First of all I would like you to know that I am giving away a little known Microsoft employee internal tip here .... hopefully not enough Microsoft employees read this blog for it to be a problem 🙂
Within Microsoft in the UK, we have a number of video teleconferencing rooms which are available for video conferencing if you wanted to. Strange as it may seem, although there are only three of these rooms, most of the time they are available because no-one seems to use them (this is why I book meetings in them from time to time and thus why I don't want everyone else in the company to know about them :-).
This got me thinking, why would no one be using the rooms if they are available. The answer to this is a) the amount of meetings that require video interaction is minimal b) their existence is not known by everyone because of this c) no-one knows how to operate the equipment in the room.
I do however expect this all to change :-(. Next year we will release Microsoft Office Roundtable and we are expecting to have a few of these in the UK at the beginning of next year. Without going into too much detail, if the UK events team want to have a 'video conference' with the French events team, all they need to do is find any room (or spare table), plug one of these devices into their respective PCs at either end and your done. No booking of special rooms required, no swapping of video conferencing call details, just a few clicks and you are away, it should be that simple.
More detail will come as time goes by but for now its also worth mentioning that not only does it stitch together several video images to create a panoramic view of the room, it also highlights the current person talking in the meeting room. No more video conference calls with people all staring down at one end of the room and trying to figure out who is currently speaking.
I best get booking those video conferencing rooms before the word gets about !