Microsoft Lync in the Conference Room

August 20, 2014, by Adam Kaiser in Unified Communications, Video Conferencing

Microsoft Lync continues to grow in popularity as a unified communications solution for organizations large and small across the world. From its instant messaging and presence to full enterprise voice functionality and video conferencing, countless organizations are seeing the value Lync can provide and are connecting their employees like never before.

One particular area of interest in the market is the ability to move Microsoft Lync meetings from purely desktop interactions to room based meetings. The idea of in room collaboration is certainly not dead and teams want to enter a room and have the ability to leverage the very same Lync tools they use on their personal screens. Of particular interest here is video conferencing and content sharing/collaboration.

When creating a Lync Room, here are some important items to consider when making the transition.

THE ROOM

When deciding where to place your Lync Conference Room it is important to pick an environment with good lighting and acoustics. If the room is going to be utilized for Lync video calls, bad lighting would result in terrible quality for the far end.  And with audio, if the room is located next to a noisy area of your office or facility those noises could potentially be heard in meetings. Acoustical panels and better lighting can be added to a room to improve both of these areas; if they are a concern, definitely consult with an AV expert for help.

THE NETWORK

If your users are already making use of Lync on their desktop then your network has probably already been prepared for a lot more traffic (including video). But adding room systems will put additional strain on your network. One area of particular focus should be your QoS (Quality of Service) strategy. QoS allows you to prioritize different kinds of network traffic to ensure the highest level of quality. For example, video calls can be prioritized over download traffic (if your users are browsing over the same network). QoS can help to ensure that meetings being held in the Lync rooms have the highest quality possible. It many cases, these meetings will be of higher importance and potentially involve executives, making that traffic prioritization critical.

LYNC ROOM SYSTEM MANUFACTURER

It is certainly possible to setup a Lync Room using a standard PC and some off the shelf components (camera, mic, etc) but the experience will not match what users are accustomed to on their desktop. Several manufacturers have partnered with Microsoft to create specifically configured hardware and software that falls under the category Lync Room System. LRSs are available from SMART, Polycom, and Crestron. While the core functionality of these three systems is the same, there are some decisions to be made about number and size of displays as well as whether or not the Lync Room will need to be used for other purposes. Some of these systems are locked only to Lync meetings and others allow integration into other technologies.

It is inevitable that Lync users will want to collaborate in a conference room for some meetings and deliverables. If the above considerations are taken into account then your Lync conference room has the potential to create some exciting collaboration sessions between your users which will only help move business forward!

 

Author Page

Adam Kaiser, AVP, Marketing

Adam Kaiser is AVP, Corporate Marketing for IVCi and has five years of experience in the visual collaboration and audio visual industry. Adam has a particular interest in unified communications solutions and interoperability.

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