AVT understands that Microsoft Teams has become a key collaboration platform for any shared workspace environment. With this in mind; we have looked at the best Microsoft Teams collaboration systems that the audio visual industry has to offer.
With the number of Office 365 users growing, it’s more important than ever to standardise the look and feel the platform offers. MS Teams is also the replacement platform for its predecessor Skype for Business and holds a large array of collaboration tools within its arsenal, including video conferencing, conference calls, content sharing and instant messaging, with more features on the horizon.
Even though MS Teams is a powerful desktop-based platform, it needs to be incorporated with additional equipment in a boardroom setting to provide a professional experience. This is where AVT steps in, as our knowledgeable technical team has tested and evaluated multiple products that are MS Teams enabled.
Crestron Flex for MS Teams
Crestron is an official partner of Microsoft and has developed the Crestron Flex range of solutions that provides a native Teams user experience including the one-touch join functionality. The Crestron Flex range offers a solution for any potential room type within your organisation, whether it be huddle rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, auditoriums or boardrooms. The Crestron solutions consists of 4 systems, dependant on the size of your space and the functionality you are looking for. The solutions consist of the P-Series, M-Series, B-Series and the C-Series, depending on your company’s needs and required functionality.
The P-Series consists of desktop devices that allows you to initiate a conference call directly from your desk without having to use your desktop computer, keeping your desktop free for daily tasks. The system also allows you to initiate a call on your mobile phone and then transfer the call to your desk phone when you sit down, providing convenience. Additionally, the solution enables you to search contacts, view your next meeting and see the status of your projects. Overall the system provides a central collaboration point between peers and provides a seamless native MS Teams experience. This solution is perfectly positioned for a single desk user.
The M-Series consists of tabletop devices that supports audio and video conferencing calls. The system enables presentation, calling, and collaboration all through a single tabletop touch screen console, with exceptional audio and video quality. The system caters for the MS Teams interface with calendar and one-touch features to ensure a consistent Teams user experience. This solution is ideal for huddle rooms and small sized boardrooms.
The B-Series consists of multiple sound bar configurations that are positioned with a separate tabletop touch screen. The system provides an ideal front of house solution that is enabled for presentation, calling, conferencing and collaboration. The soundbar provides exceptional full-duplex wideband audio through its built-in stereo speakers, as well as audio pickup through the built-in far-field microphone array, and finally HD video through the built-in camera. The system caters for the MS Teams interface with calendar and one-touch features to ensure a consistent Teams user experience. The solution is ideal for medium to large sized boardrooms.
The C-Series consists of a custom video conferencing room integration solution that includes a tabletop or wall mounted touch screen. The system allows for presentation, calling, conferencing and collaboration, and can be fully integrated with external audio, control and video solutions, making the solution fully customisable to your environment. The system caters for the MS Teams interface with calendar and one-touch features to ensure a consistent teams user experience. The solution is ideal for large boardrooms and auditorium sized installations.
One of the most exciting products of 2019 is the Logitech Tap. Besides being a smart and compact touch panel, it features a multitude of mounting options with an anti-glare, matte-like display. The most impressive component is the 10m commercial grade USB cable, which solves multiple installation issues experienced with previous systems. Logitech also has a 25m version available if the 10m cable isn’t long enough.
The Logitech Tap for MS Teams comes in several packages:
The small bundle includes the 10.1” Tap touch screen, 10m USB cable, Chromebox and a Logitech Meetup conference camera. The small configuration minimizes cabling and saves space with the Logitech MeetUp, a marvel of miniaturization, that mounts neatly above or below a display. Place the Logitech Tap on the table or add a wall mount to save even more space. This bundle is designed for a huddle room setup that can seat 2 – 6 people.
The medium bundle includes the 10.1” Tap touch screen, 10m USB cable, Chromebox plus with a Logitech Rally, single microphone and speaker. The medium configuration features the Logitech Rally, a premium conference camera that pairs an advanced ultra-HD camera with modular audio that scales to support a wide range of room sizes and layouts. This bundle is designed for a medium size boardroom that can seat 6 – 10 people.
The large bundle includes the Tap medium bundle with an additional microphone and speaker. The large configuration upgrades to the Rally Plus with two speakers for clear audio throughout the room. Dual microphone pods expand the coverage for up to 16 people, and the system supports up to 7 microphone pods. This bundle is designed for a large boardroom that seats 10 – 16 people.
Teamline by StarLeaf offers a complete solution that incorporates Microsoft Teams into the modern-day boardroom. The Teamline range transforms a meeting space of any size into a fully collaborative experience by incorporating Microsoft Teams. StarLeaf offers the Teamline 5140 and the Teamline 5250 within its range. Teamline ensures that booking and attending meetings, and making unscheduled video calls is a hassle-free experience. Teamline removes the complexity of the everyday video conferencing system and instead provides an instantly recognisable user interface. It also offers a unique management platform called Maestro. The Maestro platform acts as a central resource that gives the user complete control and oversight on the health, status and utilization of all Teamline equipped meeting spaces.
Starleaf Teamline 5140
The Starleaf Teamline 5140 consists of a touchscreen controller that provides the Microsoft Teams interface, a HD camera, a tabletop microphone and a built-in wireless receiver for content sharing. The Starleaf Teamline 5140 offers 4 variations of the solution that includes either single screen or dual screen functionality and offers various sized cameras from a fixed HD camera to a HD PTZ camera that enables the solution to be positioned in any sized boardroom.
Starleaf Teamline 5250
The Starleaf Teamline 5250 is a fully integrated solution for Microsoft Teams deployments and consists of a touchscreen controller that provides the Microsoft Teams interface, 1 x HD PTZ camera and a tabletop microphone. The Starleaf Teamline 5250 is capable of handling 3 cameras, which makes it ideal for large boardroom, training room and auditorium applications.
Written by: John de Jongh and Ryan Beck