What is a Skype Room System?
A Skype Room System (formerly Lync Room System) is a video conferencing and content collaboration solution for the meeting room built over the Microsoft Lync (recently rebranded as Skype for Business) platform. The intent of Skype Room Systems is to extend the functionality of Skype for Business to the meeting room. This is like the Microsoft Lync application on your PC but with a meeting room built around it. There are two main types of Skype meeting room systems; complete systems and DIY systems.
Complete Meeting Room Systems
Complete or all-in-one Skype Room Systems come with their own displays, cameras, and speaker sets, which means you do not get the flexibility of using your own AV equipment or meeting room peripherals. All-in-one systems consume a lot of space in your meeting, are a major investment, require specialized AV technicians to install, configure, and deploy, and require user training for everyone in your organization to learn how to use.
DIY Skype Room Systems
DIY Skype Room Systems offer the same functionality you would get from the all-in-ones like HD audio and video conferencing and content sharing and collaboration but on a much smaller form factor that you can personally install and configure in a very short time. This main difference opens the door to a myriad of benefits that come with DIY Skype Room systems.
Support for generic meeting room peripherals
The first and most important benefit is support for generic meeting room peripherals, which means that with DIY systems, you get to use your existing meeting room TVs or displays, video conferencing cameras, and so on. This not only saves you serious dollars, it also allows you to upgrade specific aspects of your meeting room when you want to, for example you can decide to upgrade just the camera to a PTZ camera like the Logitech GROUP video conferencing kit.
Ease of installation and configuration
Another benefit of DIY systems is the simple installation that you can personally do. DIY systems are by definition, plug-and-play. They consist of a very small computer that runs the Skype Room System software (software created based on Microsoft’s Lync or Skype for Business SDK), and the only requirement is having some form of Lync or Skype for Business and Microsoft Exchange deployment. Once you connect the DIY Skype system to your TV and AV gear, all you need to do next is to give your meeting room its own Exchange and Skype for Business (or Lync) account.
Significantly lower cost of ownership
Because DIY Skype systems are not sold with large displays and peripherals, and they rely on very small computers, they deliver everything a complete room system cost offers at a a significantly lower price. DIY Skype Room Systems start from as low as $999, depending on the features you need.
Works with any room layout and size
The tiny form factor of DIY Skype Room Systems along with their ease of installation make them ideal for any room size, as you can see from the image below of a traditional Lync Room System, the meeting room must be arranged in a specific way tailored for the system. Whereas in DIY Skype Room Systems, you are free to position your meeting room table and screens and cameras in any way you want. This makes DIY systems ideal for small huddle rooms or large conference rooms.