Crossover is a leading UK-based supplier and installer of audiovisual and videoconferencing systems for meeting rooms, offices, boardrooms and events spaces. If you need a professional Zoom installation for your commercial premises why not contact us today to find out more.
Zoom - the basics
Zoom is a straightforward and scalable cloud-based communications platform, allowing very easy collaboration with other users via videoconferencing, audioconferencing, webinars and chat. Zoom can be used on a wide range of devices - including mobile phones, tablets, PCs, Macs, desktop phones, and in ‘Zoom Rooms’ (we’ll explain what Zoom Rooms are later!).
The Zoom software can be used to connect a huge array of different types of environments - a single remote participant on a mobile phone, or a 40-person boardroom, or a 300 people ‘Town Hall’ meeting space - and everything in between can all be connected together easily.
COVID-19, Social Distancing, Remote Working and the rise of Zoom
Social distancing measures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are dramatically changing the way people work. With a largely remote workforce, being able to connect a large number of geographically disparate employees, customers, and shareholders, via one unified collaboration system is now a mission-critical factor in successful working. Many commentators believe that these changes are now here to stay – even once the Coronavirus has (hopefully) been beaten we are likely to see dramatic increases in the amount and frequency of remote working and collaboration in our working routines and practices. By far the biggest winner in terms of market share in the videoconferencing and unified communications sectors as a result of this historic event has been Zoom. What’s more, this dramatic increase in market share didn’t come as much of a surprise – Zoom was already seeing huge growth in popularity for the 12 months before this, and was already in a dominant position, along with Microsoft Teams. And rightly so – Zoom’s offering is really great.
Zoom provides software and a platform, but not hardware. Crossover has many years of experience successfully installing and integrating the best possible hardware solutions for Zoom systems, and helping businesses roll out Zoom Rooms across London, the rest of the UK and globally – whether that’s for just one or two rooms, or a whole international corporate estate. Working with multinational clients in a wide range of industries such as finance, construction, hotels, media and communications, education and public sector, and in countless boardrooms, meeting rooms and conference spaces, we understand the ‘pros and cons’ of implementing a wide range of Zoom Room systems. Our experience means we understand how to make sure your Zoom calls are quick and easy to join; the systems are robust, and that the sessions run with optimum video and audio quality - no matter how challenging the physical space, or the scale of the project.
What is a Zoom Room?
Firstly, let’s clear up the difference between ‘Zoom’, ‘Zoom meetings’, and ‘Zoom Rooms’.
Zoom is a cloud-based unified communications platform, and a Zoom meeting is any call made on this platform. A Zoom Room is a specific type of Zoom licence, which allows you to turn your normal meeting rooms into Zoom-enabled videoconferencing and presentation rooms that are extremely easy to use.
How do Zoom Rooms work?
Implementing a Zoom Room means you can walk into that meeting room and join a Zoom call by either clicking on the ‘Start’ button, or by entering the unique Zoom meeting code, all from a dedicated and intuitive touch panel (check out the picture below to see one of these touch panels in situ). You can also quickly start a Zoom call by selecting 'Meet Now', and invite people to join you via email or by passing on the meeting code.
The Zoom Room Licence also enables wireless (and optional wired) screen sharing, and it includes digital signage and room booking systems that seamlessly integrate into the overall workflow.
All of your Zoom Room spaces can be managed centrally and remotely, meaning your IT staff can manage all of these spaces from one place (or from home).
A Zoom Room can be implemented and installed anywhere from a large boardroom (using with sophisticated ceiling microphones and High Definition wide-angle cameras), through to a home office or small huddle room space (where, with the right know-how, lower-cost equipment will still deliver good results).
If you are having a meeting but do not need videoconferencing you still have the option to use the Zoom Room for wireless (or wired) content sharing, or to make a phone call using the Zoom systems in the room to call a cell or landline.
Regardless of the complexity of the room, choosing the correct system for the space is crucial to the success of a call or meeting. We will outline some of this below, but if you want to give us a call now to discuss your specific needs, please do so.
