Microsoft: The Meeting Room Journey – Video here

Style: Professional, but friendly (helpful, but not patronizing)

Let’s face it…

The meeting experience at Microsoft has not been fantastic for employees for a long time.

And yet, this company is making changes over the next year and beyond that are going to fundamentally transform the meeting experience for employees and hopefully for our customers as well.

We have a huge opportunity here and today I’m going to take you through what’s happening and what you should expect to see and how that experience is going to get better.

It’s been a long time coming.

So before we tell you what’s happening in the future let’s remind everyone where we’re at in the present.

Today, still meeting rooms are full of usability nightmares when you walk in.

It’s the last place that we ask you to be your own IT pro at Microsoft.

You walk into a meeting room right before your biggest stresser of the day giving a presentation to your boss or your bosses boss. You get to spend some time hooking up cables and futzing with device settings and dialing into onilne meetings. It’s a nightmare!

So, what does it mean to have a great meeting experience?

Well, it’s really simple actually.

You want to join quickly.

You want to share your content.

You want to hear and be heard and you want to see and be seen.

And you want that to happen reliably, in high quality, in every room that you go to, in every meeting that you have.

Unfortunately, that’s not the way that it works today.

Here’s what we’re doing to change it.

So, let’s just start off by saying we don’t want our conference rooms to be like a box of chocolates.

We always want you to know what you’re going to get. And that’s why we’re going to be bringing modern meeting room systems to every conference room in Puget Sound over the next year. And not long after: the rest of the world. You’re going to be able to rely on a predictable, simple, and highly reliable experience in every room for every meeting.

So, what is a modern meeting experience?

Well, first it begins with Microsoft Teams. A far more reliable and easy to use meeting experience and a way to collaborate with your fellow employees. With Teams Meetings almost every aspect of the meeting experience is better.

Beginning with joining your meeting. You can walk into any room and join the meeting from your device.

Your PC, your Mac, your phone and add the room that you’re in. When you’re ready to share content you just share it with the Teams meeting. And it shows up in the room automatically. Audio is high quality and reliable and every room will have video. So, if you’re a remote employee you’ll be able to see what’s going on in the room and they’ll be able to see you in every meeting, every time.

So, over the next year you’re going to see that experience rolling broadly across Microsoft.

But, you’ve got to be thinking: is that it? Can’t we do more? What about natural language? What about AI? What about finding my way to my meeting? What about scheduling a conference room? Can’t you simplify those things?

And the answer is yes! You’re going to see that landing very quickly with some simple voice skills in the conference room and expanding out to all sorts of new scenarios coming after that. So, there’s a lot to look forward to.

So, what do we need from you?

Well, first of all be patient. There are 14,800 conference rooms at Microsoft and it takes a little time to get to every one of them, but rest assured: we’re on the way!

Second: Get comfortable with Microsoft Teams.

Start scheduling your meetings in Teams and you’ll see a lot of these benefits just come naturally as you start having your meetings in them.

And finally: let us know what’s wrong. If you see something, say something. It’ll help everyone’s meetings to get better.

Thanks for watching!