The „10-minute-problem“ – the whole truth

Allow me to accompany you to the „Perfect Meeting“

Initial situation:

Mostly we don’t have the time or the opportunity to prepare a meeting room. Often also because the room was previously booked by colleagues.

Let us assume that there are 5 meetings a month, which can only start after 10 minutes because the technology has to be brought so far that it works in such a way that the meeting can start. The display shows the image content to be shared with everyone, the video conference is set up so that everyone, including colleagues in the home office, can attend the meeting. Then there is the sound, so that you can also hear the colleagues on the other side and the microphone is set up so that the colleagues in the room can also be clearly and clearly understood by the other party. For that, 10 minutes is sometimes a really conservative estimate.

Regardless of the media technology, environmental parameters such as overheated or too cold rooms, rooms that are too bright or insufficiently lit, bad air and unfavorable acoustics are other points that can negatively affect a meeting.

A lack of preparation for the meeting, a missing agenda, unpunctuality of the participants, a lack of meeting discipline, just looking for a free space shortly before the meeting are further for many everyday situations with which one can be confronted. To accept the situation?


Small calculation example – consider the costs for the employees and the non-billable working hours.

  • 10 minutes delay
  • with 5 highly qualified colleagues,
  • which cost the entrepreneur an average of around € 8,000 per month and
  • non-billable working hours of € 70 per hour

What do you appreciate? Which (avoidable) costs arise?

€ 1,200 per employee per year!

Justify commercially?


Now companies usually have more than just a conference room and more than 5 meetings per month with 5 employees. Are we talking about 15 employees who waste 10 minutes of time per meeting in meetings? Or 100 or 500?

Calculation for 10 meetings per employee per month and this 10-minute break:

Honestly, when was your last meeting that had this „10 minute problem“?


Avoidable when we are talking about technology that does not do what the user wants.

There are also these conference rooms in which you have to use three different remote controls to operate the display or the projector and thus control the air conditioning and shading. Then there is the HDMI cable on the table, which is connected to the notebook. Which input must now be selected? Sometimes we also have VGA cables. “Does someone have an adapter with them?” Sometimes the colleague who used the room just took the HDMI cable with them. So what? Call a technician!

Worst case scenario, certainly, but not exactly from the extinct variety, right? Incidentally, such „installations“ can often be found in companies that integrate such solutions and do an excellent job for their customers. I always wonder why you don’t show “State Of The Art” in your own conference room.

An integrated solution like the „Commwall“ can already provide clarity and satisfy premium requirements. Highly integrated and everything you need in one device. The collaboration app from smartPerform rounds off the solution.

Now we are talking about contemporary installations in which the basic functions of the room can be selected using a touch panel or iPad. This programming is often planned by technicians and the programmer does what is expected of him. Cryptic and barely understandable menus and sub-pages that offer a variety of selection and setting options. Does the user need all of this? Should the user, no matter what room he is in, not find a user interface with which he can get a system up and running in seconds?

As for such user interfaces: why don’t we orientate ourselves to the multitude of apps that we already use on our smartphone today? Simply intuitive and intuitively simple. The main functions are immediately visible and the settings can be reached with the gear wheel.

What if something doesn’t work? Then what do you do? Find the technician’s phone number, call him? Send him a text message? Or simply select the help desk using a button on the user interface? That would be easy.

Let’s assume that there is this button. A technician answers immediately, who sees in which room there is which problem, by whom and for whom this room is booked. He can also operate the room remotely in the NOC from his service desk so that the meeting can start. Brave new world and future music?

The good news, that already exists today!

Automation is another aspect. Internet of things, artificial intelligence should help. The Windows Collaboration Display (WCD) from Sharp, for example, offers built-in IoT sensors that measure room temperature, air quality, movement, humidity and brightness. These parameters can be transferred to a room control. Sometimes you don’t even need it because the room is already „monitored“. But that’s building management and has nothing to do with media technology, I sometimes hear. Do these TGA and media technology systems “marry” together? What about that? Often already done, but could often make the conference rooms more effective, productive and economical. One system for everything. That already exists today. Who is already using it?

Automation can also mean that the display or the projector or the signal management recognizes which signal, with which resolution is where and is routed accordingly. Fortunately, in most cases this has already been realized.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is another topic. Tangled cables on the table? Not having the right adapter at hand? This is being solved wirelessly today. Without dongles. Video without jerking. Sound in hi-fi quality if possible. No matter from which „brought along“ device to which sink. This is modern work and collaboration. I got to know the solutions of the CYNAP family from Wolfvision. Intuitive, flexible and high quality transmission with touch back – that’s how it works.


Let us now take a closer look at venues that make money from events, i.e. rent out event rooms including functioning and required technology. These can be conference rooms in hotels, halls for large events or halls in which many people are invited to events. Annual general meetings and shareholders‘ meetings are surely the supreme discipline, because there must also be guidelines regarding redundancy and content distribution in all areas where visitors, participants and guests stay. Here, of course, it is difficult to calculate the monetary damage if an event starts too late or interruptions occur due to difficulties with the equipment. However, technical problems always damage the image and can also make the participants doubt the professionalism of the organizer.

