Zombie-Free Zone

By Ryan Anderson posted Mar 27, 2018 07:45 AM


Lately, when we’re speaking with customers and prospects, we most frequently hear about challenges surrounding Ghost and Zombie meetings. Much as their names imply, Ghosts are single meetings with no actual participants while Zombies are scheduled recurring meetings that go unattended indefinitely. Both deplete resources by wasting space and causing workers to spend unproductive time finding alternative sites.


Although Teem has successfully eliminated Ghosts and Zombies in many office settings with our conference room scheduling platform, the situation is now particularly acute as enterprises embrace the rapidly emerging smart digital workplace model.


Driven by mobility and user experience expectations, smart digital workplaces replace cubical farms with user-centric environments that leverage free-address seating. Such workplaces rely on a range of accommodations including multiple informal huddle spaces, various sizes of formal conference rooms, patio areas and more.


The problem? When nearly every workspace also doubles as a meeting space, Ghosts and Zombies can morph from pesky to paralyzing.


Reduce friction to boost productivity in your smart digital workplace


Fortunately, Teem is joining with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, to be a part of the space utilization solution via the ArubaEdge partnership ecosystem.




Our mobile app takes advantage of Aruba’s Beacons to automatically check participants into meetings. When a meeting is starting, our app enables each participant’s smartphone to seek Beacons associated with the conference room for that meeting. Once our app associates with a Beacon and identifies the user, meeting check-in occurs.


This functionality is also critical for eliminating one-off meeting no-shows and obsolete recurring bookings. For no-shows, our solution enables your organization to release meeting spaces, after a certain number of minutes, if no participants arrive. With recurrent bookings, you specify the number of times a booking can go unattended before our platform automatically returns the space to the pool.


Our combined solution also eliminates the inherent potential for space conflicts in activity-based smart digital workplace environments, where any group might decide to rendezvous in the same space as another group, at any moment in time. Using our joint solution, users can book a space on-the-fly to ensure it’s available when they arrive.


In addition, our solution provides users with the traditional capability to visualize what spaces are available for scheduling in advance.


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Regardless whether space is booked in advance or in transit, our app presents users with available options based on the amenities they require, such as various types of AV systems or interactive displays.


Getting intelligent meeting space management up and running


To help you intelligently manage collaboration spaces, our platform integrates tightly with Aruba in several ways. First, Aruba Beacons are associated with specific rooms or areas on a web-based floor plan. Once those associations are made, our app directs each user’s phone to scan for nearby Beacons.


Additionally, we leverage the Meridian platform on our user app for advanced turn-by-turn wayfinding via the Meridian SDK.


The process begins with our app fetching a list of events for a user, based on that user’s calendar solution – such as Office 365/Outlook, Google Apps or Exchange. Next, our app gathers data from our underlying platform, including a map ID, which is associated with the floor where the meeting room resides, and a room ID for associated with the meeting space. Finally, the app pushes these IDs along to the Meridian SDK, enabling Meridian to translate the data into map-based visual directions and provide them to the user.


Click here to learn more about Teem’s contribution to the ArubaEdge partnership for creating safe and smart digital workplaces


Lesson from the trenches: Successful outcomes depend on the multi-vendor approach


Although the day-to-day requirements for reducing friction in activity-based environments are relatively new concepts in the U.S., the drill is already familiar in Northern Europe and Australia.


A key lesson from transitions completed in other regions is that the “Field of Dreams” real estate approach – ‘build it and they will come’ – is completely insufficient. That’s because users need tools appropriate to an individual company and corporate culture to ease the transition in dramatically changed environments. In other words, designing the right space includes adopting the right mixture of systems and applications.


Although it starts with intelligent IT infrastructure, smart building systems and space utilization applications like Teem, the right mixture also incorporates a variety of productivity enabling complimentary solutions. Essentials include automated check-in, connected furniture and smart presentation systems.


Most importantly, as you work toward creating the right space, remember there is no single vendor, or single solution, that can deliver every capability needed for an effective smart digital workplace.


Instead, it requires a collaborative, integrated, multi-vendor approach. This ensures you create the user-centric environments today’s workers expect while gaining the advanced analytical tools you need to monitor and evaluate accommodation utilization in order to make speedy adjustments as worker needs evolve.


Ryan Anderson is VP of Product Marketing and Workplace Strategy for Teem, the cloud-based meeting management and analytics platform that includes flagship products EventBoard interactive conference room displays and LobbyConnect streamlined visitor management. With over 20 years of experience in the commercial office furniture industry, Anderson previously served in various marketing, social media and technology leadership roles for Herman Miller and Steelcase.



To find out more about becoming a smart digital workplaces leader, or staying ahead of your competition, access information about how your enterprise can leveraging the broader ArubaEdge partnership by clicking here:

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