Solving Technology’s Problems with More Technology
Meetings Don’t Have to Suck
It’s funny how technology solves one problem and creates another. If you cannot fly to China to meet with a customer, then you can always use a web conferencing solution like Skype. But then again, you have to rely on everyone having a great Internet connection, which can be frustrating. If you need visual aids to explain your ideas—or just to add some pizzazz—there are no shortage of interactive smart displays. But working with these displays isn’t always a cakewalk (plus, you cannot present your slide deck if it’s on a thumb drive in your desk drawer). The same technology that you purchased to make meetings more productive is making them less productive.
“More than not, meetings do not start on time because of a technological problem,” said Akisa Matsuda, Associate Director of Software Product Management at Sharp. She said problems with the audio/video connection, finding or displaying/presenting information, and network issues are among the biggest culprits. And even when you get a meeting going, it might stall later on when someone else has to present a file or share their screen.
Recently, the folks at Sharp showed me their solutions to the meeting problem, Synappx Meeting. Here were some notable takeaways from the demo.
The 10,000-Foot View
Synappx Meetings eliminates the technological problems that slow down meetings by providing seamless connectivity between people, information, and hardware used for collaboration. It enables workers to start web conferencing services with one click, automatically connect to displays in conference rooms, as well as access and share information.
Thanks to tight integration with Microsoft 365 and GSuite, Synappx Meetings automatically extracts details from meeting invites—including the attendees, workspace/meeting room, subject, scheduled meeting time/date, attachments, agenda, and web conference data—and presents them in a single place. These details (in particular, the attachments and the agenda) can be helpful for keeping the meeting on track. Users can access, present, and collaborate on content stored in OneDrive for Business, OneDrive, Google Drive, SharePoint, box, and Dropbox—all through Synappx Meeting.
It’s as Easy as One Click
Users can start meetings in Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype for Business, WebEx, Google Meet, and Amazon Chime with the click of a mouse. One-click convenience isn’t reserved for starting meetings. Users can also share their screen, switch presenters, and end the meeting with one click, too.
A timer presents users with how much time they have left in the meeting. When the meeting nears its end time, the timer will turn from Blue to Yellow; when time elapses, the gauge turns red, and the clock counts how much time the meeting went over. There is an option to extend the meeting time, as well, which will automatically update the rooms availability to others so they don’t double-book the room.
When the meeting is over, all screens are disconnected and all web conferences are closed. This feature might not sound very important, but it can prevent some very embarrassing, damaging mistakes, like saying something regrettable while someone else is still on the line or by leaving sensitive meeting materials behind. Should the meeting end early, you can update the calendar to show others that the room is now free. You won’t find this feature in GSuite or Microsoft 365. An option to distribute meeting materials once the meeting has ended is also available.
Synappx Meetings keeps track of meetings, so you can see how many people are attending meetings, how many go long, which conference spaces are over/underused, and so on. These insights can help you foster a better policy for how you schedule and run meetings.
What intrigues me the most about a solution like Synappx Meetings is the opportunity it can create for dealers. Such a unique solution can help dealers standout from their competition. But, even better, it solves a problem that a dealerships existing customers and their competition’s customers suffer from: unproductive meetings. A solution like this can be the foot in the door at a new account, expand your presence in existing accounts, or be the first wedge to pry an account from the competition.