Discover the four ways Microsoft is taking hybrid meetings to the next level.

Andrew Upshon Andrew Upshon Head of AV at Dicker Data
Andrew Upshon

Transform hybrid work models with Microsoft Teams latest features

When you go back to the office, the meeting rooms could potentially look a lot different.

In readiness for our hybrid working environment post lockdown, technology is transforming our meeting experience and removing barriers to teamship, inclusion, flexibility, productivity and connectivity. Larger screens, dual displays, intelligent cameras are all trends of the new hybrid meeting room.

According to PwC, more than 75 percent of Australians want to work in a hybrid world. While it’s clear this is going to be the case, enterprises of all sizes are gearing up for the next phase of workplace development to ensure teams and meeting experiences are the best they can be.

As a leading Microsoft distributor, Dicker Data gives partners access to Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions designed for every space and working style.

Microsoft have recently added new features to their Teams Rooms platform to enhance the hybrid meeting experience, empowering businesses with more effective conference and collaboration capabilities.

Les Boros BDM, Dicker Data said, “As trusted Microsoft advisors, Dicker Data enables partners to leverage the new Teams Rooms capabilities and deliver a new evolution of ‘Hybrid Work Environment’ solutions for customers. The comprehensive portfolio of Microsoft Teams Rooms certified devices, paired with our specialised Pro AV in house team expertise, will see partners build the best market leading solutions and meeting rooms of the future.”

Here are ways Microsoft is taking your hybrid meetings to the next level.

  1. Intelligent Cameras and Inclusivity

When you have a mix of meeting participants where some are remote and others are in a meeting room, the people in the meeting room can feel more removed and far away from the camera. It is not as easy to see their individual faces and they can appear less involved in the meeting.

To create a more balanced meeting experience, where both the remote participants and those in the meeting room feel equally included, Microsoft is working on a new layout format called Front Row and also other new innovations to make all attendees look included.

To help create these more inclusive hybrid meetings with Microsoft Teams Rooms, you need a new category of intelligent cameras with the following features:

  • AI-powered cameras enable better active speaker tracking, following speakers in the room and fluidly zooming in on them for a more collaborative and clearer experience.
  • Soon these smart cameras will be able to take the meeting room participants and place them in their own video pane to equalise the position of each attendee and make the meetings more engaging.
  • Eventually other features will follow such as people recognition to identify and display the profile name of enrolled users within their video pane for easy attendee recognition and enable meeting transcription features in the future.

Microsoft has partnerships with Jabra, Poly and Logitech with the following list of intelligent cameras now available in the market: 

  • Poly Studio E70 and X70, the new dual lens cameras with Poly DirectorAI – designed to leverage AI and machine learning to intelligently frame all attendees and track in-room presenters with real-time transitions and zooming.
  • Logitech Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini’s RightSight feature – cleverly tracks active speakers and offers different room views.
  • Jabra PanaCast 50 – will offer gallery view, with active speakers in their own video boxes and full meeting room view. Existing dry-erase whiteboards in the room can also be captured and fed into the meeting during the Teams session

 2. Companion Mode Boosting Engagement 

Another new feature in Microsoft Teams Room is companion mode. This empowers in-room attendees to use their personal devices such as mobile phones to interact with the Teams meeting, with features like chat, live reactions and Microsoft Whiteboard. Other capabilities include Teams Rooms device controls, to join meetings, mute the room, turn room cameras on and off and more. These features will be available in the next few months.

 3. Collaboration Bars for Larger Rooms

All-in-one video camera bars running Teams Rooms on Android were initially designed for smaller meeting rooms such as focus rooms and huddle spaces. Products like Logitech Rally Bar Mini and the Poly Studio X30 and X50 series are ideal for these smaller spaces. Now manufacturers such as Poly and Logitech have created a new category of all-in-one video bars for larger meeting rooms, that will run Microsoft Teams Rooms. These include:

  • Logitech Rally Bar, paired with Logitech TAP IP is the only video bar with an optical zoom lens and can cover larger meeting room spaces.
  • Poly’s new Studio X70 (certification pending) captures the entire meeting room with a dual lens set up. One lens covers the wide-angle aspect, and the other lens provides telephoto view of the meeting room.

 4. Multiple Room Display Trend

Trends are always changing, but one useful trend we are seeing more often is the continual move to dual LCD screens in meeting spaces, even for smaller rooms. In the hybrid workplace, with many people connecting remotely, you need screen space to show all the participants video feeds on one screen and another to show the presentation or other shared content. Most Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows and Microsoft Teams Rooms of Android devices now offer dual screen solutions, even for smaller rooms. This trend will continue with even talk of having 3 screens in a meeting spaces in the future.

As technology continues to evolve, so does the way we work, operate and communicate. Dicker Data is keeping partners up to date with the latest innovations with Microsoft Teams Rooms paired with value added services like virtual deployment, training and device support. Ready to transform your customer’s hybrid-meeting rooms? Ask

Check out our Microsoft Teams Rooms hub for the latest updates. 


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