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Video Conferencing @ Ross

Video Conferences

Ross uses 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 higher end solutions rely on Internet Protocol video conferencing (IP VC), which is video conferencing over a high-speed, high quality of service Ethernet network. There's also a number of alternative options you can run right from your own computer. We'll review all of these options below.

Audio/Video Conferencing in Ross Classrooms

If you've ever wanted to bring in a special guest speaker, or invite a prominent guest or corporate leader to speak at your event, only to find out that they're unable to make the trip, you'll be pleased to know that the classrooms in the Ross Building have built-in video conferencing capability. 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. We do require that you pre-schedule with Ross IT, but your conference can be initiated and controlled from the Ross Lectern in your assigned room. Depending on the type of event, you may also request that our staff manage your video conference and control the camera(s) for you, from our Audio/Video Control Room located on the second floor.

Each room is already equipped with a fixed pan/tilt/zoom camera mounted on the rear wall. Built-in ceiling mounted speakers and lavalier and ceiling mounted microphones complete the experience. You can host a video conference 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 video conference must be controlled in our A/V Booth.)

Dedicated Audio/Video Conferencing Locations

While desktop, laptop, and web conferencing solutions are perfect for many situations (see below), sometimes you need a true-to-life image with the highest quality sound and a suitable, private location to use. For example, an event like this could be an interview through the Office of Career Services, a meeting with a corporate dignitary, or research being conducted between faculty at different universities.

Ross maintains a solution to meet this need. We offer a dedicated videoconferencing room located in the lower level of Ross, which comes equipped with a Cisco TelePresence unit. The  integrated solution in R0430-B, Cisco TelePresence, is an impressive, vivid, and very large solution that is intelligent enough to "know" who is talking and switch the camera to show only that person. The idea behind Cisco TelePresence is "full immersion." The room is as close as you can get to truly being "face-to-face" with someone as if they were really there.

Web-Based Solutions

There are many great pieces of software out there that can be used for video conferencing. Below is a list of the most common ones that are used within Ross:


As a UM Faculty/Staff/Student, you have access to a free BlueJeans account. A BlueJeans account is only needed to schedule and host meetings. Others, such as U-M students, can join BlueJeans conference without an account.

Access your Account | BlueJeans @ Ross

Google HangoutsGoogle Hangouts

Hangouts allows you to have conversations with two or more people at once, and do things like share the screen or collaborate on shared documents together. You already have an account thanks to UM's partnership with Google.

To Access:

  1. Login to your UM email account
  2. Click the icon in the upper-right corner that takes you into Google+ (this icon will be a + symbol next to your name).
  3. Use the drop down menu to open Hangouts
  4. Choose the person you'd like to connect with from your list of contacts or type in their email address.
  5. A small text-based chat window will appear, from which you can click the "Video Call" icon to launch a video session.
  6. Once you've successfully connected with the other person, either of you can then add more people.
  7. Note that a Google account is needed for all parties who wish to use Hangouts.
  8. Hangouts is also available on mobile devices. Search your device's respective App Store for the free Hangout or Google+ app to get started. Log in to these apps with your UM email address. Skype

With Skype you can conduct video conferences, text-message, share your screen and share files with one another.

If you have a Ross machine then Skype is already installed for you. Otherwise you'll need to download and install the free Skype software onto your computer, or go to your mobile device's app store if you wish to use it on your mobile device.

You'll also need a Microsoft account to use the service, although you do have the option of logging in with your Facebook credentials as well.

Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a web conference system that supports distributed meetings and training sessions with audio and video.  It also allows desktop sharing, presentations, polling and many more features. To login to Adobe Connect click here.

Additional information:

Videoconference Tools Comparison

Ross Dedicated Audio/Video Conferencing Locations

We offer a dedicated videoconferencing room located in the lower level of Ross, R0430-B. If you would like to use this location for video conferencing you can reserve the room through the Add/Edit Event form.  Please contact Ross IT for any questions regarding the IT equipment.