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Five video conferencing tools you didn't know you had


Calendar integration makes joining a video meeting simple

Visual Editor: Sarah Evans

Video conferencing vendors are increasingly focused on simplifying their services, according to Nemertes Research analyst Irwin Lazar. Calendar integration is one way vendors are simplifying their services by making meetings as easy to join as clicking a button.

"The ideal scenario would be the meeting is on-screen, you touch the screen and start the meeting. There's nothing else you have to do," Lazar said.

Vidyo offers calendar integration with its room, desktop and mobile video conferencing services with the intention of making it easy for users to connect to meetings, Ben Pinkerton, technical marketing manager for Vidyo, said.

"It's one of those features that you don't realize how great it is until you start using it," he said. "It makes the whole process really painless."

Vidyo integrates with calendars, including Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar. With mobile calendar integration, users can see the meeting invitation on their mobile client and tap on it to connect to the meeting.

Polycom customers can set up their room systems with calendar integration, John Antanaitis, vice president of solution marketing at Polycom, said. The integration allows employees to see what meetings are scheduled for a room on a particular day.

"You can come in and see you're in the right room. You don't have to dial. You click 'join now' and it puts you into the meeting," Antanaitis said.

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How useful do you find the ability to integrate your calendar with a video conferencing system?
I find it extremely beneficial, especially when I’m running late (we all know how people like to schedule back-to-back meetings that leave no time to get from one conference room to the next). Using Skype for Business, I can simply open up the calendar entry and click the join now link/button, and I’m in the meeting and contributing. As the article mentions, you don’t have to worry about getting into the right room or remembering an access code.