All Zoom Rooms share the same fundamental components:
- Control interface
1. Control interface
Zoom Rooms use an app that can run on either an Android or Apple iOS device (typically a tablet that sits in a dock on a suitable surface in the room); this app is used to seamlessly control the whole Zoom environment. Users can set up or join a call with a very quick and intuitive process, and can then connect to other contacts mid-call, with the option of using a pre-populated contact list on the Zoom Room’s host device.
A second tablet (e.g. an iPad or Android tablet) or another type of touch screen can then be added outside the meeting room, for your staff to access Zoom’s room booking functionality.
Zoom can run on Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX machines. Running requirements are very modest and should be catered for adequately by most computers. One important consideration is the size and location of the PC. HDMI extenders can be very costly, so ideally the computer should be close to (or even behind) the display, and it therefore needs to be of an appropriate size.
Highly intelligible speech is crucial for a successful digital meeting. Two key components to this are the right acoustics in your meeting room space, and selecting the correct microphones for the size, acoustics and usage of the space. Some microphone options for videoconference meetings include the following;:
- Soundbar microphones for small spaces and huddle rooms
- Table microphones, often with beamforming arrays, for larger meeting rooms of more than six people
- Ceiling-mounted beamforming microphone arrays with audio DSP control for larger meeting rooms and boardrooms
- Professional grade wireless headset microphones, gooseneck microphones, or even CatchBox microphones can be used for audio capture in large town-hall style meetings.
If a space needs to capture a large group a good quality Full High Definition camera with a suitably wide capture angle is required to ensure everyone who needs to be seen, can be seen. Ranging from small cameras mounted on top of displays (like the excellent Huddly cams that have taken the market by storm in the last 12 months), to multiple PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras for larger ‘Town Hall’ or ‘All Hands’ spaces.
For meeting room with a number of people in – especially those observing safe social distancing, a display of adequate size is required. In meetings where a presentation deck, document, video or other content needs to be shared, extra dedicated screens can be really beneficial. Zoom Rooms can accommodate up to three displays, showing local camera, remote camera, and additional connected content. We can add the ‘back end’ equipment to facilitate that.
Optional additional hardware
- HDMI input – we can add this to the system
- Visualiser - can be added to display documents on Zoom sessions
- Loudspeakers – Additional ceiling speakers may be necessary for larger rooms if the display speakers are not adequate to properly fill the entire room.
A Zoom Room licence is required. In addition, aside from the room needing a Zoom Room licence, at least one of your team members need to have a paid Zoom licence.
There is a bewildering array of potential hardware configurations for Zoom Room systems. Crossover’s designers are highly experienced in designing, installing and commissioning systems of all sizes. We can design and install systems for any requirement at any scale.
Having a company such as Crossover install a Zoom Room for your company, which can help you choose and carefully install and calibrate the audiovisual equipment in your rooms, means you can take full advantage of all the great features of Zoom Video Conferencing such as enterprise-grade HD video & audio, one-click wireless content sharing, calendar integration with Office 365 or G Suite, and Zoom Phone.
What are other useful features of Zoom Rooms?
Zoom is a full unified communications system and there are a many features, other than the videoconferencing elements, that allow for a complete communication system:
Allowing users to share content on their screen with remote participants, - this can be a presentation, a document, a web page – or their whole desktop.
Wireless and wired connections
Allowing users to connect their laptop or device wirelessly, or via a wired connection.
Cross platform calls
Allowing users to connect your Zoom Room system with videoconferences on other platforms, such as Blue Jeans, Webex, Microsoft Teams, and H.323 standards-based Polycom and Cisco hardware systems (using the Zoom connector).
Calls via your existing VOIP phone system
Chat, instant messaging and file sharing
Using a tablet or similar device to act as the room booking panel (such as an iPad in a wall dock, or a Crestron booking panel), a standard Zoom Room licence allows users to view, create, schedule and edit meetings via the room management tool. then there is no additional cost, other than the device you choose to use for your room booking panel, which can be easily installed, usually only needing one cable. You can customize the background image of the scheduling display to meet your brand guidelines. If your chosen panel supports LED status lights then this feature can also be used.
