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Executive Insight: Keeping Collaboration Consistent As Meeting Spaces Multiply

Like any electronic device, collaboration hardware relies on power to work properly and run collaboration software without a hitch

(image courtesy of Crestron)

Corporate boardrooms have historically enjoyed the adoption of new electronics, serving as the central hub of collaboration within an office space. Equipped with the latest collaboration and conferencing technology, the conference room was the pillar of productivity in the office for years, absorbing most of the technology budget. Unfortunately for smaller huddle spaces, this spend meant that the lesser collaboration spaces often became outdated.

Now, the collaboration space demand has shifted: The outgrowth and embrace of hybrid work squashed this one-room-fits-all dynamic and dramatically broadened the class of rooms that needed to be equipped with audiovisual and content distribution solutions. Dispersed team members are no longer dialing into just one boardroom; the future of hybrid work goes beyond four walls and requires employees to join meetings from anywhere and still receive the same support from their technology – whether in the corporate cubicle, in a home office, or on the road as a digital nomad – and requires significantly more breakout spaces within the corporate office to connect with employees no matter where they’re calling from.

Steve Trunkett, Director of Global Sales at SurgeX

To improve workspaces and accommodate the new demands of the modern workplace, collaboration hardware and software are perhaps the most visible assets. Rooms that used to feature only a single desk phone on a table now have many more technology endpoints and ever-increasing standards for audio and video quality.

Digital displays, AV switchers, room scheduling or configuration panels, and yes, desk phones, are all commonly found in hybrid workspaces now. These products don’t operate in a vacuum, and with the increased frequency at which workers rely on them, they work properly at any given time to ensure productivity.

Like any electronic device, collaboration hardware relies on power to work properly and run collaboration software without a hitch. The quality of the power environment has a considerable causal relationship with equipment performance. While clean power keeps meetings running smoothly online, a poor power environment contains anomalies like surges, sags, and spikes – which can mean glitchy audio, lagged video, or dropped calls. And, left unresolved, performance will remain problematic, and the new collaboration technology investment can degrade quickly. For every voice to be heard equally and clearly on dispersed digital meetings, office IT teams and remote workers alike must address the unique power management, conditioning, and backup requirements in their spaces.

There are two primary factors in proper power protection. The first is to treat power when it is available, which means voltage regulation with power conditioning and surge elimination. Voltage regulation with power conditioning removes distortions and feeds clean and stable power into connected devices. Surge elimination technology protects the corporate office’s investment in collaboration technology by addressing surges from the power environment in a non-sacrificial way, ensuring the anomalies won’t degrade the power management device or the connected equipment. In addition, remote monitoring for these technologies in corporate meeting spaces can help to identify and resolve power problems in real time and avoid interruptions entirely.

The second factor in proper power protection is a solution that provides power when the grid blacks out on you. This means installing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

These solutions not only provide power conditioning on active power but also provide power themselves during the 20 to 30 seconds between a blackout and the activation of a traditional generator. There’s nothing more frustrating than a dropped call – a good local area UPS will make sure that won’t happen even if there’s a blackout.

While the power environment of the corporate meeting space varies greatly from a home office, remote videoconferencing to an on-site team requires a strong power and networking foundation. With so many products on the market, though, it can be tricky to know where to start. A great first step you’re your hybrid team is partnering with a power management professional and learning about all of the different options. Understanding how solutions work and can be mixed and matched to fit your specific workforce’s needs is the key to staying connected in today’s hybrid work landscape, and with the fast-growing demand for digital transformation, there’s no better time to get started.

See also: Executive Insight: To Increase Profitability, Brands Must Own The Post-Purchase Experience