Meeting needs are changing. As we begin to emerge from the era of “remote everything,” the ways we stay in touch and collaborate are evolving. The workplace of the future will accommodate hybrid scenarios in which some people may work from the office while others may work remotely or some combination of the two.
To enable these hybrid scenarios, organizations will need connected and secure rooms that serve as hubs for hybrid work in which everyone feels engaged – whether they’re in the room, joining from home, or working on the go.
With more than 75 million daily active users, Teams has proven to be mission-critical to enabling remote and hybrid models of work, school, and life across different meeting rooms and meeting spaces. With Microsoft Teams Rooms, you can transform your meeting spaces with a rich, collaborative experience that’s simple to use, deploy, and manage.
In this blog, we will highlight Microsoft Teams Rooms devices, licensing, and management to help empower you to deliver high-quality calling and meeting experiences.
Since the pandemic began, many organizations around the world have been using Microsoft Teams on their PCs, Macs, and mobile devices to collaborate remotely with their team members. However, a key piece of the Microsoft Teams package may have been overlooked by many of these organizations: conference rooms.
A Microsoft Teams Room is a hardware solution that outfits your conference rooms or shared spaces to connect seamlessly to Teams meetings.
With Microsoft Teams Rooms you will have:
- A consistent, easy-to-use “one touch” experience for all your spaces, from small huddle to large conference rooms
- A rich collaboration experience that keeps everyone engaged, whether on the go or in-person
- High-quality, transformed rooms without reconstruction or changing infrastructure of the room
- A simple to deploy on scale and easy to manage solution with Teams Admin Center or existing Windows management tools
No matter the size of your room or the workstyle of your team members, there is a Microsoft Teams Room device to empower your team to collaborate better.
Microsoft Teams Rooms for Windows
Microsoft Teams Rooms devices enable Microsoft Teams meetings with advanced audio and video, presentation, and content sharing. They are modular devices, consisting of a center of room touch panel so you can manage the meeting without leaving your seat. They also include audio/visual peripherals like speakers, microphones, and cameras.
Teams Rooms support a full range of screen sizes and configurations (single or dual display) as well as touch screens. All Microsoft Teams Rooms devices run Windows 10 Enterprise.
These types of devices are perfect for medium-sized meeting rooms and large conference rooms.
Microsoft Teams Rooms for Android
(Formerly Collaboration Bars)
Perfect for small meeting rooms or huddle spaces, Microsoft Teams Rooms for Android also enable Microsoft Teams meetings with advanced audio and video, presentation, and content sharing.
Unlike standard Teams Rooms devices, Teams Rooms for Android are integrated devices. This means the speakers, microphones, cameras, and computer are brought together. While they are not considered all-in-ones because they do not come with displays, they do support a full range of screen sizes, including touchscreens. Users can manage the meeting using on-screen touch controls if they have a touchscreen, a center of room touch control panel, or a remote control.
Another key difference from Teams Rooms devices is these devices run on the Android operating system. This difference is indistinguishable for users, however, and it includes Microsoft Intune compatibility, firmware, device management capabilities, etc.
Which Room is Right for You?
Now that you understand the different room system devices available, we will review how to select the right system for your shared space. There are several variables to consider to help make the right selection(s):
- What is your budget?
- How many rooms do you on configuring?
- What is the size of the space and what kind of furniture configuration do you have planned?
- How many people will the space accommodate?
- What meeting behaviors will take place? Will it be formal or informal?
- Do you have meeting requirements or budget for installation and device management?
- Do you prefer a specific Operating System or features?
- Will you need to be able to access personal files?
- Do you have an existing relationship with an original equipment manufacturer? (Poly, Yealink, Logitech, etc.)
Learn more about considerations for room sizing, as well as best practices for before, during, and after Microsoft Teams meetings by viewing our webinar: “Elevate Meetings with Microsoft Teams.”
Once you have selected your hardware configuration, it is time to decide on licensing for the room. There are two options for licensing: Standard & Premium.
Review the plan details to determine what is right for your organization:
StandardMicrosoft Teams Room Licensing
- Formerly “Meeting Room” License
- Includes relevant licenses to run a Teams Room
- Rooms managed in Teams Admin Center
PremiumMicrosoft Teams Room Licensing
- Uplift on top of Standard
- Remote, proactive Microsoft Managed Service Support
- 24/7 Intelligent operations including real-time monitoring, update management, real-time alerts, and proactive remediation
- Access to dedicated experts for support
- Enhanced insights for rich analytics and reporting
Microsoft Teams Admin Center
The Teams Admin Center is used to manage your organization’s Microsoft Teams platform, Teams users, and policies. Now, you can manage your Microsoft Teams Rooms devices from this single location as well. This includes your Microsoft Teams phones, conference devices, Teams Rooms for Android, and Teams Rooms for Windows.
By managing your Teams Rooms devices with Teams Admin Center, you can:
- Auto-enroll your devices when they are deployed
- Track and manage device inventory and health
- Perform bulk actions such as device settings application
- Actively monitor and diagnosis device problems
- Delegate secure administration
Additionally, in last month’s Microsoft Ignite conference, Microsoft announced new Microsoft Teams Device management alerts coming soon to the Teams Admin Center. With this new system, when a device becomes unhealthy or a user accidentally unplugs a camera or a device, the IT administrator will receive an alert via e-mail or directly into your organization’s support ticketing system.
Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium Management Features
Purchasing these devices and transforming multiple spaces is a big investment. You want to make sure that not only are the systems being used, but the experience for your users is positive.
With Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium licensing, you get enhanced insights from a separate managed portal into your Teams Rooms usage to efficiently advise and support expansion. With these Premium insights you can understand how many meetings are scheduled in your rooms, how many of these meetings are Teams Meetings, how many calls happen in the room, and more. This grants you a level of visibility for your conference rooms and shared spaces that you may have not had before.
In addition to enhanced insights, with Microsoft Teams Rooms Premium, you gain access to a team of experts who provide 24×7 service operations, tiered support, and incident resolution assistance. You also have access to software that uses machine learning to provide automated updates, problem detection, problem resolutions, and scales rooms efficiently.
This complete solution for room management ensures that your organization will have positive outcomes with your conference room ROI and user experience.
Microsoft Teams Rooms is the ultimate hybrid workplace experience. With Teams Rooms, you get a rich, collaborative, high quality, and people-centric experience that allows anyone to be engaged whether they are in the room, joining from home, or working on the go. We hope you found this guide helpful for choosing the Microsoft Teams Rooms system and licensing that are right for your organization.
At Apex Digital Solutions, we are certified Microsoft Teams experts. Our Ready for Teams Meetings service offerings will empower your organization to increase employee collaboration across teams and locations with tools that enable highly effective meetings. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started with driving successful change in your organization.