Peer to Peer Magazine

Summer 2014

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/354776

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WWW.ILTANET.ORG 23 Most firms' Microsoft software licensing includes Lync (some firms might need to enable the video license). With the addition of a couple of back-end resources, it is quick and easy. Lync is well-integrated into other Microsoft applications and with third- party social media applications (Lync pulls information from LinkedIn and Facebook to provide a more connected presence). Lync's internal and external integration with voice services has some maturing to do but can already be deployed successfully. Microsoft is expected to announce new voice gateway features and services by the second quarter of 2014, and we can expect integration with Skype users this year. Cisco's Jabber is a strong and mature platform and has simplified voice integration, especially for those who are currently using Cisco's VoIP platform. However, most firms find the cost of Jabber difficult to justify in comparison to the already-owned Lync. Small Meeting Rooms: Many large corporations have discovered that 50 percent or more of meetings have five participants or fewer, a statistic that holds true for most law firms. Law firms' use of videoconferencing in a 16-person conference room to connect two people or a small group results in the inefficient use of space. Beyond desktop videoconferencing, the answer is to incorporate smaller conference rooms throughout the firm. Small-capacity conference rooms will be utilized to share computer screens (and other resources) for collaboration on documents and trial content. Room designs will need to accommodate in-room collaboration along with simultaneous online collaboration. Most small collaboration rooms will be deployed outside the formal conference center, within practice group areas. The cost of these rooms is a fraction of traditional videoconference rooms — roughly $7,000 for a five-person room, compared to $100,000+ for a traditional 16-person boardroom. The greatest benefit of these small- capacity conference rooms is their self-service functionality. Since they are based on the same application used on the desktop PCs, there are few, if any, usability issues. This benefit translates into an increase of AV-enabled rooms with a decrease in AV service issues. We'll see more firms utilizing smaller rooms going forward. Large Meeting Rooms and Telepresence: Traditional boardrooms, multipurpose rooms and telepresence-style conference rooms will still be deployed within the firm's formal conference center, primarily for in-person client meetings. VIDEO FOR ALL Most devices come with a camera built in, and people are using consumer-grade video tools to enhance communication on their personal devices. Providing similar functionality within your firm will improve client collaboration, marketing efforts, staff interactions and much more. What are you waiting for? Get enabled! Image ©2014 Waveguide Consulting Inc The Arguement Against Large Meeting Rooms The usefulness of large conference room systems is being called into question. Videoconferencing in a large multisection, multipurpose room is difficult to make effective for remote participants. Most of these meetings end up becoming a one-way broadcast message rather than an interactive experience. Local and remote questions or comments are not part of the meeting, and shifting the video communication between the presenter, the presentation and the audience is usually problematic. Videoconferencing in a larger boardroom-style conference room is typical but rarely provides effective visual communication and is not a replacement for a face-to-face meeting. Manual or automated camera movement is required to provide an active communication experience for remote participants, compared to a static camera image. Manufacturers' prepackaged telepresence systems provide the needed face-to-face meeting environment. However, they are less successful at displaying content, and once the meeting's focus is changed to small ancillary content displays, the visual communication experience is lost. Corporations and law firms are using this new technology to a limited extent but have seen a reduction in use based on a lack of great need and high maintenance costs. As measured in many firms, 90 percent of videoconferencing calls are for internal (interoffice) communication; telepresence is therefore an expensive communication method with a poor use of space. The user experience these systems are meant to deliver can be obtained through technology at the desktop or in smaller conference rooms. UNDERSTANDING MEETING TYPES AND COMMUNICATION NEEDS Firms should evaluate the types of meetings they hold and the necessary exchanges of information. Communication includes audio, video and content. All three aspects of communication will be expected to be available in all meeting locations, including conference center rooms, practice group meeting rooms, individual offices and on mobile devices. Technology needs vary greatly. In a partners' meeting, audio is critical, as all attendees are expected to be heard and openly allowed to participate. In case/ matter/trial team meetings, an oversized display is needed for viewing content detail. The use-cases for each meeting type are critical to understanding the technology (and non-technology) needs for each meeting. Once this is known, the technology, facilities, people and process needs can be developed. Many meetings must be actively monitored for clarity of the video and audio connections. Understanding the frequency and duration of such meetings will allow the firm to understand the staffing requirements to support the operation of a firm's AV systems. All meeting types rely on audio as the primary communication method. Therefore, microphone type and placement is critical, as are the acoustics of the meeting space.

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