Why do I need a Zoom Room?
If you have more than one participant in the same room, a Zoom Room makes a lot of sense and will make your meetings significantly smoother and more productive.
Not being reliant on an individual’s device to host an important meeting has significant benefits. With a Zoom Room, you have a dedicated appliance designed to manage a professional quality video call, not only does this mean participants are free to use their own devices to take notes, or share content, but also this removes any issues with battery life, or potential problems related to connecting a users’ laptop to the room’s installed camera and microphones. Most importantly you know that the device will work from the off, making every meeting quick to start without any troubleshooting or technical issues. A user would simply add the room when booking the meeting on your calendar application (e.g. Office 365 or Google Calendar), and you will be able see that meeting on the room’s touch panel, and easily join the meeting meeting with one tap.
A Zoom Room has benefits beyond even for meetings just within that room. It makes using the space for a local presentation a breeze, with content sharing from multiple devices far simpler to manage than with a conventional AV setup.
Why use a professional Zoom Solution Provider?
Video conferencing and virtual meetings are not only a way to continue to operate with social distancing measures in place, but also unlock exciting opportunities for collaboration and remote working in the future. Anyone who has experienced a video call with difficult audio or video, or with technical issues that plague the start of a meeting, will also understand that videoconferencing, remote collaboration and presenting to a client across the internet can be frustrating and kill the energy of a gathering, as well as wasting the time of all those involved. Choosing the right equipment setup for your company and its various spaces ensures that;
- All of your needs are met
- You’ll benefit from enterprise-grade HD video & audio
- Your staff benefit from our specialist and experienced trainers so they feel super confident from their very first Zoom meeting, and they’ll be empowered to make the best of exciting features such as one-click wireless content sharing, calendar integration with Office 365 or G Suite, and Zoom Phone.
- The requirements on the end-user to get the system to ‘just work’ are as minimal as possible – often just a single click to join.
- That you have the flexibility to meet the requirements for different meetings in different spaces, but uniform workflow and end-user operation.
We’re a Large Enterprise – Is Zoom right for us?
As well as offering an AV environment that’s extremely easy-to-use for videoconferencing and distance-collaboration, the other truly great thing about Zoom Rooms is that they’re highly scalable: – any combination of large and small spaces can be catered for in very a cost-efficient way because both the technology architecture and the licencing model is very flexible. For an estate-wide rollout including everything from small huddle rooms through to large boardrooms, large town hall spaces, auditoriums, and multiple offices in different geographies, the flexibility of the architecture of the Zoom system means you can use one platform across your whole estate in a really cost-effective way – and cheaper than traditional videoconferencing systems.
Crossover will specify the optimal hardware specification for each one of your room types, and the user experience will be consistent across your estate.
With room booking and digital signage built into the Zoom Room licence cost, Zoom Rooms are a great way for you to build your company’s AV systems around one central ecosystem.
Using Zoom across your organisation will mean that all spaces will have the same easy-to-use user interface and the end-user experience will be familiar to your employees wherever they are. The enterprise-level remote management tool will also mean all your Zoom Rooms can be easily centrally managed.
For Groupon's new London HQ, Crossover installed multiple Zoom Room spaces, ranging from small 4-person meeting rooms, to large boardrooms and an events space equipped with video broadcast capabilities. These rooms are heavily used by Groupon staff when communicating with colleagues and customers across the world.
At Blockchain's London offices, Crossover were brought in to check and correct many issues Blockchain were having using Zoom Rooms hardware installed by another AV company. Crossover were able to significantly improve the audio from these Zoom Rooms by adjusting hardware configurations and by installing acoustic treatment to some of the spaces, ensuring a much improved experience.
How much does a Zoom Room cost?
