The application of Murphy’s law to business collaboration is heightened by the fact that there are so many things that can go wrong, all of which can ruin a meeting.
I recently spoke with Ken Scaturro, President of myVRM, and gained a new appreciation for how advanced meeting management solutions can deal with the surprisingly long list of things that could go wrong and ruin a meeting. The key, from the myVRM platform perspective, is not only to support numerous meeting elements, but to provide the reporting and analytics that can enable the best use of an organization’s meeting related resources.
From a videoconferencing perspective, I have always focused on the obvious benefit of scheduled call creation. Especially in the past, but still to some extent today, manually connecting a video call can take a few steps. Each step is an opportunity for user error. If the call is scheduled and just “pops up” on screen when the meeting starts, you are less likely to have problems that could effect the meeting. As a side note, I found it interesting that myVRM, which I’ve always associated with scheduling, also supports easy ad-hoc meeting creation, including the ability for remote users to easily join a call with a click, compared to a set of dial-in instructions. Either way, the goal is to make sure the meeting starts smoothly, as meeting creation issues are too common and directly effect meeting productivity.
Meeting creation is just one potential meeting failure point. Unfortunately, there are many more. That’s why I distinctly remember reviewing myVRM years ago and being impressed by their approach to the meeting as a whole, rather than just on scheduling the technology. The fact that their portal included capabilities such as catering options really stood out in my mind, and made them stand out among competitors. Not just because it was cool technology, but because it showed myVRM’s holistic approach to meeting resources. They are also using some really cutting edge tech to enhance the user experience, such as wayfinding via intelligent proximity (imagine walking into the meeting room and all the right equipment turning itself on).
While the myVRM platform is somewhat customizable for a customers needs, commonly supported meeting elements can include:
- Physical Room Reservation
- Shared Workspace / Hot-Desking
- VMR Reservation
- Audio Bridge
- AV Equipment (Projector, etc)
- On-Site Personnel (Technicians, etc)
- Facilities Management (Room configuration, etc)
- Access Control / Badging
At first blush, it may appear that some of these items, such as parking, are not really necessary. A top performer shows up early enough to find parking and be there in time for the meeting. But in reality, not everyone is a top performer, and people are often circling parking garages as meetings are supposed to be starting. If this opportunity for Murphy’s Law can be eliminated, meetings are saved. Meeting creating itself is easy enough, as myVRM supports Outlook, Google Calendar, and IBM Notes as well as offering their own web portal and mobile apps to manage the various meeting elements.
Ken and I chatted about the rapid changes happening to the typical business meeting. Not only are we using new technologies and more video, but the meeting itself is often changing from a typical status update meeting to more modern interactive and productive working session. There are ever shifting workflow trends, productivity techniques, and tools. While the myVRM platform has always expanded and adapted to customer needs, their development team now has to support new tools and meeting elements at a much quicker pace. The result is they not only support the latest platforms from established players like Polycom, Cisco, Vidyo, Avaya, Lifesize, but they also support new entries to our space like Acano and Pexip.
Ken shared some of myVRM’s clients and while their names are under NDA, I can share that they include massive, well known, industry leaders. The platform is, and has been, in use at scale. This provides myVRM with the benefit of high quality user feedback and requests, some of which are leading to myVRM’s next planned developments (also, unfortunately under NDA).
There is a lot of talk about the new productive meeting dynamic levering today’s best collaboration technology. Whatever percentage of time you are loosing to meeting setup and coordination is time that could be spent getting things done. The automation of meeting creation and support, while still supporting the ad-hoc meeting and/or remote user, is a logical way to minimize that lost time. I will be sure to keep an eye on myVRM as things continue to shake up in the way we do meetings.