Most conference calls can be stereotyped from the start. You know the routine, employees huddle around an audio speaker system. Even the advanced systems have a sound quality only a little better than a fast food drive through speaker. In addition, traveling employees call in from the road and, whether it’s that one lucky employee calling in from their home office, or one of the road warriors, someone forgets to mute their microphone. While these calls are usually efficient, they tend to lack the personal connection and collaborative element that face to face conversation brings. Maybe it’s an important client meeting that could go so much better if you had the ability to chat face to face. A phone call can only go so far. For a small-to-medium sized business, the standard, audio-centered, conference call technology is all that can be afforded. While the desire to add more of a personal touch is high, it’s unattainable as traditional video conference equipment is extremely expensive. Cue in Mountain View.
Google’s Chromebox for meetings (Cfm) is a device made solely for improving the video conference experience for a fraction of the cost. Cfm allows users to form better collaborative relationships no matter the location of participants. Also the consumer can easily control audio, video, and screen share, all for a price tag of just $999.00. While pricing and functionality favors small-to-medium sized businesses, this technology bundle, powered by Asus, Dell, HP, and recently announced by Acer, can operate in an enterprise setting as well. This includes the mandatory one year management and support license required for operating. Chromebox for meetings can simplify the lives of its users. No more annoying cords, bulky audio centerpieces, massive keyboards, or complicated setups. Another physical benefit of Chromebox for meetings is that it can be installed by anyone in the company, which is a huge plus, freeing IT department time and resources. And by using Google Hangouts, which is integrated with the Chrome OS, anyone with a gMail account invited to the meeting can attend. Whether the user is on a Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone, they can have access to the meeting.
During Google’s online conference, Chrome Live 2015, Cfm received its own segment to show off the capabilities of the bundle. Pinterest’s IT head, Matt Thorne, explained how his company went from owning one beta test Cfm a year ago, to implementing them in every conference room in all of their offices worldwide. These systems were completely installed and ready to use in 15 minutes, with some of the remote offices setting Cfm up without an IT person. With several offices and clients in different locations, Chromebox for meetings gives Pinterest the ability to have face to face conferences, which results in better collaborative work. If you use current video conference systems such as Blue Jeans, Intercall, and Uberconference, don’t worry. Chromebox for meetings can integrate with those as well. To view Pinterest’s profile and other benefits of Chromebox for meetings Watch Chrome Live. The Cfm segment starts at 2:04.
What’s in the box?
(1) Asus Chromebox for meetings (1) AC Power Adapter (1) Mounting Bracket (1) Mounting Screws (1) User Guide (1) Quick Start Guide (1) Warranty Card (1) Remote Control and USB Receiver (1) Camera with Adhesive Fasteners (1) USB Speakerphone (1) Table Mat (1) 6 ft. HDMI Cable (1) 15 ft. Cat5e Ethernet Cable (1) 15 ft. USB Extension Cable
While this example shows what is included in the Asus model, all other Cfm models will come with the same equipment. Part of the value takeaway is that these products are manufactured by some of the biggest names in computing technology. Acer, Asus, Dell, and HP have provided a powerful product to be used in collaboration with Google. Check out our Straight Out of the Box Review on the Asus Cfm to learn more about performance.
The Promevo Perspective
Video conferencing isn’t a new practice, but Google has been able to take this process and simplify it in every way possible. Many traditional video conferencing systems can cost between $4,000-$6,000. With Cfm, you can get everything you need for just $999.00. The $250.00 management license (included in the purchase price) lasts for one year and must be renewed each year the product is still in use. Even after renewing year after, you will still save more money than with a traditional video conferencing system. Chromebox for meetings bring offices together no matter the location, allowing face to face collaboration on multiple devices for a fraction of the standard costs. Google has provided all businesses with the opportunity to save money and work better, while removing all the unnecessary steps in the process. Chromebox for meetings is less expensive, less hassle, and less space consuming. And with that, the market for video conferencing solutions has been drastically changed.
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