Advanced technological capabilities are transforming every aspect of work. We now have amazingly effective productivity-boosting phone apps that we carry right in our own pockets. We’re also seeing a steady stream of new cloud-based platforms that enable organizations to collaborate with partners around the globe.

From the individual apps that employees download to the enterprise cloud-based solutions put into place, technology has changed the way people get business done – and it’s happening in every vertical, from banking and government to retail, healthcare, and more.

Amidst all these changes, the conference room has not stood untouched. A whole new generation of advanced technology solutions for 21st-century conferencing has emerged and improves the meeting room experience for everyone who attends, whether in person or remotely.

whiteboard technology for business

One example of this new generation of advanced technology solutions is the way that interactive whiteboards (IWBs) have changed. IWBs are more capable and advanced than the electronic whiteboard prototypes from twenty years ago. Today’s models are ushering in a new wave of increasingly digital conference room solutions and providing many business benefits. But before we can talk about that, what exactly is an IWB?

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What is an Interactive Whiteboard?

Interactive whiteboards for business have evolved quickly in the past few years.  While older models were capable of delivering an interactive experience, today’s Interactive Flat Panel (IFP) Displays have added functionality compared to their first-gen precursors. IFPs are a type of Interactive Whiteboard, but since they operate in a cloud environment, they take meetings to the next level to drastically elevate the entire team’s experience. All participants (whether in-person or remote) can look forward to higher levels of easy collaboration, smooth communications, and more.

So, why should you upgrade to this new generation of IWB technology? Here’s a list of our top 8 reasons:

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1. Start Your Meeting Without Any Delays

Cameron Herold, the “Business Growth Guru,” says 1 of the top 6 ways to run a good meeting is to make sure you are starting on time. Whether you’re a product manager running an internal team meeting, or  a CEO hosting a global online conference, you’ll need to start your event promptly.

ViewSonic’s interactive whiteboards are created with quick and easy setup in mind. The series of ViewBoard® Interactive Flat Panel Displays (IFP) are examples of the next-gen interactive whiteboards. The ViewBoard® IFP is an all-in-one device that handles collaboration and interaction easily with everything you need and ready to go., and is ready to use right out of the box. They come integrated with the ViewSonic myViewBoard™ interactive software, a robust platform that makes interaction easy, and effortless video conferencing with built-in features like Zoom® software and an embedded web browser.

Bottom line: Hosts won’t have to call IT departments every time because everything they need is built-in and easy to use –  these panels are designed to help hosts start their meetings on time, every time.

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2. Create More Engaging Presentations

The days of passively receiving PowerPoint presentations in a meeting are long gone. The goal of any effective business presentation is to engage people – the last thing a presenter should do is be a “talking head” (guaranteed to lose attention forever). One of the most practical business benefits of interactive whiteboards is the increase in engagement levels to presenters during meetings.

IWBs allow the focus to shift from the presenter to the audience and the material being presented. Putting the audience first means allowing multiple participants to draw or write on a document or other visual element simultaneously. It also means allowing for casting from any of their devices so they can share their docs, too, and allowing for group annotation of a document in real-time.

Even if it’s just the presenter making use of advanced IWB tools, it can make a big difference in engagement. Writing or drawing on the IWB is an excellent way to turn a one-way presentation into a real conversation! All of these empowering capabilities are featured in today’s new generation of interactive whiteboards.

Of course, you could also design the space itself to maximize meeting effectiveness:  check out the guide Contemporary Collaboration: Designing the Perfect Meeting Space

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3. Increase Productivity

There are several things that companies can do to help their teams be more productive. Systemic factors like how information flows throughout the team members and the physical design of your conference room have an enormous effect on productivity and efficiency.

Conference rooms outfitted with powerful, modern interactive whiteboard systems help teams get stuff done faster. One reason is that these systems enable collaboration in ways that were unimaginable ten years ago. New capabilities and added functionality have improved digital collaboration and removed many of the barriers to success that meetings used to suffer using the older technology.

That’s crucial in today’s increasingly digitized and collaborative work environment. A Stanford University study revealed that collaboration is what drives the workplace these days. Plus, it’s no secret that people enjoy working on teams. In fact, according to the study, teamwork increases their motivation. With today’s collaborative work style, everyone needs to be able to share ideas and content with the entire team, even those halfway across the globe. Everyone, whether they’re remote or on-site, will become more productive when conference room equipment doesn’t let them down.

Additionally, conference room tech should offer bright, clear visuals that people can interact with. A static picture on a whiteboard is no longer sufficient for a productive meeting. From sharing content to annotating that content to casting from their device, participants crave group-wide participation and easy access to documents on the cloud. With the right system and the right tools and accessories, today’s IWBs offer all of that and more.

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4. Improve Meeting Culture

When the CEO of Salesforce introduced an in-house platform for employees to share ideas and information, he watched the company culture blossom. Employees were empowered, participation in discussions went company-wide, and dialogues lasted for weeks. It all pointed to his collaborative leadership style and its last.

