Ross uses desktop, high-definition business class, and large-scale classroom conferencing to significantly increase personal productivity, complement action based learning, and improve organizational efficiency. Productivity gains and organizational efficiency are achieved when remote team members are able to meet and collaborate using voice, video, and data, all in real-time. Key to this form of communication and collaboration is the ability for all participants to see, as well as share and edit, presentations, sketches, and documents, providing instantaneous feedback.
Our solutions rely on Internet Protocol video conferencing (IP VC), which is video conferencing over a high-speed, high quality of service Ethernet network, like the one we have at Ross. Often referred to as H.323 conferencing, IP conferencing has quickly become the standard for video conferencing.
Microsoft Lync (Instant Message and Web Conferencing)
Lync offers a web-based conferencing and desktop sharing solution. You can initiate a spontaneous collaboration session in which participants are invited to a meeting through an instant message. By accepting the meeting invitation, participants immediately join in a text-based conference. Participants can share their desktops, exchange files, and view the presenter's screen. Like Microsoft's Live Meeting, participants can dial into an audio conference with Lync when not affiliated with UM or near a computer. Lync is best used as a productivity tool that is always opened on your computer to provide instant, spontaneous communication with your colleagues and team members.
Working with people at different locations and, potentially, different time zones can be a challenge to know when that person is available. A core feature of Lync is "presence," or detailed information about a person's real-time availability and status displayed right on your client. You can instantly know if someone is at the computer, away from the office, in a meeting, or logged off, all by a color code. You can adjust this "presence" status manually to indicate desired availability.
Audio/Video Conferencing Locations and Equipment
Desktop and web conferencing solutions are perfect for many situations. Sometimes you need a life-like image with the highest quality sound and a suitable location to use. Be it a formal interview through the Office of Career Services, a meeting with a corporate dignitary, or research being conducted between faculty at different universities, Ross has two available solutions to meet your needs, depending on your situation: a portable unit that can be moved around the complex, and a permanently installed solution in the lower level of the Ross building.
We have two portable carts that can be moved to most locations around the Ross complex, both using video conferencing technology from Polycom and equipped with one flat-panel monitor. Currently, the portable units are unable to share content such as media or desktop presentations, and will only allow for a standard face-to-face conferencing setup.
The permanently integrated solution in R0430-B is a Cisco Telepresence unit. Cisco Telepresence is an impressive, vivid, life-like and very large solution that is intelligent enough to "know" who is talking and switch the camera to show only that person.
Audio/Video Conferencing in Ross Classrooms
Have you wanted to bring in a guest speaker who specializes in a topic of interest to your students, but the speaker you have in mind doesn't plan to be in Ann Arbor during the semester? Or similarly, have you wanted to invite a prominent guest or corporate leader to speak at your event, but scheduling or travel conflicts didn't allow that to happen? Consider a live videoconference for your class or event, right in your regularly scheduled classroom. The technology is very high quality, the experience is outstanding, and the technical logistics are all handled for you by our staff.
In-room video conference is available in each of our classrooms in the Ross building. Use does require that you pre-schedule with Computing Services by contacting the Helpdesk. Your conference can be initiated and controlled from the Ross Lectern in your assigned room or you can request that staff manage your videoconference and control the camera(s) for you, from our high-tech Audio/Video Control Room. Each room is already equipped with a fixed pan/tilt/zoom camera mounted on the rear wall. You can host a videoconference with that single camera, giving the remote site a view of the white boards and lectern at the front, or you can choose to have three additional cameras temporarily mounted to show various angles. If you choose to use additional cameras, your videoconference must be controlled in our A/V Booth.
Like the Meeting Room conference system described above, classroom videoconference uses a high quality, high performance hardware solution (called a Codec, which is short for "compress" and "decompress" of the electrical signals for transmission) to deliver a consistent, high quality audio and video experience for your class or event. Built-in ceiling mounted speakers and a portable lavaliere microphone complete the requirements.
The name of the classroom conferencing solution is "Polycom VSX 7000."