The phrase ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ is cropping up more and more in the AV/IT space. ‘BYOD’ (Bring Your Own Device) was the starting point for mobile devices in the enterprise, but what exactly does ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ mean? How did BYOD lead us to BYOM? Most importantly – what does BYOM mean for the future of meeting culture, collaboration, and the underlying technology?
A technology shift is happening in the meeting space market segment – it was happening before the pandemic – driven by the need to move to industry standards and leverage existing investments in network infrastructure, software applications, and mobile devices. The human factor has also played a big role in this shift, as the millennial demographic at 56M is the largest demographic to enter the workplace and their sensibilities about collaboration have transformed meeting culture. Real estate costs have also created a very powerful impetus to better utilize space and manage energy costs. Lastly, all of these forces have driven the rise of the casual meeting space for ad hoc, pop up meetings – enter the huddle space. Meetings will never be the same!
BYOD is not a new concept. While the use of the acronym was popularized by Intel in 2009, the concept goes back much further, beginning with the development of mobile phones and spurred by a need to make mobile devices secure for enterprise use.
As technology use has shifted to personal mobile devices – including laptops, tablets, and smartphones – support for enterprise BYOD has become common across campuses and workplaces and is no longer questioned, but expected. People want to use their own devices because these are what they are most familiar with – and puts all of their applications, preferences, and content at their fingertips for any purpose, at any time.
With the BYOD market on track to hit nearly $367 billion by 2022, growing research shows that the majority of workers feel more productive and effective using their own devices. Frost & Sullivan report that 80% of employees are using personal devices for workplace tasks, with 49% of users reporting that they are more productive using their own devices. Within the next 5 years, the average office environment is expected to have 5 connected devices per user. In 2020, this comes as little surprise.
Now that we are all bringing our mobile devices to the meeting room, what’s next?
On my phone and other devices, I have my apps arranged in a very specific way. My email, communication, calendar, docs, social media, photo, news, weather, finance, work, travel, and other apps all have their very specific places on my screen. I can tell immediately if something is amiss. My calendar app has moved… why?
The other day, I borrowed my husband’s phone. We were in the car and since he was driving, he asked if I’d pull up the directions on his phone. If you’ve ever looked at someone else’s smartphone, it’s like a mini glimpse into how their mind works. My husband and I are both incredibly organized individuals… but is that organization the same? Is our workflow the same? No. Of course not. Why would he put the Google Maps app there? His weather app is on… screen 2?!? What an animal!
His apps are, of course, arranged in a completely different way than my own, but in a way that compliments his preferences, his workflow, his needs – in a way that works for him. Our devices are becoming increasingly personalized, allowing us to curate our entire experience to fit our needs. With the global adoption of mobile computing and the success of BYOD in the workplace, why aren’t our meetings more personalized, too?
BYOM leverages and builds on BYOD – and it is redefining the meeting space and how we collaborate.
Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM) refers to a meeting space solution in which the user drives the meeting and room technology using their own devices. The room technology responds to what the user brings into the meeting space on their device, putting the user at the center of the workflow and personalizing the meeting experience. This contrasts with room-based systems in which dedicated in-room devices are used to initiate meetings and the room technology dictates and defines the meeting workflow and experience.
BYOM flips the script on tech use. With BYOM, the user controls the meeting – not the other way around. Instead of users working within the limitations of the room technology, the room supports the users’ goals by wirelessly integrating their devices – including their content, conferencing applications, calendar, and more – into the meeting room experience.
BYOM means that the room responds to what the user brings into the meeting space. Within a BYOM environment, the device the user walks into the room with connects to and controls the room technology, delivering a personalized user-centric experience through the device they’re already familiar with.
Traditional room systems have been encumbered by the high costs of dedicated hardware, specialized support, and inflexible workflows. Most of us already have a laptop, tablet, or smartphone – maybe all 3 – we don’t need another PC in the room. Why would we take a PC and connect it to another PC? BYOM replaces the AV-centered dedicated room control system with an IT solution built with security, scale, and management in mind. BYOM eliminates the need for room system control panels and other specialized hardware and furniture, providing a room system solution that is less expensive and more familiar, based around technology that users already have and know: their own devices.
While BYOM is often defined as an extension of BYOD, BYOD really set the stage for BYOM by making the mobile device a legitimate enterprise tool. BYOM is a far more powerful concept that encompasses the complete picture of how we interact with our meeting spaces. Meeting spaces need to not only support all devices at a basic level but respond to those devices in a way that supports and enhances the complete user workflow and meeting experience.
