Many EmergingSoft customers use Microsoft Exchange as their messaging and calendar platform. Users will have access to their personal profile, email, tasks and calendars using the Microsoft Outlook client, OWA for web access and mobility interfaces from Microsoft Mobility, Blackberry or iPhones using ActiveSynch. In addition, many organizations list conference rooms and portable equipment as a Resource Mailbox, like a user, that can be invited or uninvited to meetings as needed.
Organizations turn to MeetingPlanner from EmergingSoft when a Resource Mailbox does not meeting their resource requirements. Perhaps they want to do a room search based on capacity, equipment assets or add services such as room setup or catering. For larger organizations, the option of just flipping a switch to turn Resource Mailbox’s off and MeetingPlanner on is not a realistic option. Deployment schedules, rollouts over a period of time and training can make a hard cutover a challenge for companies big and small.
EmergingSoft developed Exchange Synchronization services years ago to provide a reasonable transition option from Microsoft Exchange Resource Mailboxes to MeetingPlanner. Our solution allows Microsoft Exchange and MeetingPlanner databases to work in tandem with each other, using real-time synchronization for free/busy and other data points for reservations.
Migration: We quickly found that the Exchange Synchronization option not only made a migration to MeetingPlanner easier for our customers, it also provided them with a unique option to import past and future reservations from Exchange into the MeetingPlanner database before the cutover. No more re-entering all the future reservations or losing the old reservation data because a new tool is purchased!! Past reservation data is also preserved for space utilization reporting!
Use MeetingPlanner and Exchange Together: We also received feedback that some organizations did not require that all employees use MeetingPlanner. As much as we think all employees should cut over to EmergingSoft products, sometimes it just is not necessary. That is, the power users in an organization might see great benefits booking rooms, equipment and other services with MeetingPlanner but the casual user in a regional office with one room may want to just invite the room as a Resource Mailbox. Now MeetingPlanner and Exchange can work together, in perpetuity!! Some employees using MeetingPlanner while others use Exchange. All data is collected in the MeetingPlanner SQL environment so you can track use, view all reservations and manage reservations from one database.
Mac iCal/Outlook 2011/Gmail/others: With Exchange Synchronization, we can also synch user calendars with MeetingPlanner! Third party addins like MeetingPlanner cannot integrate with the Mac, Gmail or other web tools - there are no services for us in these platforms. Now we can provide a very good option for users. If they book a room in the MeetingPlanner web, mobile or digital sign option, Microsoft Exchange synchronization will automatically push the reservation, including the room, into the user’s personal calendar - Outlook 2011, Gmail, etc... as long as Microsoft Exchange is the database of record for their profile.
Who Cares? Now if that appointment is moved or cancelled by the user on the their personal account using a Mac, PC, mobile device or digital sign, the room reservations are automatically updated or deleted to mirror their personal schedule, just like the very attractive feature set offered in MeetingPlanner Microsoft Outlook integration!! Again, one database will have all reservation data for tracking and utilization reporting!
Contact EmergingSoft today to learn more and to provide us with your feedback at 1-877-801-8001.
More and more organizations are seeking digital signage options for conference rooms, shared space and facilities. The ability to display meeting details, show available space and to improve communication for meeting organizers and guests is an effective way to improve meeting scheduling and attendee efficiency.
Typically organizations look to deploy a 6 to 15 inch digital sign at select or all conference rooms. High visibility areas such as conference centers or board rooms are typical locations for digital signage.
Digital signage options include non-interactive and interactive room signs. Non-interactive options tend to be less expensive and easily customized. That is, you can include color schemes, logos and other items easily. See the example below or review Digital Signage in the EmergingSoft site:
Interactive options allow a user or meeting organizer to view availability and also book the room at the digital sign. This is a great option for those organizations that have last minute scheduling of conference rooms requirements by organizers that are away from their desk often. The iPad has opened up a great new tool for companies o leverage outside a conference room. Not only can they display room schedule information but the potentail for other applications in the future is enormous.
MeetingPlanner works great with both interactive and non-interactive options.
The deployment of video conference solutions is well established with many organizations. Improved technology, cost effective hardware and inexpensive access to high speed networks means video conference is more cost effective than ever.
One hurdle to an effective video conference deployment for organizations is easy access video conference room, equipment and support availability. Because most video conferences require some level of equipment and teleconference support and configuration, meeting organizers are required to fill out a form or make a special request to schedule a video conference without actual viability to room, equipment or support availability. While their request is evaluated, the meeting attendee's availability can easily change, rendering the original scheduled request obsolete.
Instant access to video conference room, equipment and support availability with automated work flow allows a meeting organizer to schedule a video conference effectively and efficiently.
MeetingPlanner allows a video conference meeting organizer the following capabilities and enhancements:
See how MeetingPlanner can improve your organizations adoption of video conference technology by offering easy access to availability and scheduling with MeetingPlanner.
How many times has an organizer failed to communicate that a scheduled meeting requires a level of support from the facilities management, catering or AV teams? Better yet, how many times has the organizer communicated to these teams for a scheduled meeting only to move the time/date or simply cancel the meeting and then fail to update the support teams?
The results of poor communication and a lack of timely updates to support organizations like facilities management, catering, video conference and audio visual includes an inefficient staff, poorly organized and unprofessional meetings, wasted time and lost money.
A few keys to effective meeting management when services are required include the following:
On a regular basis, review work flow reporting, inspect the number of service notifications and review the services or service levels you are providing so you can staff appropriately, ensure you are providing excellent service and maximizing your overall service teams efficiency.
