Meeting room software – Will it be around in 5 years?

The more customers I go to see the more I hear this statement – “we are using our meeting rooms less and more people are connecting one on one with technology”

Just yesterday which prompted this blog I was with a company that had invested heavily in the past 24 months with boardroom conferencing technology only to find more of the employees are using Skype for Business and not even going into the boardrooms that have been fitted out with tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. At least you have a nice big screen TV to watch the Olympics.

As the world continues to evolve I ask is meeting room software like paper back books, will meeting rooms just not be used any more? Apparently we are reading less books then ever with TV being available on every electronic device today and hundreds of channels we are no longer reading on the bus or the train we are now watching our favorite TV show.

When Microsoft purchased skype in 2015 for 8.5 billion, yeah that is right, 8.5 billion. Skype at the time had turnover of 860 million. This was the second time Skype had been sold as originally it was purchased by eBay in 2005 but eBay really struggled with what to do next. Along comes Microsoft and they have a vision.

Why buy Skype when you already have a similar style of product? easy….skype has 124 million users actively using the software every month Microsoft has a free service with 300 million users so why buy Skype? Skype had in 2005 around 8 million paying customers, paying customers are much more profitable than free customers.

Step forward to 2016, where does Skype and Microsoft fit into the meeting rooms of businesses? That is actually the problem for meeting rooms. More and more companies are signing up to Skype for Business giving individuals at there workstation, laptop, ipad the ability to host a live conference call without going to the board room. Need 10 people in the meeting, no problem they can all join into the same meeting all sitting at their desk.

Just today while I was researching further for this blog I took a call from a customer that shared with me they had an iPad in every meeting room, the number of people in each room has diminished over the past 12 months and the technology is now bypassed or not used as so few people are using the boardrooms.

Last week I completed a visitor management online demonstration to a national company with 7 people in seven states, no one had to fly anywhere, everyone was in the same meeting at the same time in a different place, one of the participants had a sick daughter and was able to attend the meeting from home.

Will boardroom management software or meeting room management software be here in five years? My guess is yes there will be a place in some buildings in the future but meetings like many other items over the past 5 years are going mobile, you can now be anywhere in the world and be part of a group meeting with tools like Skype for Business.

What will you use?