Huddle rooms are no longer a new concept. The dominance of this type of meeting space is well established. The marketplace is full of solutions designed to equip huddle rooms for collaboration. Yet challenges remain not only for end users but also for those who sell and integrate the solutions. There are many factors that contribute to these challenges, but this much is clear—there is still an opportunity to improve upon huddle room technology.
 
Why Huddle Rooms Remain Challenging
 
Collaboration is a broad category regardless of whether you’re equipping a huddle room or a conference room. Indeed, having such a wide range of choices can make it hard to determine which option will best meet your customer’s unique requirements. Commercial Integrator also finds that user demographic differences—which include technology preferences and work styles—add a layer of complexity that makes it difficult for one solution to meet every need.
 
For many organizations, the expectations for huddle room functionality far exceed simple audio conferencing. Wainhouse Research finds that typical expectations for huddle room use include audio conferencing, presentation capabilities, and video conferencing. While Wainhouse doesn’t emphasize the need for performance or flexibility, other analysts find that huddle rooms are now being used for serious collaboration, which means they need professional-grade audio and video and the ability to integrate with third-party applications such as Skype for Business, WebEx®, GoToMeeting™, and Spontania®.
 
But, as noted in a recent ComputerWorld article, today’s huddle room solutions often come with a trade-off or compromise. High-quality audio and video solutions tend to be expensive and more difficult to set up, while an inexpensive solution can cost you in user experience and ease of use. Wainhouse Research suggests the criteria for huddle room solutions be “low cost, ease of installation, ease of use, and availability.”
 
Why Huddle Rooms Mean Opportunity
 
Thanks to the shift to activity-based workspaces and the influx of millennial workers, the trend toward multi-use huddle rooms shows no sign of slowing down. This presents new opportunity to design huddle room environments that meet customers’ ever-increasing expectations for versatility, professional quality audio and video, third-party app integration, and ease of use. The key, however, to capitalizing on the opportunity will be delivering on these requirements at a price point that fits their budget.
 
To date, a huddle room solution that lines up where all these requirements converge has proved elusive. But that’s all about to change.
 
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