Video conferencing is on fire these days because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every business we know is expanding their video conferencing capabilities, and perhaps you are too.
Part of this expansion includes the use of video room kits used on Cisco and Microsoft platforms.
A common misconception is that Cisco WebEx Room Kits don’t work with Microsoft Teams. But this isn’t true at all. In fact, Cisco WebEx Room Kits work great on the Microsoft Teams platform and should be seriously considered as an option for your conference rooms, regardless of your preferred conferencing software.
First, let’s define what a video room kit is exactly. A room kit is plugged into an existing LCD screen and provides an external camera and speaker system to enable video conferencing functionality. Since most conference rooms already have an LCD screen installed, a room kit is an easy add-on.
When we first began deploying video conferencing systems, they were all enclosed units that included a screen and a camera. These units are still excellent and widely used, but they are more expensive. Room Kits were developed to help bring costs down.
Here’s a traditional example – camera and screen are integrated together as a single unit:
Here’s a room kit example using two screens. Camera on top, codec under the screen, touch screen on the desk:
A frequent assumption is that you buy a room kit that is the same as the platform you use for video conferencing. If you use Cisco WebEx, you buy a Cisco Room Kit. If you use Microsoft Teams, you buy a Microsoft-supported Room Kit from a variety of manufacturers.
Cisco hardware and software is tightly integrated—think the Apple ecosystem—making it an excellent video platform. It’s elegant, easy to install, easy to manage and support, and has fewer components to make it work. That being said, it also works seamlessly with Microsoft Teams.
Here’s an example from a Microsoft 3rd party room kit compared to a single piece of codec hardware on the Cisco WebEx Room Kit:
Add a screen, touchpad, and camera, and you are all set to go:
Whether you choose Cisco WebEx Teams or Microsoft Teams as your collaboration platform, the Cisco Webex Room Kit will support it.