We all have our favorite meeting room in the office. For me, it’s Anchor Steam—close proximity, good lighting, plenty of table space and a whiteboard that erases really well. For video conferencing equipment, it’s got a Lifesize Icon 600, two 50” screens and sitting pretty in the middle of the table is the hub of every meeting, a Lifesize Phone HD.
My only gripe with this room is that the chairs kind of suck (which I mention only in hopes that Facilities will come across this blog and honor my upgrade request). I’ve held every kind of meeting from this conference room: old school audio-only conference calls, web conferencing over audio with a shared presentation, multiway group video meetings and even a few after-work “happy hour conferences.” And for every one of them, I used the same device to control the meeting.
I’ve seen way too many businesses overcomplicate their meeting rooms with multiple phones for different types of meetings and special input settings for video conferencing versus in-room projection. That’s bad for the user and just clutters up the workspace. Every one of my meetings—in-person, audio, video and web conferencing—is done through the Lifesize Phone HD. Here’s how it all breaks down:
Web conferencing with Lifesize Cloud lets everyone connect to a shared virtual meeting room to access a shared presentation. Typically, I’ll send out a meeting request, and my attendees will join however they want—video from any of their devices or just dial up the phone bridge if they can’t be on camera. I’ll use the Lifesize Phone HD to start the call, switch between presentation modes and record the session. Web conferencing mode is great when I just need to present to a large group.
There are still some occasions when I just need to connect to an audio-only conference call, usually to join a webinar or connect with a vendor that isn’t already using video conferencing. The phone has a touchscreen dial pad that can make and receive audio calls just like any other standard conference phone. It’s like how my smartphone can make and receive calls; it’s just not usually the headline feature of every new release.
Connecting over video is what Lifesize was founded on, and the phone has always been the best way to make and receive video calls in the meeting room. It provides easy access to the named directory for making calls, controls the camera’s pan and zoom, lets you modify the call layout and even includes a handy world time zone clock.
Local In-Room Meetings
Even when everyone is located in the same office, the phone has still proven itself to be a useful device. While not a typical use case, my team has used the phone in combination with a video system to record a whiteboarding session. Just pan the camera to the whiteboard, hit record and brainstorm away.
If you’re looking for a better way to outfit your meeting rooms, check out the Lifesize setup we use for every meeting: