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What do you see when you walk into a video conferencing room? You’ll likely see a TV screen and camera in one of the corners. On the table you will see a phone or SoundStation. Upon further observation a projector could be mounted on the ceiling and perhaps a whiteboard is anchored to one of the adjacent walls. While all of these tools are provided to encourage collaboration, they don’t really fit together cohesively which makes this common set up largely ineffective. At SAP, this is about to change in a big way.


Starting Over:


Innovation in enterprise technology has made it possible for employees to be productive from anywhere and we are starting to see similar advances in virtual collaboration. The Lync Room System and RoundTable systems are not an incremental upgrade on video conferencing. Rather they offer a completely new and compelling alternative. Employees can start a meeting with a single finger tap and can share video, PowerPoint presentations or a virtual whiteboard instantly with those in the room or connecting from other locations. Video endpoints are no longer restricted to other video conferencing rooms. Anyone with a webcam on their PC or front-facing camera on their smartphone can display video in addition to interacting with shared content. This level of flexibility makes a Lync video implementation very compelling.


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Employees Speak Out:


During the summer we provided a Lync Room System in our corporate HQ for employees to try out. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. A common theme was simplicity. The process of reserving the meeting room, adding participants and starting the meeting were all made simpler to complete and employees were quick to point this out. The audio and video quality were big pluses to employees who were more accustomed to a lower fidelity experience common with traditional video conferencing units. 


Going Global:


At SAP, we have ambitious goals to rollout Lync Room Systems and RoundTable devices to offices around the world. As all employees already use Lync for instant messaging, and more than 46,000 as a phone replacement – we have a large user base who can take advantage of this technology in their daily work. In addition we have many employees engaging with customers and partners via federation, so this opens more opportunities for communication and collaboration with external parties. At SAP, we are making simplicity part of our DNA and this philosophy is extending to many areas of the company, including the technology we use every day. If you are considering investing in video conferencing and already maintain a Microsoft Lync environment, Lync Room Systems or RoundTable devices should be high on your list of options.

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  1. Maarten Vries

    Great! Personally, i’m really excited that this will make (remote) whiteboarding a lot easier. That said, I hope we don’t get rid of real whiteboards altogether. In the London office, we’ve just turned most of the walls of our meeting rooms into whiteboards, using special whiteboard paint, and it is *brilliant* to see people using them all the time. I think the electronic version will work brilliant together with this, but not instead of it. At the end of the day, I guess each office will take its own decision about this, but I can only say it creates a great atmosphere when you let people whiteboard all over the place, not ONLY on digital screens!

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