Rapid Circle recently supported Microsoft Teams Roadshows in Brisbane and Perth, lending our technical specialists and subject matter experts on Phone, Rooms and Virtual Reality room design. These events were well attended across Brisbane, Melbourne & Perth – so much so the Brisbane event ran out of chairs!
First up, Microsoft set the scene with their new Work Trends Index report from late 2022 and early 2023 which highlighted the concept of hybrid work as the new norm, and provided insight into the productivity paranoia phenomenon – as well as recognising that in the information worker space, many organisations that have embraced hybrid work are discovering that the office serves as a meeting and social hub for employees to engage in focused work, catch up with colleagues, collaborate on projects, and build rapport.
You can see the investments that Microsoft is making in Teams Rooms and the Viva suite is focused on making sure the employee experience is complete – ensuring employees stay connected when they are away from the office and having the tools to protect their personal time and burnout, as well as aligning employees feeling productive but focused on their organisational goals. This is a space that is only going to get more investment and attention.
This led into a session on Teams Premium, particularly focused on elements such as protected meetings (popular in government) with watermarking, end to end encryption and sensitivity labelling based on the organisation’s taxonomy. There was a lot of enthusiasm for the AI features for meeting round-ups, actions and transcript attribution – and covering the use of large language models (LLMs) with the use of customer data – a strict no-no with Microsoft’s use of Azure OpenAI.
Getting into where the rubber hits the road – the next few sessions were focused on the use of Teams Phone Basics & Troubleshooting delivered by our very own specialist Damien Margaritis – giving customers a view of how to get started easily (and different architecture types) as well as where to go to find issues in a Teams Phone deployment – now that our workforce is distributed and using a variety of devices, locations and platforms, how do you make sure your experience is as good as possible?
This then led into a session on expanding the Teams Platform – focusing on Contact Centre options and Compliance Recording. With full cloud and hybrid options, it is now straightforward to expand the use of Teams Phone with a cloud-based Contact Centre (like NICE) and cloud-based compliance & call recording. No longer weeks and months of design & implementation costs – these can be spun up quickly and integrated with various Teams Phone architectures to achieve desired results – a simple Contact Centre or ensuring calls to various areas in your organisation are recorded for quality, coaching and compliance purposes.
Microsoft also facilitated demonstrations of Teams Meeting Room technology – with various vendors & manufacturers showing their wares to address different types of rooms in an organisation – from huddle spaces to boardrooms, training rooms right through to Signature meeting room experiences.
The new Microsoft Meeting Room licenses were mentioned here – to ensure your meeting rooms are licensed with the correct licenses come 1st of July 2023. Whilst a free license option is available for Teams Rooms – Microsoft Teams Room Basic licenses (up to 25 per tenant) – it is strongly recommended to invest in the Teams Room Pro license. The Pro license supports enterprise grade features such as Intune enrolment & management, conditional access support, dual screen support, Phone System integration, and ongoing device management. Any customer looking at managed services for their meeting rooms will want to include Teams Rooms Pro licenses to ensure an end-to-end quality experience.
Building on this, Rapid Circle also demonstrated it’s Virtual Reality Meeting Room Design technology to customers interested in building these experiences in VR and ensuring stakeholders understand what will be implemented (and tweaking these) prior to installation.
Any organisation that has invested significant sums in meeting rooms knows how important it is to ensure these rooms are “sound” from an audio and visual point of view – and they need to work 100% of the time, every time. Our VR technology also ensures the rooms are inclusive and dynamic – ensuring everyone is heard and seen – as well as being able to be reconfigured later should the organisation needs change. This approach cuts down time to design, as well as produces schematics and ongoing management artefacts to ensure a quality deployment and user experience.
Proven by the registrations and numbers on the day, the Roadshow was a real success, with many attendees remarking how much they enjoyed the vibrant Question & Answer segment with the Microsoft team. With this much excitement around its future, it’s clear that Microsoft Teams as a platform for Phone & Meeting Rooms is here to stay.