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Definition of a hybrid meeting

A hybrid meeting is one in which some participants gather in a physical meeting room while others join remotely. The same information is being relayed and presented online as it is in-person, and all participants have the same opportunities to interact and contibute to the meeting. Hybrid meetings are will occur more frequently within the University as we adapt to the new working environment and have increased access to, and demand for, collaboration technologies.

Hybrid meeting rooms are small-to-medium-sized spaces equipped for interactive meetings, and are distinct from large spaces equipped for lecture capture as part of our centrally managed lecture capture service.
 

The benefits of our chosen solution

We've selected an easy-to-use and flexible solution that intelligently tracks active participants and dynamically outputs the best sound and picture quality – for example, by focusing on whoever is speaking and eliminating background noise. This helps everyone in the meeting feel fully engaged and able to contribute, regardless of their location.

The recommended University set-up is Cisco Video Conferencing software. It's integrated with Microsoft Teams and supports WebEx and Zoom meetings (with a Zoom Conference Room Connector (CRC) licence). Room scheduling is managed via Exchange Online.

The advantages of all departments and University buildings using this recommended set-up include:

  • a tried and tested solution
  • compatibility between meeting rooms
    – avoids the risk that meeting rooms may not talk to each other if different systems are being used
  • improved usability by integrating scheduling and room booking via Exchange Online
    – calendar integration lets people easily find and book meeting rooms when scheduling meetings in Microsoft Teams and Outlook
  • a consistent user experience across meeting rooms and buildings
    – avoids the painful experience of having to get to grips with different kit across rooms and buildings
  • access to technical support and assistance from UIS.

 

Room specifications and indicative costs

Notes

  • We anticipate a room set-up to last for 5 years.

  • The minimum lead time for installation is approximately three weeks.

  • The screens specified below are commercial display screens and not consumer TVs hence the apparent high cost compared to the high street.

 

Small room – 2 to 5 people (approx. £5K)

Item

Cost

Screen (55” or 65”) ~ £1,000
Cisco RoomKit Mini ~ £2,250
Installation (assumes a suitable network point nearby in the room) < £1,000
Total ~ £5,000 +VAT

 

Medium room – 6 to 10 people (approx. £8.5K)

Item

Cost

Screen (86”) ~ £2,300
Cisco RoomKit ~ £5,000
Installation (assumes a suitable network point nearby in the room) < £1,000
Total ~ £8,500 +VAT

 

Medium Plus room – up to 16 people (approx. £11K)

Item

Cost

Screen (86”) ~ £2,300
Cisco RoomKit Plus ~ £7,500
Installation (assumes a suitable network point nearby in the room) < £1,000
Total ~ £11,000 +VAT

 

Bespoke rooms – over 16 people, unusual layouts or multiple rooms.

These need to be discussed and will be quoted on a case-by-case basis, please contact phones@uis.cam.ac.uk.
 

How to order rooms

The University and Colleges have jointly provided a seed fund to cover the equipment costs for 61 flagship pilot rooms across the estate. We’re working to install as many of these rooms as possible during Michaelmas Term, depending on availability of equipment and resources.

Institutions can contact us to order installations of additional rooms. Those that don’t have their own budget or reserves to pay for it can apply to a central fund administered by the Agile Steering Group of Cambridge Works. For further details, see the University of Cambridge COVID SharePoint site. We’ll schedule installation of these additional rooms after the pilot rollout is complete.
 

Additional information

 

Technical support and assistance

  • All queries and requests for support with the set-up of hybrid meeting rooms using the University’s recommended solution detailed above should be directed to phones@uis.cam.ac.uk.
     
  • Please note UIS will not offer technical support and assistance for other set-ups, for example, Owls.