I have already experienced that my microphone did not work or the content could not be shown by the player. As a keynote speaker you stand there and have to be able to endure some embarrassing moments, seconds and even minutes. We are not thinking of ten minutes here, seconds and a few minutes can cloud the impression of an event. Do you want that again? Will you willingly agree to the next event again? What do guests, customers and participants think of such an event? As an organizer, would I book this room, this technology service provider again?

Specialists are needed to ensure that such breakdowns are excluded as well as possible from the start before the event. Technical teams that ensure that redundant systems are available. If a breakdown then occurs, the „embarrassing one“ is immediately needed, as a colleague has put it perfectly.

Let’s go one step further and look at brand appearances such as trade fairs and showrooms. Everything has to fit here, the so-called customer experience is characterized by the fact that the visit will hopefully be an unforgettable experience. Everything has to fit.

Black or incorrectly calibrated screens or LED walls, poor sound, weak batteries, noise or incorrectly set language in the audio guides or other disruptions permanently cloud the brand experience. Premium brands lead to absurdity with inadequate technology. Proactive maintenance and comprehensive monitoring of the technology used are required here. Media technology, sound systems, lighting, IT, everything has to work. Always.

Anyone who relies on the fact that everything worked the previous day is badly advised!

Companies in which employees sit and wait for the technology to work are dealing with this problem. Conference centers that no longer receive bookings in the medium term must also deal with this task. Museums where poorly maintained technology does not encourage visitors to make recommendations and return. We have so far disregarded educational institutions. You also cannot afford to face such mishaps over and over again.

The technology that surrounds us is not getting any easier, but often even more complex due to the so-called AV-IT convergence, because even more different technologies have to work together.

I often come across the seemingly simple way that IT should then also take care of a little media technology or that the event technician should also deal with IT and the network. In most cases, this leads to even more frustration and technical problems.

So what’s the solution?

As always, specialists are needed to ensure that the customer is offered an unforgettable experience, and that their highly paid employees can then communicate and meet in such a way that maximum effectiveness and productivity are achieved. In times of modern workspace environments and remote colleagues, this is becoming increasingly important. Educational institutions are now also evaluated according to criteria such as „teaching media used“ and if the technology then does not work, the students‘ judgment is usually not very benevolent. When venues are rented for events, the customer rightly expects everything to work.

As a consultant for ICT AG, I got to know the operations area and can report that I am actively supporting the further expansion of this business area.

Teams of highly qualified and committed employees take care of the perfect functioning of the media technology and the operation of the media technology facilities. The operations team has many years of experience and customers such as Telekom, Accenture or BMW trust ICT AG.

Of course, the team will be on site to help you quickly. Further thought: it must be ensured that there are no problems at all. Proactive maintenance, monitoring of the entire system and preparation of meetings and events are important services that such a team must be able to perform. 24/7 availability of the help desk for non-productive times is just as indispensable. It doesn’t matter who built the system. All of these services go far beyond the warranty. C

A typical procedure is defined according to the ITIL4 model and FM-compliant processes. The operating concept of ICT AG is ISO certified.

Migration phase – structure of the organization and documentation in an operating manual, inclusion of the assets, acquisition of local and plant knowledge incl. Familiarization of the operating team, installation of the support systems and takeover.

Operating phase – Seamless support at the regular times you want and beyond for events if required. Through preventive and ad hoc measures, the operating team ensures the high availability of the media technology facilities. The management encompasses operational planning, reporting, documentation and communication with all interface partners. Interface communication.

Possible services can be:

  • 1st level support via telephone hotline or personal support for users in the conference room
  • Troubleshooting after defined recovery times
  • Maintenance and care of hardware, software and content
  • Event planning, execution and management

The definition of service levels is just as much a requirement as the continuous improvement of systems and processes. A regulated and professional shutdown phase upon termination of the contractual relationship is defined.

The goals of an operational concept are similar in every project:

Maximum availability of AV-technology

Conference rooms, functional rooms, systems and events demand the highest availability of technology.

Immediate usability of all systems and functions

Every user must be supported to be able to use the infrastructure productively in the shortest possible time.

Perfect events

Punctual, smooth and well designed events for the guests support the goal of staging you as the perfect host.

Excellent communication

The technology should not attract attention, work silently and be available to users as best as possible for their communication purposes.

Long-term value retention

AV-technology means considerable investments, the value of which can be preserved as long as possible through professional use, maintenance and repair.

Extremely economical operation

The goal must always be to be able to limit and reduce operating costs.

Continuous improvement of services

The perceived quality of service must be continuously improved.

Realize innovations

Innovations that are available to increase productivity and contemporary further development of systems, functions and processes are to be tapped.

Are you interested in further information?

or simply call me for first information:

+49 171 3766235


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