Plan Skype Room Systems v2

This article introduces an end-to-end approach to planning, delivering, and operating Skype Room Systems version 2 (v2) as part of your overall meeting and conference room strategy.

You’ll find planning information below covering the recommended approach and key decisions that you need to make, with links to supporting technical information. We recommend that you review the Plan, Deploy, and Manage sections even if you’re already fully deployed.

Overview of Skype Room Systems v2

Skype Room Systems v2 provides a complete Skype for Business meeting experience that brings HD video, audio, and content sharing to meetings of all sizes, from small huddle areas to large conference rooms.

A console, microphone, and large screen mounted on a conference room wall illustrate the elements of an example Skype Room Systems v2 setup.

Skype Room Systems v2 help is a great resource to find out more about Skype Room Systems v2 and how it can add value as part of your Skype for Business deployment. In addition, we recommend watching this overview video.

Skype Room Systems v2 components

Skype Room Systems v2 includes the following key components to deliver a great user experience:

  • Touchscreen control panel
  • Compute
  • Skype Room Systems v2 application
  • Dock/extender
  • Peripheral devices (camera, microphone, speaker)
  • External screens (maximum of two)
  • HDMI input

You can procure these components as preinstalled bundles from a number of vendors, or you can purchase the supported components individually by following the requirements documented in this article.

In addition to the Surface Pro/dock combination, you can also purchase Skype Room Systems v2 with the touchscreen control panel, compute, dock, and key peripheral devices integrated.

Typically, the bundles and integrated units include preinstalled software, whereas if you buy supported components individually for the Surface Pro systems, you’ll need to install the software. For instructions, see this article about installing software on devices.

You can deploy Skype Room Systems v2 with Skype for Business Online, or Skype for Business hybrid or on-premises deployments. Microsoft Teams support is coming very soon.


Decision points
  • Will you deploy Skype Room Systems v2 in your organization?
  • How will you procure your Skype Room Systems v2 systems—bundled, as separate components, or as an integrated unit?

Next steps
  • Identify who will undertake the key activities throughout your deployment.
  • Review the meeting rooms you have (and plan to set up) to understand where you want to deploy Skype Room Systems v2 and the peripheral devices that would be appropriate for the room size.

Identify who will undertake the key activities throughout your deployment

Use the approach illustrated below to guide you through your deployment, and customize the sample outputs provided throughout these articles as needed for your organization.

Begin with understanding what conference rooms you have and envisioning what would work best for you in the future, then move through selecting and procuring the equipment you need, readying your sites, configuring and deploying your service, managing change and user adoption, and developing operations and maintenance procedures.

Begin with understanding what you have and envisioning what would work best for you, then move through selecting and procuring the equipment you need, readying your sites, configuring and deploying your service, managing change and user adoption, and developing operations and maintenance procedures.

You might need to coordinate these activities across several teams. We provide a high-level view of the main activities that you should cover, and also suggestions for the teams who are typically involved in deploying and managing conference room systems, to help you decide who you need to work with.

Task Who might undertake the task Assigned to Links to this content
Inventory rooms Facilities / AV team / IT Project Team Room inventory and capability planning
Plan capabilities IT Project Team Room inventory and capability planning
Device selection IT Project Team / AV Team Device selection
Procurement IT Project Team / AV Team Procurement
Site readiness Facilities / AV team / IT Project Team Site readiness
Service readiness IT Project Team Service readiness
Configuration IT Project Team Configuration and deployment
Deployment Facilities / AV team / IT Project Team Deployment checklist
Adoption Facilities / AV team / IT Project Team Adoption
Maintenance and operations AV team / IT Project Team Management overview

Room inventory and capability planning

The first step is to inventory your organization’s existing meeting and conference rooms to understand their environment, room size, layout, and purpose, and to identify the capabilities you want each room in scope to have in the future such as which richer collaboration capabilities will be enabled in the room.

After you create an inventory of the equipment and capabilities in each existing room, your requirements for that room feed into your device selection planning to create a rich conferencing solution. The modalities (audio, video) needed for each room—in addition to room size and purpose—all play an important role in deciding which solution is most appropriate for each room.

