Technology is powering a transformation in the workplace. One area where there is significant opportunity to drive a more modern collaboration experience with technology is in meeting spaces. Even here at Intel, we found valuable time was wasted getting PCs connected to begin sharing content at the start of meetings. Different devices, finding the right dongle and a mix of conference room technologies made connecting and sharing with others difficult and frustrating. On average we were losing about 7 minutes getting a meeting started and in some more extreme cases we heard of 20 minutes being lost to get the content projected and shared. Across all businesses, employees spend a significant amount of time in meetings every year and we realized there is a costly gap in lost productivity. We set out to solve this problem and that was the genesis of Intel® Unite®, our collaboration solution.
Our mission is to develop a platform that is incredibly easy to use, giving employees an instant wireless connection to meetings on any of their PCs or tablets while seamlessly working with existing conference room equipment and software solutions. That’s actually how it got its name –a technology solution that unites all platforms. The Intel® Unite® solution is a combination of an Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor-powered hub running in the meeting room that communicates with a small client app running on devices like a PC, Mac, or tablet and finally a small server component which orchestrates and manages the solution across devices and hubs throughout the network.
Since we first introduced Intel® Unite®, we have been on a relentless path to innovate based on customer feedback. In June we talked about new features that make the collaboration experience even better like rich video playback where in-room participants can share full HD video and audio with ease from Windows-based PCs. We also introduced a new way to join your meetings from a scheduled meeting notice without having to enter the six-digit PIN. Building on this momentum, today we’re announcing new capabilities to advance the state of collaboration even further.
New capabilities that extend the way we meet
Advanced Meeting Room Analytics: We want IT Pros to get more out of their technology and having the right insight on meeting room usage will help. We’ve developed a new telemetry plug-in to track usage. This uniquely gives IT pros insight into how often meeting spaces are getting utilized, for how long and analysis on the health of the technology in the meeting space. Available today, this will help IT and facilities management make better decisions based on how meeting spaces are getting used.
Extending the Platform: We designed Intel® Unite® as an open platform where our goal is to enable customers to collaborate across any device. It is available on Windows (7, 8.1 and Windows 10), Apple Mac OS X and available today, customers have viewing and presenting capabilities for iPad and Android Tablets. Device support for Chromebooks is not far behind – the app will be available at the beginning of the second quarter of this year.
Increased Meeting Control: The relevance of Intel® Unite® as a collaboration solution is growing across various industries like education, healthcare and retail. As a result, we’re building customized features that are important to these verticals. This includes new meeting controls so that users can choose the meeting permissions that make most sense to them. For example, in a classroom environment, this gives meeting controls to teachers to enable them to be the moderator and control who presents content. This feature will be available early in the second quarter of this year.
Static PIN: In addition to the rotating PIN we offer today to more securely connect authorized devices to the client hub, we’re adding a static PIN option for customers. This is well suited for education where it creates a simple connection for teachers and students to always use the same pin to start a sharing session, or to alternatively maintain a PIN which stays the same throughout the duration of an active session.
Empowering customers with better collaboration, management and security
Similar to our own internal experience, we’re seeing a great response from our customers. Intel® Unite® is helping to solve their collaboration pain points. We have nearly 100,000 Unite hubs deployed around the world. And more than just collaboration, IT is telling us they value the Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor running on the client hub because they have a way to remotely manage the meeting room experience driving down costs and increasing meeting room uptime. IT also is able to take advantage of the security features in Intel® Core™ vPro™, so content shared in a meeting is encrypted and stays on the network. We also offer the most cost-effective solution where for less than a $1,000 per room (and no recurring monthly licensing fees), customers can take advantage of the extensive capabilities in Intel Unite, have access to future technologies features that become available over the next 3 years through a simple software update and rest assured that their investment works with their existing meeting room technology.
One of our customers, Adolfo San Martin from Acciona, a leader in renewable energy, shared his experience saying: “We see tremendous opportunity with Intel® Unite®. The solution makes our meeting rooms smarter through a fast, easy wireless connection, so employees start meetings instantly removing the burden of connecting to dongles and wires, which often results in a significant meeting delay. Using Intel® Unite® software on the Intel® Core™ vPro™ platform not only increases employee productivity, but delivers security and manageability features to drive peace of mind for my IT team deploying the solution. We’re finding that Intel Unite is easy to use, manage and has saved us significant time.”
Advancing Intel® Unite® through our ecosystem
Working with our ecosystem of partners is also an important component to our strategy. We want to make sure customers can use existing tools like Skype for Business and Zoom with Intel® Unite®. We’re also working across a broad ecosystem to make Intel Unite available and are now joined by Actiontec. Actiontec just announced their smart meeting and collaboration appliance, the ScreenBeam 1200 with Intel® Unite®. Learn more about Actiontec and their networking and conference room solutions here: screenbeam.com/products/screenbeam-1200/
We’re highlighting our new capabilities at the Integrated Systems Europe event in Amsterdam this week. If you’re attending, we’d love for you to come see us at our booth in the Unified Communications area: 11-B140. Our partner Logitech will also be participating. Check out their booth at: 11-D111
To learn more about Intel® Unite®, go to: intel.com/unite
Read more about Intel's mission with Intel® Unite® in the Intel Newsroom.