Is this room available?
May 10, 2010 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a Conference Room Sign / Room Wizard for our company.

My company is currently using touch-screen devices outside our conference rooms, that connect to our Exchange server and display both the availability and calendar for that room. Recently, the hardware for the displays (specifically the power supplies, which are external) have become problematic, and started failing. Also, we are looking at migrating our Exchange server to a hosted solution running Exchange 2010, and have determined that the connector for these devices is not compatible with 2010 (and no date is listed for compatibly for the vendor).

The current device we're using is a Room Wizard by Steelcase.

My google-fu has turned up two additional devices:

Visix Meeting Minder


NetSimplicity Meeting Room Manager

My question is this - does anyone have experience with any of the above devices, or ones I missed, specifically how they attach to Exchange 2010, and how good the hardware is? Our ideal solution would be a device powered by Power over Ethernet, but we can't find one that has this as a feature.

We're also looking to think of other options, if a ready commercial device isn't available - we have spare Cisco PoE VoIP phones, but getting them to display the calendar does not appear easy (It would require heavy custom programming to get it to communicate w/ Exchange).

Thank you!
posted by GJSchaller to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Is there any reason why you couldn't go with one of the Sony touch screens and putting a copy of Outlook on it?

I find it kind of funny you're going to the conference room to do this, it is something that's usually done at one's workstation. But this sounds like where we'd throw an old laptop / desktop and call it a "hallway computer" so those that aren't so mobile or have laptops can do whatever they need to do at the site.
posted by geoff. at 4:39 PM on May 10, 2010

The advantage of these things is that you can book the room at your computer, and it will show up on the room when the time comes... but conversely, if you need to grab an open room for a surprise meeting, you can see which room is open, and for how long, and then book it on the spot.

Because they connect back to an Exchange account, updates done from your desk do show up on the room wizard.
posted by GJSchaller at 6:16 PM on May 10, 2010

(And vice versa - if you book at your room, the main calendar blocks it out so no one else will reserve it while you're using it.)

The big thing we're looking for is something smaller, and powered by Power over Ethernet. A 24" screen at each room would be overkill.
posted by GJSchaller at 6:20 PM on May 10, 2010

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