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Ignite 2017 #2 - Skype for Business (and eventually Teams) in the Meeting Room

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Ignite 2017 #2 - Skype for Business (and eventually Teams) in the Meeting Room
    

By: -
3 Oct 2017
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Interest in bringing the Skype for Business experience into the enterprise meeting room continues to grow.  At Ignite, everyone got to see and touch Microsoft-powered Skype Room System (SRS) solutions from (in alphabetical order) Crestron, Lenovo, Logitech and Polycom.

Crestron Skype Room System (SR) Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub 500
Logitech SmartDock Polycom MSR 

The offerings from Crestron, Logitech, and Polycom are “dock” solutions that house a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (SP4) tablet running a version of Microsoft Skype for Business designed for use in a meeting room environment.

Each of the dock-style offerings provide two key functions:

  • Enable secure physical mounting of the Microsoft SP4 tablet in a meeting-room-friendly, control-panel style form factor
  • Provide access to the AV connections and signals needed (e.g. USB, HDMI out, etc.) to install the solution within the meeting room

The Lenovo offering is quite different and instead leverages a Lenovo PC with an integrated speaker and microphones and a touch display, all housed in a custom, all-in-one form factor.  

It’s worth pointing out that all of these solutions leverage the same Skype for Business-based software app (as required by Microsoft), and thus offer the same basic user interface and workflow.  

Note that of the four solutions shown above, only Logitech’s SmartDock is currently shipping (see our hands-on testing report).

At the show, Logitech demo’d a soon-to-be-released optional extension base for SmartDock (see image at right) that drastically improves cable management, requiring only a single CAT-X cable between the dock and the main display.  Pricing and even the name of the new offering have yet to be released.  

Click here for our final installment on Ignite focused on interesting happenings on the show floor.

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