HP - New Role of Meeting Room PC
September 2016
The New Role of the Meeting Room PC
This study sponsored by …
The History of the Meeting Room PC
The concept of including some form of personal computer in a meeting room is not new. The basic use
case was quite simple --- people created content while working at their desks, and they needed to
present that content to others during a formal meeting in a meeting room. At that time, users wishing
to present their PC content in a meeting room had the following options:
Option 1 – Use a Meeting Room PC
Back in the day, many meeting rooms included a Windows PC. In fact, some companies included
standard PCs in every one of their AV-equipped meeting rooms.
In these spaces, the meeting room PC served as a content source for the large main display or installed
video projector. And although the meeting room PC was a full-fledged computer able to run basically
any Windows applications, it was used almost exclusively to push PowerPoint presentations onto the
main screen. That was it.
But using a meeting room PC to present content required the user to transfer the content onto the PC,
which at that time was no easy task for several reasons:
The PC was usually tucked away in the AV equipment rack in a credenza or in the “back room”
accessible only to AV support staff.
The user had to know how to log in to the PC
The user had to figure out how to transfer the file onto the PC, which years ago meant using a
floppy disk, a CD rom, a flash drive, a shared network drive, or figuring out how to email a file to
the meeting room’s dedicated email address.
It should come as no surprise that most of the time AV or IT support had to get involved, which meant
additional cost and coordination.
In addition, for the IT department, managing a meeting room PC was problematic. First of all, the PC
had to allow users to login and access their applications and data easily. But the PC also had to be
secure enough to avoid unauthorized access to company data.
In addition, meeting room PCs were used by many people, and as a result over time many programs and
user profiles found their way onto the system. And compared to today, the available remote
management tools were rudimentary, leaving the IT team in the dark about the real status of the PC.
And worst of all, meeting room PCs typically used a different software build than the thousands of other
PCs distributed throughout the company.
Author’s Note:
Some companies tried to run collaboration software on their early meeting room PCs. In most cases, they found
that the PCs of the time were not powerful enough to provide an acceptable group collaboration experience. In
other cases, the collaboration software apps available at that time were either unstable or lacking in key features
or capabilities.
© 2016 Wainhouse Research
Page 2
The net is that the option to use a standard PC in a meeting room was inconvenient and complicated for
the user, frowned upon by IT, and somewhat unreliable.
Option 2 – Use a Laptop
The second option was to use a laptop / notebook PC as the content source in the meeting room. To
make this work, AV systems included VGA input cables somewhere at or near the meeting room table
(see image below of a table box with various cables).
This method avoided some of the pitfalls of Option 1 above and even offered a number of benefits, but
was not without its own baggage. For example, if the user’s laptop was used, the presentation was
likely to be on the laptop already (or accessible via a shared network drive).
However, back then, laptops were not standard issue for most workers due to high cost and the heavy
maintenance burden. As a result, many organizations turned to shared laptops, creating a pool of
portable PCs for use in meeting rooms. This, however, increased the logistical and technical burden on
the already stretched and stressed AV team.
Over time, as cost dropped and reliability improved, laptops became more common, such that today
content sharing from a user’s PC has become the de facto standard approach used in many meeting
rooms. And this too worked against the concept of the permanently installed meeting room PC.
The takeaway here is that the meeting room PC has had a troubled past. And frankly, when used as just
a content source or a way to show PowerPoint slides on the screen, for many the cons of the meeting
room PC outweighed the pros.
© 2016 Wainhouse Research
Page 3
The Rebirth of the Meeting Room PC
In the past, meeting room PCs were just a way to open and display a user’s existing content within a
meeting room environment. At that time, the audio, video, and web conferencing experience was
hosted by other systems (e.g. group video conferencing systems). But that was then, and this is now.
In recent years, enterprises have started to
Once the ugly duckling of the AV world, meeting room
understand the power – and frankly the
are seeing a resurgence within small, medium, and
opportunities – associated with the meeting
large enterprises seeking a cost-effective and flexible
room PC. This renewed interest was driven
way to collaboration-enable their conference rooms.
largely by IT managers who view PCs as
more than just a way to show a
presentation. These folks see the meeting room PC as an affordable, reliable, and flexible engine for
hosting interactive conferencing and collaboration sessions.
Today there are two common approaches for hosting meeting room conferencing – using a dedicated,
purpose-built device, or using a meeting room PC. The table below highlights the differences between
these two options:
Dedicated Collaboration Device
Meeting Room PC
Form Factor
Dedicated appliance (or PC configured to act
like an appliance) 1
PC (desktop or mini)
Conferencing Accessories
(camera, mic, etc.)
Typically included in the package
Typically must be purchased separately
Typical Functions
Group video conferencing
Wireless presentation
Broad range of functions that depends on the
application(s) in use
User Interface
Typically solution specific
Typically the standard operating system (e.g.
Windows) user interface or some variant
User Experience
Typically very strong
Ranges from acceptable to very strong
(depends on PC and app in use)
Typically very high
Ranges from acceptable to very strong
(depends on PC and app in use)
Flexibility (ability to
support multiple functions)
None – device supports only a pre-defined
set of functions and capabilities
Very Strong – functionality depends on
software app in use, and user / IT admin can
easily load additional apps.
E.g. Adding Skype for BusinessTM (SfB) support
requires only the installation of the SfB client.
Relatively expensive
Relatively inexpensive
The takeaway here is that meeting room PCs are no longer the ugly duckling of the AV meeting room.