Capturing service notifications that correspond to real and accurate scheduled meetings will optimize your service teams efficiency and ensure that you have the support needed to run effective and professional meetings.
Microsoft Outlook is the industry leading email, scheduling and calendaring application for personal and corporate meeting scheduling. Microsoft Outlook is used by small and large organizations alike for standard meetings, complex recurring meeting and delegate scheduling.
While Microsoft Outlook is the most powerful email and calendaring tool on the planet, it does not provide options for easy conference room, resource, equipment or catering scheduling. Though Outlook’s resource scheduling options are limited, it has a unique open architecture for third party tools like MeetingPlanner to provide seamless and easy scheduling solution integration.
Let’s face it, meeting organizers are typically very busy and do not want to spend a lot of time organizing resources for a meeting. Organizers will either forget to request services they need for a meeting like room set up/equipment delivery/support or they will wait until the last minute to make a request only to find they are not available.
In addition, scheduled meetings change and get cancelled – a lot! As scheduled meetings change or get cancelled, meeting organizers forget to change the reserved resources and don’t notify support such as facilities management, video conference or catering, causing double bookings or “phantom” reservations (scheduled room with no meeting!).
Meeting organizers want Microsoft Outlook, with enhanced scheduling, to be the single solution they use to schedule meetings, invite guests, book rooms and schedule other resources.
Minimum Scheduling Requirements:
Additional Bonus Capabilities
One easy tool for scheduling integrated Microsoft Outlook provides the following benefits:
To schedule a meeting and reserve resources such as a conference room, equipment or other services, a user will follow the traditional Outlook process to determine the meeting time, date and included attendees. Note that the Outlook appointment and MeetingPlanner are 100% synchronized and the meeting time and date information is automatically populated in MeetingPlanner!
MeetingPlanner will automatically default to the meeting organizers location, import the number of attendees and provide the user with additional room, equipment and other resource search criteria such as:
MeetingPlanner and Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010 - New and Improved Synch Services
Quite often, MeetingPlanner is deployed with an organization that is using Microsoft Exchange Resource Mailboxes identified as assets like conference rooms, offices or portable equipment that can be booked just as you invite another attendee in Outlook.
Because business rules and requirements like room restrictions, notification work flow, catering services, room set up, video conference, reporting and others are not available with Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, MeetingPlanner replaces the Resource Mailboxes and all meeting organizers use MeetingPlanner for the above scheduling needs. Personal calendaring, meeting management and Microsoft Outlook operations remain the same with MeetingPlanner
There are times when a large organization wants to deploy MeetingPlanner over a window of time or only requires MeetingPlanner for a select location or group of rooms. For example, an organization deploying MeetingPlanner in North America and Europe might take many weeks or months to deploy to each location, requiring that Microsoft Exchange mailboxes and the MeetingPlanner database be run together and synchronized. In this example, half the company is using MeetingPlanner and the other half is still using Microsoft Exchange.
Or, a large hospital might require the features offered with MeetingPlanner at the main facility conference center but be content with using an Exchange Resource Mailbox to represent a room at a remote clinic.
Microsoft Exchange Synch Services
For those organizations seeking a hybrid scheduling solution with MeetingPlanner and Microsoft Exchange, EmergingSoft has the answer! Using a custom API developed by EmergingSoft, MeetingPlanner can synchronize reservations in real time with Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010. Nothing unique is needed or installed on the Microsoft Exchange server!
Contact EmergingSoft today to learn more about the new and improved Exchange Synch Services!
Power over Ethernet or PoE technology describes a system to pass electrical power safely, along with data, on Ethernet cabling. The IEEE standard for PoE requires CAT 5 cable or higher for high power levels, but can operate with CAT 5 cable for low power levels.
This technology can easily and cost effectively power some conference room digital signage and products like an iPad. It can also power IP Phones, wireless access points and LCD's.
These devices require more power than what a USB connection offers and very often must be powered over longer runs of cable than USB permits. Field-spliced outdoor category 5 Ethernet cable can power digital signs and other low-power devices, for instance, through over 100 m of cable, an order of magnitude further than USB's theoretical maximums.
In addition, PoE uses only one type of connector, an RJ45 connector whereas there are numerous types of USB connectors and each new USB standard has added more.
PoE is presently deployed in applications where USB is unsuitable and where AC power would be inconvenient, expensive or infeasible to supply.
However, even where USB or AC power could be used, PoE has several advantages over either, including:
POE makes the deployment of conference room digital signage easy and cost effective. Contact us today to learn more about our POE enabled devices.
952-842-7444 - Sales
Digital signage is changing by the minute. It can also mean different things to different people in an organization.
At EmergingSoft, we receive requests daily for easy and affordable options to get room scheduling information into a room sign at the conference room. Sounds easy enough but until now, it hasn't been easy or cost effective.
We are pleased to announce a very cost effective and easy to use new conference room digital signage solution - MeetingPlanner Touch. For as low as $500 per room - you too can have digital signed integrated with MS Exchange or MeetingPlanner.
MeetingPlanner Touch provides affordable interactive and non-interactive conference room digital signage. The EmergingSoft digital signage solution is highly configurable, with custom color schemes, logos and more. In addition, MeetingPlanner Touch is hardware independent!
Whether your organization already has digital signage hardware installed, you are seeking a commercial grade signage solution or are using consumer products like an iPad, Android or other tablet PC, MeetingPlanner Touch is the solution for you.
Key MeetingPlanner Touch highlights include:
MeetingPlanner Touch is extremely cost effective, highly configurable and provides the greatest hardware flexibility in the industry. Contact EmergingSoft today to learn more at 952-842-7444.