VP, Collaboration Barco
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Collaboration in the corporate classroom

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9th Jul 2014
VP, Collaboration Barco
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Jan Willem Brands has a few ideas about how to make meetings more productive and collaborative.

There is no doubt that technology has revolutionised training, development and education in the corporate world. Virtually every trend, innovation and invention has had an impact on the workplace, improving efficiencies, time management and making employees far more productive. From the consumerisation of IT right through to the escalating trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) businesses have evolved rapidly, and continue to do so, as the latest technological advancements make their mark in the office environment.

Regardless of the size or nature of the company, when it comes to education and training programmes for employees, it is meeting room technology that holds the key for future developments. The setting for company training courses is usually in meeting room-type spaces where, historically, the level of technology was limited to pull down screens and overhead projectors. This has since been replaced with more modern devices, from interactive whiteboards to desktop and laptop computers. Screens and software are slowly wiping out traditional pens and paper.

While computers are not necessarily used in every corporate training and education session, the upsurge of BYOD has ensured that devices such as smartphones and iPads are often in easy reach. Any form of corporate education would benefit from a drive towards collaboration and with BYOD becoming so prevalent, the potential for creating a more engaging environment is far greater than it was just a few years ago.

"Regardless of the size or nature of the company, when it comes to education and training programmes for employees, it is meeting room technology that holds the key for future developments."

Tech-savvy businesses are starting to take advantage of this and have realised the potential of using these devices to improve collaboration and efficiencies in both meetings and training room environments. Coupled with the right technology, training documents and information can be shared from more than one person and from more than one device, on to a central screen in the meeting room.

Sharing information, whether it is graphics, presentations or specific websites, may be nothing new in the modern workplace, but it can be a time consuming and cumbersome process. In a situation where the trainer and multiple attendees are sharing ideas and content visually on the same screen, each participant would need a cable to connect to the screen, then the settings have to be configured and time has to be allowed to get it up and running. When BYOD is factored into the equation, as the various smartphones, tablets and laptops tend to run on different operating systems yet more time wasting occurs trying to integrate them with the training room equipment.

This is where the latest technological advancements come in, with innovative but straightforward solutions to allow multiple users to share content from different devices on a shared screen at the same time. Forward thinking companies are now using emerging wireless collaboration technology to bring ease and more efficiencies into every business meeting, education and training session. 

Training and education in the workplace will continue to be transformed by the latest technological developments. The corporate sector has come a long way since the introduction of overhead projectors, and with simple solutions like wireless collaboration technologies, time can be used more efficiently and training programmes will be far more efficient and engaging for participants.

Jan Willem Brands is general manager, collaboration at Barco. Follow Barco on Twitter here or LinkedIn here

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