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Microsoft Grooms Skype for Business for Rooms

March 17, 2016 | Telepresence Options

Zig_Serafin.jpg

Microsoft's Zig Serafin addresses the crowd during his Enterprise Connect keynote.

Story and images by Dave Michels / No Jitter

Creates new initiative to video-enable conference rooms, pulls in Logitech and Polycom as initial partners.

Apparently taking the old saying "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" to heart, Microsoft once again touted solutions for video-enabling conference rooms from the keynote stage at Enterprise Connect, which took place last week. This time its approach applies to a wider range of rooms, and involves new solutions from Logitech and Polycom.

We live in digital times, but too many of our meeting facilities remain analog, with basic whiteboards, speakerphones, and simple displays and projectors. Many vendors have introduced "huddle room" solutions that are meant to make video conferencing more accessible to and cost-effective for small and medium corporate meeting spaces.

During his keynote, Zig Serafin, corporate VP of Skype Business Services at Microsoft, previewed plans to bring an experience inspired by the Microsoft Surface Hub to meeting rooms with standard displays and projectors. This initiative, called Project Rigel, uses a Surface Pro 4 tablet to provide a centralroom control point. Attendees simply touch the screen to start previously scheduled meetings, and they utilize a familiar UI to control views of content and participants.

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