Services & Maintenance: Meeting Needs
Contributor Patrick Britton writes on how facility managers can use available technology to manage and maintain conference rooms.
“Every day we become more dependent on technology. We take for granted technology that a generation or two ago would be considered works of science fiction. We carry telephones in our pockets and computers in our briefcases, and we can conduct “face to face” meetings with colleagues on the other side of the world using a television (though it’s not quite that simple).”
Audiovisual (AV) technology has become a dominant factor in productivity in our work. We share information verbally through lectures, presentations, and audio conferences. We share visual information using Microsoft PowerPoint, Blu-Ray DVD, and video teleconferencing displayed by projectors hung from ceilings and flat panels fixed to the wall. Gone are the days when a conference room consisted of a large table and a portable whiteboard. No longer are classrooms limited to desks and a chalkboard.
The people using these types of facilities have come to expect that technology will be incorporated into meeting rooms, transforming them into collaborative workspaces. In many places, classrooms and meeting rooms have moved beyond the boundaries of brick and mortar walls and are now comprised of people discussing information over the Internet using videoconferencing and data sharing programs.
Demand for these rooms can be so great that they are sometimes reserved weeks, or even months, in advance. A failure of a presentation system can not only inconvenience the user of that specific room, but users in other locations around the world will be affected as well. The critical nature of AV technology in conference and meeting rooms has many facility managers (fms) asking themselves: How do I manage the use of these spaces? And how do I maintain the equipment to maximize life cycle and prevent critical failures that will impact my users?
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