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Experience from multisite Online Meetings

Online Meeting via Lync is an important and everyday tool in IT Partner. We use this for internal and external meetings. With several meeting rooms equipped with Polycom CX 5000 (aka RoundTable), the experience of the meetings becomes uniform – we participate in the same meeting across locations.

I have just left one of our regular Tuesday meetings where we in the technical department have status updates on customers, technologies, trends and other things. 

We were mainly connected through the meeting rooms in Kristiansund (4 participants) and Molde (10 participants). In addition, we were a handful (5 participants) of externally connected satellites (myself included). My experiences from today’s meeting were so good that I felt like writing them down!

The connection to the meeting was easily made with a mouse click from the sent meeting invitation. The meeting rooms were served by a RoundTable and video projector, while the external satellites were connected with personal PCs with associated headsets. 

The meeting was mainly led from the Molde office, but in terms of content it was evenly distributed between Molde and Kristiansund. As an external participant, I did not feel this geographical distinction. My experience was as a participant in a unified meeting where the dialogue went well between all the participants in the meeting. Sound and image switched seamlessly between locations, between the participants in the meeting rooms and on the launched satellites.

The screenshots from my PC showes the overview of the entire meeting room in the 360-degree image, while at the same time I am presented with a portrait of the speaker. Roy Tore was this time located in Kristiansund, but I had to use the video image to see this as the flow of dialogue and quality of sound were not an obstacle.

In this particular meeting, we had a professional presentation from Endre in Kristiansund with an active review of a product via split screen. A recording of this presentation was made for the occasion using built-in functionality in Lync Online Meeting:

The recording is subsequently easily accessible in Lync’s built-in Recording Manager:

57 minutes of recording resulted in 171Mb recording of sound, video, IM and screen sharing. This can again be easily published, e.g. to a SharePoint 2010 library afterwards.

The content can otherwise be played locally by the person who made the recording without having to publish it anywhere. Here we then have access to all the media that was recorded, and we can freely jump back and forth in the recording:

When the meeting was finished, it was straight back to work without any more time wasters in the form of corridor talk, travel etc.

Ingeniously simple and engaging!

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