Tags: Best Video Conferencing Equipment, Collaboration Solutions, Collaboration Tools, Conference Room Equipment, Conference Room Solutions, High-Quality Audio, High-Quality Video, Webex Tips, Workforce Management
Welcome Back & Happy New Year! The start of the new year is often filled with resolutions made with the intention and goal of sticking to a plan for the rest of the year – eat healthy, save money, read more, etc.! For businesses, many aim to be more sustainable, reduce costs, and work smarter, not harder. Let’s apply these same principles to one of the current business challenges that our customers are facing. As employees return to the office, they expect and demand a superior video and collaboration solution than they can get at home. That is why adding more video-enabled conference rooms and refreshing video in existing conference rooms is a top priority for around 60% of CIOs. (source: Morgan Stanley) Unfortunately, some companies are wasting effort on cobbled-together multi-vendor Frankenstein video deployments. More vendors = more costs, more complexity, more service contracts, more support, and experience issues, with all-around frustration for IT and end users.
If you checked out my previous blog, Don’t Overengineer your Meeting Room, you probably read a bit about how Cisco can help reduce video complexity and cost, while also providing the best meeting experience. We’ll touch on these previous topics and also focus on a deep dive comparison between Cisco vs. a typical AV Frankenstein Meeting Room that can create conference room chaos. This includes a critical focus on the total cost of ownership – be prepared to be shocked by some of the hidden costs that can and should be easily avoided.
With the majority of CIO’s focused on video enabling more conference rooms and improving the experience of existing rooms, they need to be aware of hidden and unexpected costs that could derail their Hybrid Work strategy. As more conference rooms become video enabled — investment protection, simplicity and manageability become core to their strategy. As the Video Conferencing market leader, Cisco has made investments over the last 15 years to deliver world-class video experiences combined with powerful but simple device management. Even more important is that we deliver the investment protection that our customers demand, providing almost double the useful lifespan of competitive platforms.
Let’s talk about some of the challenges you might be facing and the impact your decisions make on your conference room strategy.
Now, let’s dig into some details…
When interviewing some partners for this blog, we examined customers that have split deployments of PC-based Microsoft Teams Rooms and Cisco Device Rooms. Many of these customers were previously using Cisco video devices but made a change to PC-based MTR devices when they moved to Microsoft Teams. Now that Cisco has delivered a full portfolio of MTR-Android devices powered by RoomOS, many of these customers are returning to Cisco. This gave us an opportunity to examine their experiences and some of their support challenges. We found that on average there were 5X-10X more support cases over a year for a multi-vendor “Frankenstein” room versus a recommended design Cisco Video room. This is not surprising when using a PC-based platform, with them almost always requiring multiple third-party products to function, to deliver a next-generation voice and video AI-enabled conference room.
When overcomplicating the room with additional third-party vendors, we see the cost of the room purchase, deployment, and support increase by up to 120% percent, creating a nightmare for IT deployment, support, and budgets. There are several challenges when setting up these rooms such as an inconsistent user experience, multiple vendors, complexity with deployment, management, and troubleshooting when issues arise. Deploying a room with multiple vendors makes a customer’s ability to self-support unlikely and will often require costly managed services from an AV integrator.
Cisco devices solve these challenges. Beyond the amazing user experience, Cisco device solutions have significant differentiators in comparison to those of our competition:
For the large majority of your conference rooms, Cisco meets your requirements without additional complexity requiring 3rd party products. For those complex divisible rooms, auditoriums, and/or classrooms that require a more complex design, our products integrate with whatever additional solutions are needed to meet your requirements.
These capabilities are all built into our Cisco video solutions.
Remember to think about how quickly the costs add up, the length of deployment, recurring costs management will incur, user experience, IT management, and other functionalities the team needs when revamping your conference room strategy. Be sure to pick a savvy Cisco partner or AV integrator that focuses on simple and recommended room designs. Ask your partner for typical room designs and a Bill of Materials for the different types of spaces you might need – huddle, small/medium, large conference rooms, etc. Finally, make sure to ask them how they will handle changes to software and additional costs you might have.
Register here to attend the “Simplify the Conference Room Webinar” with Chris Barwick, VP of Device GTM and Acceleration, on January 31st, where we will examine specific meeting room designs (the good and bad), customer stories, why to standardize on Cisco, and additional ways to avoid unnecessary complexity and costs!
We look forward to helping you implement your Hybrid Work strategy and providing the industry’s leading video and Collaboration solution for your employees.
More from Chris Barwick: