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Are YOU the Office Automation? (MS Outlook Calendar Drama!)

A Polycom Soundstation. Users can use it to bo...
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(This post is to help frustrated users figure out a way to know what conference rooms best support their conferencing requirements!)

Don’t you just hate it when you want to reserve a conference room in your building, or within your organization across campus but you’re not sure about the details of the room?  Earlier this week, I simply wanted to know the number to the Polycom phone sitting on the conference table.  One of my attendees was going to have to call in and I wanted to put the phone number in the invitation.  I called the staff member’s telephone number who literally sits 12 feet away from the conference room.  The usual person was not answering the phones during this time and didn’t know the number, know where to find the number, and of course–the room was occupied so there was no way to get the number.  With a flash of insight I figured….I can find out that information for myself!

I’ll just right-click on the calendar in Outlook and view the properties….Right? Somebody should have populated that information when the conference room calendar account was created.  Wrong!  The only data in the comments field on the properties tab was a person’s name and phone number.  SSssssiiiigghhhhhhh!!!!

Whoever you are, wherever you work, make the equipment/software automate your work for you, instead of you working FOR the automation.  Part of Conference Room account creation in MS Outlook should include a standard checklist for the requester to fill out before the account can be created.

The following is a list of recommended data points to include in your Conference Room Exchange Account creation checklist to make sure the information is available to you and other customers:

  • Total occupancy of the conference room (seating at the table, seating around the room)
  • What type of visual display is installed (Projector & Drop Down Screen or Plasma/LCD Screens)
  • Laser Pointer
  • Podium or Technographer’s (place for admin person to push slides or type notes) Table
  • Computing Capability (Laptop, PC, Tablet ~ thin/thick client )
  • How many networks are available in the room
  • Smartboard
  • Whiteboards
  • Printer (black & white or color)
  • Fax Machine (include fax number)
  • Polycom Telephone for Conference Calls (include phone number)
    Number of power outlets available around the room
  • Is the room equipped with Conferencing Equipment (VTC, PC-based VTC, Microphones, Speakers)

By populating the comments field with recommended data points like those listed above, it really puts the “auto” magic back into automation and saves you time!  Just don’t forget to update the information to let information consumers know if there are additions/deletions/maintenance or repairs being made on the equipment or the room.

If you find this information useful, or if your company already uses this process to advertise what resources are available, please share!  Efficiency saves us all time and money.  Your lessons learned might help others be better prepared.

If you find this or my other posts valuable, you can subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter @justasked



Eternal Optimist, Writer, Music Lover, Avid Gardener, Science & Tech Admirer, Cook, Baker and Social Networking Encourager

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