Get started with the AskCody Outlook Add-in for Resource Scheduling
To get started scheduling and booking meetings in Outlook and Office 365 with AskCody, it’s time to install the AskCody Workplace Add-in in Outlook.
This part of the guide goes through the steps you need to take as an Exchange Admin to install the Add-in for your employees.
We recommend that this step is performed and done by your Exchange Admin or an External Microsoft Exchange Pro who is familiar with configuring Microsoft Exchange. Going through this step, we will use Microsoft specific terminology to explain the different steps to be performed and executed when configuring Microsoft Exchange. We’ll also refer to external guides and help articles, to help you get through these steps as easy and smooth as possible. Installing the Add-in can be managed both inside the Exchange Admin Center or using PowerShell.
This guide helps you install the Modern Add-in for Outlook 2013, 2016, 2019 and Office 365.
If you are not familiar with modern Add-ins for Outlook and Office 365, this article provides a comprehensive overview of the architecture.
Deploying the Workplace Add-in for resource scheduling for Outlook and Office 365
Please follow these steps to install the AskCody Workplace Add-in. In this step, we recommend that you open two tabs in your browser since you need to be logged into both the AskCody Management Portal and the Exchange Admin Center (in Office 365).
- Log in to the AskCody Management Portal with the credentials created when creating your organizational account on the signup page. Choose EU or US.
- Click the menu tab in the upper left corner.
- Go to the Admin Center.
- Go to Add-ins.
- Now, press copy on the Workplace Manifest URL. You need this URL to install the Add-in in the Exchange Admin Center.
- When copied to your clipboard, open a new tab in your browser and log in to your Exchange Admin Center with your Microsoft admin credentials.
- In the Exchange Admin Center, click Settings on the left side menu and choose Add-ins.
- Click Deploy Add-in and click Next. The Centralized Deployment service builds into Microsoft Exchange and Outlook lets you deploy the add-ins to users of Outlook across your organization.
- Select Deploy custom Add-in and by pressing Upload custom apps.
- Click I have a URL for the manifest file and insert the URL.
- Click Upload.
- Now, configure who should have access to the Add-in. If you want to deploy it to all employees in your organization (and in your domain). You can also select specific user groups.
- Deployment method gives you the ability to select either Fixed, Available or Optional. We recommend you select Fixed. This will ensure that the Add-in will be automatically deployed to the assigned users and they will not be able to remove it from their ribbon.
- After you choose 'Deploy', the add-in will be available on assigned users' Outlook and Office 365 the next time they open their Outlook or log into Office 365. Some users may need to close Outlook and open it again before the AskCody Workplace Add-in is available.
- Workplace is now available in Outlook and Office 365.
Using Office 365 and Outlook add-in to book meetings
Opening your Outlook or Office 365 Calendar now allow you to search for meeting rooms with AskCody when scheduling and booking meetings. To use Workplace Add-in, please follow these steps.
- Open your Outlook or Office 365.
- Go to the Calendar and select New Meeting. You can also just double-click on the selected date of your meeting in the calendar view.
- Type in the Subject of your meeting and invite your guests. Select the duration of the meeting and type in the start and end time. This will enable you to search for rooms that are available in a specific period of time.
- For Outlook: Find the AskCody Workplace Add-in by pressing Find resources in the menu at the top of the Outlook window (ribbon).
- For Office 365: Find the AskCody Workplace Add-in by pressing ··· followed by selecting Workplace.
- Select the criteria for the room you need for your meeting. In the Workplace Add-in, you are able to see the search criteria Location, Purpose, Equipment & Services, and Capacity.
- You can select multiple locations, purposes, and capabilities (equipment and services). However, there must be at least 1 location for the search to perform. When you have selected the criteria you are looking for, click on Find resource and the search will begin. This might take a few seconds.
- When the search is done, you will be shown all of the resources that fulfill the selected criteria. By default, you will only be able to see the available resources, but if you click the box named "Show # occupied resource(s)" the occupied resources that fulfill the criteria will also be shown.
- Each resource will be shown alongside its name, capacity, and a short description. Click on the resource(s) you would like to book and then click on Add resource.
Now the meeting room will be added as a room to the meeting.
- Finish the meeting invitation by pressing Send in the Outlook window. Microsoft Exchange will also send you a meeting response confirming your meeting booking.
Using Workplace Central for meeting overview
Workplace Central makes it possible to have a live overview of the activities inside the organization through a single tool. It provides meeting owners and office managers with real-time data, enabling better data-driven decision making on the fly. This video guides you through how it’s used.
Workplace Central allows you to:
- See every meeting room (including hot desks, and other resources) connected to AskCody along with all the relevant information you need about the meeting.
- Gain a complete and user-friendly overview of the activities in the different locations of your organization.
- Understand how bookable resources are being utilized in your organization.
- Optimize your resources according to their usage by empowering you with actionable insights.
When a meeting room is activated in Resources, in the AskCody Management Portal, Workplace Central will start gathering data for that specific resource. For the meeting room to appear in Workplace Central, it has to have a meeting scheduled on the date chosen in Workplace Central. If you followed all steps in Step 5 Configuring meeting rooms in AskCody and added Room Types, Capacity, Equipment and Purposes, this information will be present and available in Workplace Central
Using Workplace Insights to understand meeting behavior
Workplace Insights is a workplace analytics tool to ease facilities management’s work and optimize resources and utilization of meeting space using real-time data.
You get the insights, analytics, and trends displayed in a beautiful dashboard build on Microsoft’s powerful PowerBI Platform, where you can pull the metrics you need to make informed decisions about your meeting room space, conference rooms, workstations or other resources, across multiple locations. Read more about Workplace Insights here.
With Insights you will:
- Get the full picture of the utilization of resources across the whole organization.
- Understand the needs of the employees of your organization in terms of resource booking.
- See real-time and historical information on resource utilization.
After enabling Insights on your meeting room calendars as done in Step 4 Connecting to Microsoft Exchange, it will start collecting data points* and display meeting room data within 24 hours. After the initial data collection, Insights will collect data once a day at 00.00 (UTC).
*Insights only gathers data from activated calendars.
Insights collect data both from meetings booked in personal calendars, and ad-hoc meetings. Ad-hoc meetings are meetings booked directly in the meeting room calendar or meetings booked on the AskCody Meeting Room Displays.
Insights collect data from the calendar types: Room, Desk, and Equipment.
Data points collected in Insights:
- Time of meeting
- Date of meeting
- Meeting room
- Number of attendees
- Meeting duration
If you enabled Insights on your meeting rooms in Step 4 and defined opening hours and meeting room type when you configured your meeting rooms. You are now ready to start using Insights to get an overview of meeting room utilization.
Next Step: Test resource scheduling setup