As part of your discovery, it’s key to consider room acoustics and layout. For example, check that the chairs in the room won’t block the camera view. Verify that the room doesn’t have excessive echo or noisy air conditioning, and that it does have sufficient power for the screens and Skype Room Systems v2. There are many factors to consider that your audio-visual (AV) team or partner will be able to advise on.


Decision points
  • Which rooms are in scope for this deployment?
  • Which sites are in scope for your deployment?
  • Who will undertake the meeting rooms inventory?

Next steps
  • Review the rooms in scope, and define Skype Room Systems v2 configurations for them.

Sample meeting/conference room inventory

Site Room name Room type Number of people In scope? Current room capabilities Future room capabilities
London HQ Curie Medium 6–12 Yes Speakerphone 1 screen, audio and video plus presentation
PSTN Access
Sydney HQ Hill Large 12–16 Yes Legacy AV unit, 1 screen and camera 2 screens, audio and video plus presentation
PSTN Access

Pro Tip – If you have many sites to inventory, you might want to download and use the Site Rollout and Migration Planning - Site Questionnaire.

Device selection

Evaluate which Skype Room Systems v2 solution is the most suitable for each room based on the future capabilities you want for the room. Decide which AV peripheral devices are the best fit, depending on room size and layout.

For guidance for the type of system and peripheral devices by room type and size, see the Skype Room Systems v2 requirements article.

Based on the vendor you prefer, use the information provided in the requirements article to define your Skype Room Systems v2 and supported peripheral device configuration per room type, and use this as a template for your deployment.

Pro Tip – Some room types might not be applicable for your deployment.


Decision points
  • From your inventory, which types of rooms are in scope for your deployment?
  • Which systems will you deploy for each room type?

Next steps
  • Start to gather key operational material for your chosen systems, and engage your procurement team.

Sample Skype Room Systems v2 deployment template for your organization

Room type/size Number of people Skype Room Systems v2 system Peripheral devices Display(s)
Focus 10' by 9' 2–4
Small 16' by 16' 4–6
Medium 18' by 20' 6–12
Large 15' by 32' 12–16

Pro Tip – Now is a great time to start gathering information about the Skype Room Systems v2 solution you’ve chosen. We recommend that you work with your vendor to discuss completing the design template to capture information that will be relevant to your deployment; you can download this handy template from MyAdvisor.

Procurement

You can procure your chosen system as a bundle or an integrated solution via device partners. You can also acquire a partner device dock and prepare your own Skype Room Systems v2 solution by using a Surface Pro device and existing, supported AV peripheral devices.

You can acquire Skype Room Systems v2 from a number of partners who are listed in the requirements article. Please visit the partners’ websites to learn more about these solutions and procurement options.

Depending on your deployment scale and approach, you might decide to have the Skype Room Systems v2 and supported peripheral devices shipped to a central location for initial configuration and assignment. This might be a good approach for a staged rollout across many sites. Or, you might choose to ship the bundles directly to your sites.


Decision points
  • Will you ship the components directly to a site or to a staging facility?
  • Who will manage the staging facility (if you decide to use one)?

Next steps
  • Plan for operations.
  • Plan for adoption and change management.

Plan for operations

Your organization must execute monitoring, administration, and management tasks on an ongoing basis, and it’s key to agree who will undertake these tasks early in your deployment.

Many organizations have an AV team or partner who manages their conference rooms and devices. This team should be involved in agreeing who will manage the Skype Room Systems v2 devices going forward to monitor performance, and deploy software updates and hotfixes.

Consider which helpdesk queue you’ll route Skype Room Systems v2֪–related calls to, and provide an FAQ to the helpdesk team so they can better understand how to use Skype Room Systems v2 and the key troubleshooting steps they can take. A good starting point for this FAQ is the user help and the known issues list.


Decision points
  • Decide who will manage Skype Room Systems v2.
  • Decide which helpdesk queue to route Skype Room Systems–related calls to.

Next steps
  • Prepare to host accounts.

Plan for adoption and change management

Skype Room Systems v2 systems introduce new capabilities to your users. It’s important that you recognize that this will be a change for your users, and you should ensure your campaign identifies the benefits the new system will have for your users and the key talking points leads can use to discuss with their teams.

Consider scheduling show-and-tell events and poster drops at each site to inform your users of the new capabilities. You might also create in-room “quick start guides.” Consider finding a meetings champion on each site who can help others get up to speed and start using the devices.