By encouraging more input from meeting participants and by opening up dialogues to everyone, the culture at Salesforce became more open and more collaborative. Management transparency is one of the top factors when it comes to employee happiness. In this scenario – and thousands of others like it – conference room technology made a tremendous impact on company culture.

SalesForce used the business benefits of interactive whiteboards and other tools to create a more open and collaborative work environment. For example:

  • When management sees ideas from the front lines of the organization via direct input on an Interactive Whiteboard collaboration system, that’s openness.
  • When marketing and sales can easily share data using myViewBoard during a meeting, that’s collaboration.
  • When remote workers feel they’re not missing a beat because of a fully interactive IWB system, that’s collaboration.

All of these capabilities are improvements in a company culture that make employees happy and align everyone

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Employees applauding a presentation
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5. Conference Any Way You Like

Conferencing takes place in wildly different settings than a quarter of a century ago — even conferencing environments from a decade ago would be unrecognizable to today’s meeting attendees. IWBs are essential to promoting a varied and adaptable conference room experience.

For instance, IBWs offer one-click access to instant wireless presentations. There are no cable connections to be made and no setup delays: no dongles, no extra cords, and no hassle. It’s even possible to give each participant personal access to viewing your content on their own devices, if you’d like. Simultaneous mirroring is what makes this possible and brings home the notions of inclusion and engagement for all.

Plus, with simultaneous annotation on both Android and iOS devices, everyone can make the content their own. With ViewBoard® and TouchBack Control, the host can tap into the presentation and control the presenter’s device remotely. All the mobile users at the meeting will see the changes and essential information updated instantly.

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6. Make Remote Staff / Guest Attendees Feel More Welcome

Interactive whiteboards that meet today’s strict standards for collaboration can bring remote teams closer to the fold. With the right conference room tech, remote participants will feel more like they’re in the room with the host/presenter. But that’s not all. They can share and participate easily, too.

Road warriors will appreciate modern equipment and fast connectivity that allows them to share, annotate, record, and cast from their devices during a meeting. myViewBoard “wireless presentation” gives meeting and conference participants the option to share content from their mobile devices – it works to stream content over wireless or cable networks and delivers in full 1080p for extra clarity and visual quality.

Field staff, remote stakeholders, consultants, or employees from enterprise branches around the world can easily share content from their mobile devices as well. Whether it’s Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, remote teams, consultants, and guest attendees can share cloud files, multimedia, and documents using myViewBoard “wireless presentation” and connecting to the shared screen.

Once shared, the content can be annotated in real-time and accessed by multiple users at the same time. You can cast using a large IFP system, or even instantly access content from a phone with excellent visual quality for all to enjoy.

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7. Reduce Your IT Team’s Stress Levels

Right from their arrival after shipping, today’s interactive whiteboards (especially IFP models) are helping to reduce stress levels of IT pros. With the out-of-the-box setup that requires no tools, it’s easy to get started using them right away – fast and straightforward deployment allows for a hassle-free experience, requiring minimal to no support from IT teams.

For example, enterprise security is a top concern for businesses. myViewBoard™ uses the worldwide highly-secure AES-256 encryption algorithm; this level of security is also used to protect banking transactions, medical records, and classified government data. Security teams can rest assured that corporate information shared on a meeting is safe.

Cross-platform interoperability and user adoption are key for communicating between different teams within an organization. myViewBoard™ works with virtually any device and supports Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, and Chrome Devices. From an IT perspective, that’s music to the ears. Lastly, successful meetings generate ideas, conversations, and action items. myViewBoard™ offers anywhere annotation bringing the flexibility of classic whiteboards into the digital world.

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8. Improve the Bottom Line

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of modern IWBs is significantly lower than that of other conference room solutions. Consider the hidden costs of an outdated system:

  • Cost of maintenance in calibration, access to ceiling mounts and walls, replacement parts, etc.
  • IT hours spent changing bulbs in an outdated projector system (not to mention the cost of replacing bulbs).
  • Cost of decreased productivity that stems from using an inefficient system. These costs arise from things like slow deployment, delayed meetings, and a cumbersome setup process.
  • The size and weight of outdated conference room tech can also add to the TCO. When equipment is large and heavy, it requires more resources to ship, install, and maintain. Modern IWBs are smaller, lighter, and there’s only one primary device in an all-in-one system, not two.
  • Lost opportunity costs of software that is not widely compatible. Plus, the added costs of figuring out how to use a system because it’s not user-friendly.
  • Employee downtime is another hidden cost of outdated systems. Whether it’s IT staff when they’re troubleshooting, or meeting participants who lose out on valuable work time when equipment fails, the TCO can be enormous.
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The Business Benefits of Interactive Whiteboards

Every group has different needs and desires for their conference room. No matter what type of collaboration you need to do, we can help you find a great, customized solution for any room and any conference setting.

Learn more about interactive whiteboards and how they can improve your meetings, your conferences, or your huddle sessions for the 21st century and beyond.

We offer an incredible savings on industry-leading interactive flat panel displays – and now through March 31, 2020 schedule a customized demo (on-site or virtual) of the ViewBoard® IFP for a chance to win big!

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(From the editor: This article was originally published on ViewSonic Library.)