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Microsoft Face to Face Meetings to any Device and Platform - Advanced use cases

[fa icon="calendar"] 19 November 2018 / by Simon Hunt

Simon Hunt

So the theme today expands Microsoft Face to Face meetings to any device and looks at the practical options one by one.   

Microsoft Face to Face Meetings to  Any device

Audio Attendees in Skype for Business joining via a normal non premium rate number.

  • With today's Virtual Meetings there are a number of options, the first of which is "consolidation", which we covered recently in a "legal company case study"
  • Consolidating BT Conferencing and Skype For Business connecting to legacy video units was the goal.
  • With Twilio and Pexip, it was simple to set up:
    • A dedicated voice conference number for the company, announced as "legal company conference" and have 150 Audio Conference Rooms set up in 24 hours.
    • What the company wanted was one supplier for what it saw as historically three different requirements that it now wanted to amalgamate from a supply point of view and give the user the choice of what service suited their needs, best.      
    • Sounds simple however there were some subtle advantages the IT director wanted to acquire.
      • The ability to pay per minute for usage for the audio minutes was standard 
      • However, the ability to do so for Video minutes, a True PAY AS YOU GO service had advantages
      • A User could escalate a call from audio to video or presentation by just changing the method of joining, ie join from a browser if they wanted video or screen sharing.
      • A variable cost for video minutes was a new one, when some many services are subscription only, gave the IT Director flexibility.
      • Flexibility in one supplier multiple services 
      • Flexibility in one supplier however different tariff types to suite each need.
      • At the end were the basics commercial savings of over 40% per month on the same minutes usage.
  • Another scenario could simply be to combine the benefits of the existing audio conferencing supplier with the Virtual Room service. 
  • How would that work you ask?
  • As a Platform Close have the ability to "Integrate telephony services" and integrate any Sip Trunk into our platform and therefore service and combine the two services.
  • So the options are simple consolidate audio and screen sharing / video or Integrate.
  • Either way the cost of change is minimal and the user workflows simple. 

microsoft devices - Close Global

Skype Room Systems / Surface Hubs  

  • At their core the key with the Microsoft hardware & other offerings is it all makes use of Skype for Business and other core Microsoft software components.
Skype For Business - Native Face to Face Meetings
  • A few recent blogs have covered the options here so we'll not go into the components in any depth.
  • Firstly, the option to have no plugins or Software to download, to extend your hardware to any device or platform lets you tap into these native features.
CLOSE Connect to any device or platform   

  • Using the native contact record to store the virtual meeting room name, as above lets Skype for Business simply connect to its external room in this instance 

CLOSE, Microsoft Drag and Drop video Units into Skype for Business Meetings

Drag and Drop a native feature of Skype for Business, where one user "drags another into a meeting" can be used for legacy video units.

  • The Video unit in this case a Cisco unit, can be auto dialed when the Virtual Room is dragged into the call
  • Ideal for those wanting to "pull" a video unit in a meeting room into the call 
  • Its very simple to name the Virtual Room 
  • And then when anyone on Skype for Business wants to connect to the Cisco unit they pull in that Virtual Room and it will dial out to the Cisco Video unit.
  • See below:

  • Drag and drop your Cisco to Skype for Business room

  • The Cisco unit is dragged into the Skype for Business meeting via the virtual room
  • Simple, 5 minutes to set up, works perfectly every time.
    • The benefits list is huge in its impact but short and meaningful. 
      • No new user workflows for the Skype for Business users 
      • The Meeting Room user walks into the room and their video unit is dialled 
      • Nothing for them to touch or figure out


Drag and drop your Cisco to Skype for Business Meeting room

For Laptops with Skype for Business 

  • They simply search for the room via the contact search and connect 
  • For Laptop users without Skype for Business they can connect via any browser
  • No downloads are required 
  • The user clicks on the virtual room link and they are in the Skype for Business Meeting
  • Content can be shared from or to the browser users 
  • Chat appears in the browser chat box from Skype for Business  



Mobile Devices, they can join a Skype for Business call via one of four methods

  • Using any Video APP
  • Using Skype for Business 
  • Using Chrome if they have an Android device (click the browser link)
  • And now for devices using iOS11 and later, one click meeting entry via safari!  

pexip_mobile meetings

So there we go, In summary, any device on any platform can join via today's virtual meeting rooms

The takeaways:-

1. The user does not need to download anything 
2. No plugins are required
3. They use native Microsoft processes 
4. They can drag Video units into a meeting 
5. They can come in on audio 
6. You don't need to have different suppliers for audio and video 

Microsoft Face to Face meetings to any_device_any_platform_image


So what we call Microsoft True Collaboration is here!

True collaboration on any platform

Topics: true collaboration

Simon Hunt

Written by Simon Hunt

Simon is the Founder of Close - the True Collaboration Company.

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