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Lync in action: company meetings broadcast

On this new section I will show you real scenarios where I implement or use Lync to leverage productivity and people to communicate.

On my company, the board members decide to have weekly  meetings with the commercial and operational staff (on different days) and quartely with all the employees. On the company headquarters theres an auditorium for about 100 persons. But there’s more persons on other locations, on travel and even teleworkers that are required to participate. The solution was… Microsoft Lync !

There’s was any significant investment to apply this solution. We just need to be resourcefull enough to find some workaround’s: an IP PTZ camera (it can move and zoom if the speaker move to show other things, like a flipchart), a PC, some custom windows video drivers and a combination of wired/wireless media technology.

AuditorioHW

So the usual activity for this meetings are plain and simple:
• Meetings are scheduled using Outlook, with the invitations providing the url for remote participants;
• On the conference room the speaker(s) will talk with a wireless microphone, and data is projected on the main wall. The presentation is provided by a computer running Lync client;
• Remote participants will follow the presentation and the speakers video and sound on their Lync client whenever they are. If someone needs to make a questions, he will be heard on the conference room speakers.

Meeting from a remote attende client

The final result is an high quality meetings and a real productive bussiness process:
• presenters take no more than 5 minutes to setup the meeting and conduct using the keyboard/mouse;
• remote participants can assist like they were at the room, without the need to travel.
• this meetings usually take no more than an hour, so everyone will resume they work activity on the next 5 minutes.
• the presenters can also be remote and on this case, the conference room participants are the ‘remote’ ones but they still can interact;
• important training sessions can be recorded and are posted on the company intranet for offline training and review.

Comments always welcomed.

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13 responses to “Lync in action: company meetings broadcast

  1. Shane Gill 22/04/2013 at 12:01

    We have been looking to do something like this. I was wondering what camera you used?

    • LuisR 22/04/2013 at 20:28

      It’s a common IP camera. My company is also on the Security surveillace business, so I just used one on the spare stock with the best resolution (800×600 30fps).
      But it works with several others IP cameras and i’m pretty sure the majority is compatible with the same way.

  2. Jean-Philippe Papillon 22/04/2013 at 16:40

    Could you elaborate on your choice of IP PTZ camera ?

    • LuisR 22/04/2013 at 20:30

      As I reply to a participant before, the choice was based on our spare stock availability :)
      The resolution was a factor, but the ptz was the advantage because you can pan and zoom while the meeting is running to follow the presenter and other participants

      • Jean-Philippe Papillon 24/04/2013 at 08:09

        But what vendor you chose (or would have chosen) ?

      • LuisR 25/04/2013 at 10:48

        Axis or Brickcom. Just because are the one I had the chance to fully manage/try.
        But any PTZ with 720p nowadays with RTSP support is good enough.

  3. Jean-Philippe Papillon 26/04/2013 at 15:02

    Excuse my perplexity & interest, but how do you “capture” the RTSP to resend it with Lync ?

    • LuisR 27/04/2013 at 12:04

      The hard way: build a windows driver ;)
      The easy way (doesn’t not allways work): get a software streaming engine.

  4. Russell 27/06/2013 at 11:13

    What microphone did you use, and how does it interface with the PC running Lync?

    • LuisR 29/06/2013 at 08:11

      We have two options for presenters:
      - A common bluetooth headset (use on ear), which connects to a dongle;
      - A wireless microphone for rooms (for use on shirt), with the receiver connected to the audio PC mic port.

  5. John Nabholz 19/07/2013 at 23:07

    With the new Lync 2013 Conference room features (like Livesize LRS1000), is there a way for a small company (we don’t know how to build a windows driver) build a 2 projector version just like you built, and use a gyro mouse to simulate the touch features? The LifeSize LRS1000 will only work with their screens (not with projectors).

    • LuisR 20/07/2013 at 12:12

      It’s not there anymore, but we had two projetors. Inside the ‘media room’ there’s a audio/video splitter that allow us to also use two monitors one other rooms at the same time.
      We tested a gyro mouse sucessfully, but the people prefered the traditional mouse/keyboard.

  6. Rune Hald 24/10/2013 at 08:52

    Hi, can i ask you for your email, i do have this specific case much simmilar with the above senario.

    Regards

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