There seem to be varying definitions of ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ within the AV/IT community. But what does it really mean to Bring Your Own Meeting?
Users drive the entire meeting experience with their own devices. With BYOM, no dedicated room system devices are needed to start the meeting. Users interact only with their own devices. Meeting hosts launch video conference meetings using their own laptop, bridging the room technology to the meeting and remote participants. The host and all other participants can share content using any device – laptop, tablet, or phone – driving meetings with their own calendar, content, productivity apps, and preferences.
Agnostic conferencing support. BYOM removes the vendor-locked experience by providing agnostic conferencing support for all major video conferencing services (VCS), including Zoom, Teams, Webex, and more. This flexibility allows organizations to use their meeting spaces to host and accept video conference meetings through any VCS. Meeting hosts launch video conference meetings using their own laptop, bridging the room technology to the meeting and remote participants, who can take part in the same collaboration experience as if they were in the room.
Rich, multi-participant content sharing. BYOM definitions to date have focused almost exclusively on the remote use case, and – while important – BYOM goes beyond video conferencing. BYOM is about controlling the entire meeting experience, both in-room and for remote connectivity. The ability to seamlessly integrate your personal devices with the room technology brings the opportunity for rich, multi-participant content sharing, enriching the meeting experience for both in-room and remote participants. With all of your content on the same device that you are using to control the meeting, the ability to hold engaging, meaningful meetings with 4k video, images, docs, applications, and other content is unprecedented.
Personal calendar integration. Through robust personal calendar integration, true BYOM systems can identify and auto-launch meetings on your calendar through an intelligent one-step connection, bridging the VCS and all room technology to the meeting. This is the personalization of the meeting space fully realized; the room recognizes and responds to your calendar, your schedule, your choice of VCS.
Touchless meeting space solution. Because BYOM systems are driven and controlled through your own device – without the need to plug in a cable or physically connect to any room hardware – they provide meeting-goers with a touchless meeting space collaboration solution with no shared devices or touchpoints. If you need to interact with dedicated conferencing panels or plug-ins, then you are not truly bringing your own meeting. The pandemic has highlighted the need for contactless technology, accelerating the development of touchless meeting room solutions.
Global standardization: support for meetings in all spaces, at any time. The way we meet is changing. Collaboration is no longer limited to special rooms. Meetings are moving beyond traditional conference rooms to lounges, transitional areas, and hallways. It’s estimated that by 2022, 70% of all video conference meetings will take place in huddle spaces . BYOM solutions are designed to support both proximate and remote meetings in any space. By replacing the dedicated room system hardware with a system that can be run from user devices, BYOM systems provide a solution that is more intuitive and familiar for users, as well as more flexible and cost-effective to deploy, allowing admins to deploy them anywhere. Any space outfitted with a display and a camera can become a BYOM-ready space, supporting both planned and unplanned, informal collaboration.
Ease of Use. While room-based systems were predicated on the simplicity of a consistent workflow through a single-vendor system, they sacrificed flexibility to achieve ease of use. Good BYOM solutions should deliver both flexibility and ease of use. Rather than a standard workflow through a vendor-locked model, BYOM provides the same, consistent workflow across every meeting space and every VCS, regardless if you’re using Zoom, Teams, Webex, or any other VCS.
Meeting space analytics. The workplace is changing. Comprehensive BYOM solutions won’t only support users, but will also give administrators insights they need to effectively understand the changing workplace in order to fully support and even optimize their meeting spaces over time. De-identified analytics can help technology admins and decision-makers assess room and tech use, meeting duration, room density, and other data to better understand, manage, and optimize their spaces.
BYOM represents a paradigm shift in how we think about our meeting spaces. Until now, we’ve taught ourselves to work within the limitations of the technology. With BYOM, we are removing these limitations to create a flexible, agnostic meeting room that responds to our calendar, our content, our preferences, our VCS.
Our personal technology should seamlessly integrate with the surrounding teamspace infrastructure to support personalized meetings with both onsite and remote colleagues – on demand, at any time. True BYOM solutions are intelligent, touchless meeting infrastructure that will change the way that we think about workplace conferencing and collaboration – and change the way our workplaces are designed and deployed for the better.
BYOM is here but it is in its infancy, and there are countless exciting new innovations coming for the BYOM category. What will the future bring? How do you envision future meeting spaces? Leave a comment below.
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