In order to have a working Zoom Room there are two components of cost you will need to consider:
- Hardware costs
- Monthly licencing costs
The size of the room you wish to convert to a Zoom Room, as well as the audio and video quality and required robustness of the solution will determine the budget you should set aside for Zoom Room hardware. As a rule of thumb, the below are entry level prices assuming you already have a working TV screen installed in your meeting room:
The hardware cost will depend on the size of each space you need to cater for. The below prices are a guideline to a good entry level system, assuming there is a working TV in the room.
- Huddle room [2-4 people] £1,550 + VAT
- Small meeting room [4-8 people] £2,400 + VAT
- Large Meeting Room [8–12 People] £3,500 + VAT
You’ll also need the following. If required, we can supply them:
- Include Small Form Factor PC: £635 + VAT
- Include iPad with charging dock: £540 + VAT
Our team is experienced in setting up spaces with Zoom Rooms, if you would like us to deliver, install and calibrate a space ready for your first meeting, Crossover’s prices for installations start at just £430 + VAT for a huddle room installation.
‘Zoom Room’ licencing costs
At the time of writing, a Zoom Room licence per room costs £399 per year, or £39 per month. Additional to this, to utilise a Zoom Room system, at least one member of your organisation will also have a Zoom Pro licence, Zoom Pro licence costs are £11.99 a month or £119.90 per year.
Converting an existing meeting room
If you’ve got an existing meeting room with a display and other audiovisual hardware there’s a very good chance that the system can be converted or supplemented with additional equipment to create a fully functioning Zoom system, in a cost-effective way.
Existing displays, cameras, microphones, PCs and iPad control systems in meeting rooms can all be added into a new Zoom system, so you can reuse your existing audiovisual infrastructure as part of a full Zoom overhaul.
Zoom Room FAQs
Can a Zoom Room make calls to other videoconferencing systems?
Yes, Zoom can call a traditional conferencing system such as H323/SIP, PTSN lines can also be connected to either via your PBX or if the Zoom Room’s phone feature is activated via phone.
What is a Zoom Room Connector?
To connect a Zoom meeting via a traditional VC codec such as Polycom or Cisco, or via an existing desktop video conferencing application provided by an organisation you will require an H.323/SIP Room Connector. You would typically decide to purchase a Zoom Room Connector if:
- Your organisation has a lot of traditional VC Codecs
- You or your team regularly engage with others who will require you to join using traditional VC Codecs
How can I buy Zoom Rooms, and have them installed and supported by AV experts?
Zoom are software providers, and do not manufacture hardware. Zoom Room hardware is provided by manufacturers such as Crestron, Polycom and others. This hardware can be supplied by authorised AV Systems Integrators / Zoom Solution Providers such as Crossover. Many of these brands have their hardware solutions officially certified by Zoom, and we play close attention to this frequently-changing list.
Installation and post-installation support
Small Zoom Room hardware systems, such as integrated soundbars (featuring built-in microphone, camera and speakers) can be installed simply – often by your in-house IT team. However, for more complicated hardware in larger rooms, it’s crucial that Zoom rooms are installed, setup and commissioned by experienced audio-visual installation engineers and audio engineers, who will ensure;
- Correct positioning of all equipment for optimum operation.
- Professional cable routing, labelling and termination, to ensure the Zoom installation is seamlessly integrated into the room, and cables and terminations do not fail.
- Correct calibration of all microphones, audio DSP, echo cancellation, room tuning and colour calibration of cameras is correct meaning everyone in your meetings can be seen and heard, and look and sound professional.
- Control hardware and PC hardware is set up to ensure your Zoom system works optimally from day one, is in intuitive to use, and robust.
All paid Zoom licences have remote telephone support included for the Zoom software, but do not include support for the hardware systems that run Zoom. Should any issues arise Crossover offer full 12 month post installation support as part of all their Zoom packages, including telephone support and site visits.
Crossover offer a fully comprehensive installation and support service for all Zoom and other audiovisual systems, including the option of annual service contracts with additional benefits such as guaranteed on site support times.
If you would like to discuss anything relating to Zoom system requirements, or would like us to design a Zoom solution tailored to your needs, please contact our design team on:
Phone: 020 7700 1380
Our experienced engineers would be delighted to assist you with your Zoom requirements.