Today’s meeting room PCs offer a compelling combination of flexibility and low cost, and this has
prompted many organizations to change their stance on the meeting room PC. This is especially true in
small meeting rooms (huddle rooms) where cost effectiveness and flexibility are primary requirements.
A PC-based appliance automatically loads a specific program when powered up, and does not allow the user to access other
programs or the underlying operating system. Essentially, this PC acts like a single-purpose device or kiosk.
© 2016 Wainhouse Research
Page 4
Solution Spotlight
The sponsors of this study, HP and Intel, have recently announced a meeting room PC solution called
Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms2 (Slice). But make no mistake … Slice is not your grandfather’s meeting
room PC, and it is far too sexy to be hidden in a credenza or equipment rack.
Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms is a mini-PC with an attractive look and feel designed for placement in
plain sight (e.g. in the middle of the table, on top of a credenza) in a meeting room. Slice is optimized
for use in small (e.g. huddle) and medium meeting rooms hosting informal, collaborative sessions.
Slice provides three key benefits designed to enhance the workflow, user experience, and security of
group conferencing.
One-Touch Conferencing – Slice provides
convenient, capacitive touch controls on the top
cover that allow users to start and end Skype for
Business (SfB) calls, adjust volume levels, and mute
the microphones quickly and easily. LED indicators
provide visible confirmation of connection and
mute status.
Slice lets you control your SfB calls without opening
your notebook or using an external keyboard,
mouse, or control panel.
HP Slice for Meetings includes HP Slice with Intel® Unite™ software, HP Collaboration Cover and HP Audio
Module. Other modules are sold separately.
© 2016 Wainhouse Research
Page 5
Integrated Audio – The HP Audio Module, developed in partnership with Bang and Olufsen (B&O),
includes a dual-microphone array with 5-meter range. Audio performance is optimized thanks to HP
Audio Boost and HP Noise Cancellation capabilities. Slice eliminates the need for external mics and
speakers (and associated cabling to an external audio system).
Business Level Performance – Slice is a fully functional PC powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i5 or i7
Series processor and running Windows 10 Professional. The integrated VPro system provides remote
management support for IT administrators.
To simplify system installation and the meeting room collaboration experience, Slice for Meeting Rooms
includes the Intel Unite platform pre-loaded with key business applications including Skype for Business.
The Intel Unite wireless presentation capability allows notebook users to share content on the meeting
room display with just a few clicks. And unlike fixed (appliance) solutions with pre-defined capabilities,
Slice will gain new functionality over time as new Intel Unite plug-ins become available.
And Slice is protected by HP Sure Start with Dynamic Protection which monitors and corrects BIOS
corruption in real time.
The combination of a powerful mini-PC, integrated high quality audio, Skype for Business controls, and
IT-friendly management and security features makes HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms stand out against
standard meeting room PC.
© 2016 Wainhouse Research
Page 6
The enterprise meeting room environment is in a period of transition. Once dominated by large,
expensive, formal meeting spaces, enterprises now see the importance of supporting collaboration in
many large, medium, and small meeting rooms within their environment.
Many savvy organizations are seeking to leverage software-based conferencing tools within their
meeting rooms, which is driving increased demand for meeting room PCs.
To address these needs, the sponsors of this study, HP and Intel, created Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms – a powerful, AV-friendly, and centrally manageable mini-PC solution designed for prominent placement
within any meeting room. Slice for Meeting Rooms’ sleek design and advanced features (e.g. on-device
call control, integrated wireless presentation, integrated audio, etc.) makes it extremely well suited for
organizations seeking a fast and easy way to collaboration-enable small to medium conference rooms.
WR expects meeting room PC deployments to grow significantly in the next few years, and solutions like
HP Slice for Meeting Rooms is likely to play a key role in that evolution.
Intel, Core, Unite and vPro are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft and Windows are either trademarks or
registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.
© 2016 Wainhouse Research
Page 7
About the Authors
Ira M. Weinstein is a Senior Analyst & Partner at Wainhouse Research and a
25-year veteran of the conferencing, collaboration and audio-visual industries.
Ira has authored and contributed to dozens of articles, white papers, studies,
reports, and evaluations on rich media communications, video conferencing,
streaming and webcasting, audio-visual design and integration, business
strategy, and general business practices. Ira specializes in providing strategic
advisory services to vendors, resellers, and end-users within the collaboration
space. Ira can be reached at iweinstein@wainhouse.com.
Saar Litman is a Senior Analyst & Consultant at Wainhouse Research and has
17 years’ of experience in the audio-visual and video conferencing industry.
Saar’s primary focus is the products, services, and companies within the audiovisual space. In addition, Saar provides AV design services, helps enterprise
organizations define and implement global AV standard systems and designs,
and manages the WR test lab in Coral Springs, Florida. Saar can be reached at
About Wainhouse Research
Wainhouse Research, www.wainhouse.com, is an independent
analyst firm that focuses on critical issues in the Unified
Communications and Collaboration (UC&C). The company conducts
multi-client and custom research studies, consults with end users on key implementation issues,
publishes white papers and market statistics, and delivers public and private seminars as well as
speaker presentations at industry group meetings.
About HP
(copy provided by HP)
HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through
our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer
experiences that amaze. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available
at http://www.hp.com.
For more information about HP Elite Slice & Slice for Meeting Rooms, please visit www.hp.com/go/Slice.
© 2016 Wainhouse Research
Page 8
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF