Why You Need Forum in Addition to Exchange for Booking Meeting Rooms
Every day, you turn to Microsoft Exchange (Outlook) for your emails, calendar events, and to-do lists. A life without it would be a scare. But, let’s be honest. Trying to book a meeting room through it is not always seamless.
- Have you tried booking a room only to find out five minutes before the meeting that it didn’t go through or, worse, was double-booked?????
- Have you looked to book a room but none seem to be available… yet when you walk past those conference rooms at what would’ve been your meeting time they are a ghost town!?!????
- Have you tried scheduling a room using the Outlook mobile app…..????
Microsoft Exchange is killing the game in many ways. We really can’t imagine working without it.
But, POBODY’S NERFECT.
So, what is there to do?
Make sure you have Exchange AND Forum.
When you use both Exchange and Forum, these 8 common problems are easily fixed:
“That conference room is EMPTY, but it said it was booked!”
Problem: So, you went to schedule a conference room but nothing was available when you needed it. But when the time came and you walked past those very same conference rooms, they were empty.
Unfortunately, without business rules, people can schedule rooms as needed and not think about canceling them if the meeting changes or they decide the room is unnecessary. Rooms go unused. Utilization data gets screwy. And you end up frustrated.
Solution: Head over to the Forum and you get access to Business Rules, Policies & Workflow. Meaning, conference rooms can require check-in so that, if not checked-in to, the reservation will be auto-bumped and the room will become available to those who need it. Then, the system knows if the room was actually used because it was checked-in to. Or it will see that it was picked up by someone else. Or it was left open.
“I’d like to be on floor 3, in that corner room near the coffee machine but I can’t remember its name.”
Problem: With only one level of naming, you’d need to memorize each conference room name to know which one to reserve. If you are in an office building with only five meeting rooms, piece of cake. But times that by 10 or 50 and things get messy.
Solution: With the Forum, you can choose the office building you want, the floor you want, and find that perfect conference room. You can even look at the floor plan and find the room near the coffee machine or the bathrooms. Quick. Easy. Magic.
“I need a room that has a whiteboard and video conferencing capabilities.”
Problem: You want to make sure you reserve the best conference room for a client meeting coming up. It needs to have a whiteboard and video conferencing capabilities. But, unless you plan to walk around to each meeting room to do your research ahead of time, you won’t know until you are there.
Solution: In the Forum, you can see the amenities each meeting room has, images of the rooms and exactly where the room is. Making it easy to know that you will have the tools you need to run a seamless meeting and absolutely WOW those customers.
“The I.T. team has the large conference room booked the same day I need it. But both of us only need half of the room. Because it is HUGE.”
Problem: Your office has a conference room that works just as well split in two as it does whole. It makes it very convenient when two meetings are going on at the same time that would work best in that room. But there is no way to reserve only half of the room through Outlook.
Solution: Unless you pair it with the Forum. You can book dynamic rooms just as easily as normal conference rooms. Whether you want the whole room or just half, it’s the same process. So, no more worrying about if you’ll remember that you are sharing the room with another meeting. Or thinking you may not have a room when the day approaches. You do! And it’s scheduled and will show up on your Outlook calendar to remind you on the day of.
“We will need to plan this upcoming meeting to be in a classroom setup and will need to include a projector and catering. It’s a lot to manage, but I guess I am used to it.”
Problem: Some meetings take a lot of setup and, til now, you haven’t had one platform to be able to schedule the equipment, catering, etc. that you need.
Solution: Now, you can complete all of these tasks right on the Forum platform. Done and done. We told you it was easy.
“Our company considered hoteling but scrolling through hundreds of workspaces a day isn’t ideal.”
Problem: Without a floorplan and multiple levels of naming, it’s really difficult to know which offices and conference rooms you’ll want to reserve each day. Hoteling is supposed to be the cool new thing but with only Exchange, it’s impossible to manage. People start reserving the same space every day so they know they have it, even if they don’t show up to it.
Solution: For a company to manage office hoteling properly, a workplace reservation software is a must. You’ll want to be able to offer a platform that can show where rooms are located, which are available, easily reserve them from desktop or mobile and then track the office’s utilization.
“Last minute urgent meeting requests come in all the time but trying to schedule a meeting room on the Outlook mobile app is not intuitive and a pain in the butt.”
Problem: It’s very rare you work normal 9-5 hours anymore. Your phone is always with you and your boss expects you to look through email on and off throughout the week. But when you get an email saying you need to schedule a meeting ASAP, Outlook doesn’t make it easy to find and reserve the conference room needed on your mobile. So, you try and find a desktop to schedule it or you hope there are still rooms available when you get to the office again.
Solution: Using the Forum mobile app, you can schedule a meeting room in seconds. You can find the room in the location you want, with the amenities you want. And once you schedule it, it’s there on your Outlook calendar.
“People keep saying we need more space. That they can’t book conference rooms because it says they’re unavailable. But I walk around the office and see so much empty space daily.”
Problem: There’s no way to see what conference rooms and offices are being used daily. So, there’s no way to know whether your office needs more space or it just needs to be utilized more efficiently.
Solution: With Forum analytics, you can answer whether you need more space, what kind of space is most popular, when your office is busiest and much more. See which employees are in the office the most and how they are using the space. Plus, see a floorplan view of who is using what spaces in real-time. Advanced reporting like this will make an admins job fun and exciting… at least that’s what we think!
Any of these 8 common scenarios resonate with you? Well, when we team up with Exchange, they disappear like that!
Learn more about the capabilities of Exchange with AgilQuest’s Forum here.