To help them understand and improve their business processes
Depending on the complexity of the problem, the customer meeting could last up to 3 days with Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelist (DPE) team often discussing products that have not been officially released yet. With up to six people involved in these meetings, gathering the information exchanged often involved using cameras to capture drawings and notes written on the dry erase boards in the meeting room. Writing up all of the information from the meeting would frequently take up a day or more in time. This also meant that the meeting room itself could not be used during this time as all the information was still on the dry erase boards.
Improving meeting efficiency Microsoft wanted to improve the productivity and effectiveness of these meetings and decided to install a new meeting room solution from SMART Technologies to achieve these aims. They installed a meeting room system that combines SMART Board interactiv whiteboards, SMART Meeting Pro Premium software, SMART Bridgit conferencing software, ultra-short-throw projectors and multimedia speakers.
SMART Board interactive whiteboards combine the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer. Together with SMART Meeting Pro Premium software, users can write notes in digital ink over any document, application or website on the interactive whiteboard and save them as a PDF or PPT file. Marked-up pages, revised documents, diagrams, notes and comments can all be captured easily and e-mailed directly to meeting participants
You can also write and save notes directly into applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat and AutoCAD.
The productivity gains in using the interactive whiteboards are significant. The meeting room solution is enabling Microsoft to work more efficiently. Martyn Davis, Manager MTC Reading at Microsoft, explains “Before we installed the meeting room solution, we used to spend one full day writing up the notes of a meeting. Now we can accurately record all of the meeting notes automatically on the interactive whiteboard – including all the annotations and notes made during the meeting – which wasn’t possible using dry erase boards. The information is then saved onto a USB stick and given to the customer immediately after the meeting has finished.”
Another benefit of the new meeting room solution is that it has greatly improved the utilisation of the MTC. Martyn continues,”Using the new solution from SMART Technologies, we have improved the effectiveness and efficiency of our meetings and write ups. Because of this we are now able to fit in additional meetings at the MTC. This has helped our sales teams to meet more customers and thereby increase our sales pipeline.”
Now when a meeting has finished and the notes from the interactive whiteboard have been captured, it is then cleared of all information and applications closed down making sure that confidential information is not left on view. The room is then ready for the next session.
The new meeting room solution from SMART Technologies has enriched the way in which Microsoft and its customers work together. Previously the meeting rooms had dry erase boards which limited the number of concepts to be introduced and worked on at a time. This also acted as a barrier between the Microsoft Architect and the customer.
To overcome this problem, two of the meeting rooms have been installed with two interactive whiteboards creating a multi-boarding environment to cater for more complex discussions. Using this configuration, both the customer and a member of the Microsoft team can work on the same diagram but on different interactive whiteboards and describe exactly what they require by annotating over it, bringing in new notes from other sources or launching internet sites.
Customers have told Microsoft that they feel more actively involved in the meeting and that the interactive whiteboards help to break down any barriers to creating new ideas. David Brown, Architectural Evangelist at Microsoft comments, “The meeting room solution has encouraged a richer collaboration and knowledge-sharing environment with our customers. It has definitely helped us to have a more in-depth understanding of our customer needs.”
“Using the new solution from SMART, we have improved the effectiveness and efficiency of our meetings and write ups.” Martyn Davis, Manager MTC Reading
You can download the full Microsoft Training Centre case study via the link below: