Minskoff’s new tech elevates the student experience

The sleek, modern furnishings in the new Minskoff Pavilion is more than décor––it’s packed with cutting-edge collaboration technology.

University Advancement and MSU IT worked with the Broad College of Business to equip the new Minskoff Pavilion with state-of-the-art communication and collaboration tools. The cross-team effort seeks to design a new student experience that provides seamless collaboration from small teamwork to collaboration with external partners and employers, up to full classroom engagement. Cisco, our strategic partner, donated the hardware for forty-six rooms in the building including the latest Cisco Room Kit Mini, an artificial intelligence-powered video conferencing system, custom-designed to meet the needs of the Business College. Paired with the Cisco Webex Meetings application, each Kit Mini-equipped room integrates a camera, microphone, speaker, and 4K display that allow for easy digital meetings.

Assistant Dean for Outreach and Engagement David Frayer, Ph.D.,  for the College of Business said, “Our goal is to provide an iconic building with state-of-the-art technology to support the overall student experience. We now have that; a building and technology that matches the quality of our faculty and high-ranked programs in the Broad College.”

According to Brian Loomis, MSU’s Chief Technology Officer, several teams collaborated with the College throughout the implementation and go-live activities to help meet those goals. “The College is seeking a premium digital solution to enhance undergraduate and MBA skills in collaboration, teamwork, and hands-on leadership. Cisco’s integrated solution transforms the ease at which teams form and stay in touch across the multiple facilities and with research activities around the globe. Imagine your supply chain class where you can be in the Minskoff Pavilion, have live video from the plant manager at the Ford F-150 production line near Detroit, and engagement from fellow students interviewing a tool supplier on location in Malaysia simultaneously.”

The interactive equipment in each room includes a wall-mounted control panel, which can connect users between any combination of rooms in the six academic buildings or remote users using the Cisco Webex Meetings app. The control panel and system is voice-activated, allowing users to call other students, faculty, and staff by saying only their name.

This system seamlessly connects by laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Instructions on how to connect to the devices can be viewed online at broad.msu.edu/webex.

This new software is similar to what students will experience in the workforce. “The career center will be able to offer more flexible options for recruiters to meet the students in the College, by conducting remote interviews at any point during the day. The high definition video and sound quality give an in-person recruiter experience and a significant edge for our graduates,” says Loomis.

Cisco Webex Meetings is available for Microsoft, Apple, and Android devices in the app store or at webex.com/downloads.

“Once you download the app, the collaborative features are very simple and intuitive. As people become more familiar with the Webex platform, I think it will be great for connecting people across multiple locations and for sharing information across multiple users,” said Frayer.

For tech help, contact the MSU IT Service Desk.