a seamless workflow, that seems to be the most attractive feature for those who are not technically inclined — connect that device, and you're done. No apps, no clicks, no extra software, just plug into a USB-C port."
No Complex Cabling — The only wire you'll need is one that's connected to the AirMedia® Connect Adaptor, a simple puck-like object with a short cable that terminates in USB-C® connectivity. "The system is designed so that there's not a single extra HDMI cable or any other connector," says Mulpeter. "It reinforces the idea that informs the entire solution — one and done."
BYOD Ready — The previous two features further create a system that's ready for any "bring your own device" (BYOD) situation (also referred to as BYOM or "bring your own meeting"). Workers who spend a portion of their week in a home office can effortlessly connect when they're meeting in person, and guests such as salespeople or consultants can present their content seamlessly. "Just like at home, if you open up Microsoft Teams and start a call, you pick your AirPods, headphones, or whatever you're running, and you pick your camera. Here, you're picking a mic, camera, speaker from the conference room options," says Mulpeter. "It's exactly the same process, and it's very simple."
DEPLOYING THE AIRMEDIA SOLUTION
Before the Scenes
Intuitive and Speedy Setup — We've seen that setting up a single room for AirMedia technology is incredibly simple. Now multiply that experience across an enterprise, and another benefit becomes apparent: there's a consistent experience across every room in the organization. "Once you've quickly become accustomed to the workflow, and you can just literally walk in and use new rooms without having to retrain or read a manual or learn a whole new set of processes," he adds. That further reduces the number of help desk tickets generated from those rooms.
Providing Data Analytics — "Seeing how people are using those rooms — and how those rooms are working — is another piece of the puzzle," says Mulpeter. The data you'll get from an AirMedia technology solution can tell you what devices are online — and even help IT undertake preventative maintenance. "Another component is the ability of the system to gather long-term, historical data — it's key to understanding how the rooms are used so that the C-suite can make informed decisions. Are smaller niches more popular? Or are the bigger conference rooms used? How many people are booked in them? The list goes on." Adding a product such as the XiO Cloud® technology operations management platform to the Crestron ecosystem gives an enterprise even more reporting and control options.
Security — "First and foremost, deploying a device like the AirMedia Connect Adaptor is a worry-free proposition – it's a transmitter, not a storage device, so it can't carry any viruses," says Mulpeter. "Beyond that, everything we make is secure from the get-go. These products are made to live on the network." Additionally, these solutions are built with the same Crestron standard that's applied to products used by governments, says Mulpeter: "It's all baked into every product. Every data stream is encrypted."
Reliability — Crestron solutions are built to last. "The products we produce are baked, frozen, hammered, beaten — the testing process is absolutely top-notch," says Mulpeter. "We're always updating and addressing any issues immediately," he explains.
"The result should always be the same: When you turn on a Crestron device or fire up our software, you can be sure it's just going to work."