More Players in the Huddle
We are all seeing the popularity of huddle rooms continue to grow, and as a result, new players are bringing solutions to enhance this petit but powerful collaboration space in our new corporate environments. InfoComm did not disappoint our customers looking for new ways to engage teams who want to huddle up and drive impactful change.
On the show floor, there was the excitement of the Interactive Flat Panel (IFP) and Platform wars with Microsoft Surface Hub, Cisco Spark Board and Google Jamboard all in one location to compare. These IFPs with built-in audio and video that integrate with your primary enterprise platforms bring benefits of easy setup for video meetings and equally easy access to important data and applications on the fly.
Beyond the excitement of the one-touch meeting capability, we learned from Microsoft that with the new Creator’s Update, the Surface Hub can offer direct access to your identity in the cloud to share your latest Power BI, edit it and then save it for future use directly in your personal folders. Even more impressive is the ability to annotate on the same document from multiple Surface Hub devices using new functionality in the latest Whiteboard app.
New platform-agnostic players getting in the Huddle game include NEC with its SmartHub and newcomer Avocor with its tablet-like experience on the new F series. Both offer open architecture and interoperability with any endpoint or UC solution.
Exciting new software options presented at InfoComm include Bluescape visual collaboration and Prysm’s Digital Workplace, where end users can interact with multiple windows of information and engage in-person or remotely with peers using once again, any device.
Users are In Charge
Satya Nadella has been touting the Hub is You for a number of months now, and this mindset was reinforced at InfoComm17. Nearly every manufacturer has a personal device strategy, bringing the expected capability to run any meeting anywhere from your phone or tablet, despite your legacy infrastructure.
Taking it a step further, big enterprise player Crestron also announced integration with Amazon Alexa to enable voice commands and controls previously only available in residential environments. One touch can now be replaced with one voice command, “Alexa, please start my meeting.”
Connect Alexa with Crestron’s sleek new Mercury room solution and businesses can handle videoconferencing, wireless presenting and occupancy detection from a central hub. And if that didn’t wow us enough, Crestron discussed its focus on a 3 S Strategy, ensuring its solutions are Simple, Scalable and Secure. In fact, Crestron solutions are approved and certified by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) from the U.S. Department of Defense, receiving ratings higher than protocol standards.
More Apps Please!
So we have established our preference for using our personal devices and collaborating securely from any device, anywhere. The next big thing we saw at InfoComm was expanding the footprint of the app in the workplace, further replicating what we experience outside of the corporate walls. This year at InfoComm attendees enjoyed experimenting with Mural and StormBoard for brainstorming, organizing and sharing on the Microsoft platform.
In addition to Skype and Spark, Polycom introduced wireless content sharing with Pano coupled with a powerful app for easy adoption. And another crowd favorite was Crestron PinPoint, where users can manage building automation from a personal device, reviewing data on energy consumption and technology utilization from one cool app!
Visualization and Pixelization
As we gain ground in tracking and analyzing data from our buildings and devices, we can enjoy reviewing the results in a much higher resolution with our teams! New directview LEDs are boasting an ever-increasing amount of pixels, with more brilliant than ever signage and video wall options available to enterprise teams. Our favorites this week were gorgeous displays from Samsung, Sony, Nanolumens, Leyard/Planar, NEC and Multitaction, all in competition for the best visual experience in town.
It’s no surprise that 2017 was the highest attended InfoComm in its history, topping the books with more than 44,000 guests this year in Orlando. An important note is that this RSVP list was filled with 41% end user customers, which makes InfoComm the premium event for AV and UC in the U.S. market. With the progress in apps, bots, AI and omnipresent displays, who can resist getting better informed and networking with peers in one place at least once a year?
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Whitlock is a video collaboration company that provides strategy, management, technologies and support to the world’s largest and most innovative businesses. We believe face-to-face collaboration creates stronger relationships and makes way for both business and personal success. What we give to a customer is the ability to connect, work together and share ideas with each other and the world, with a reliable video experience every time. Whitlock serves customers across the U.S. and provides multi-national solutions through the Global Presence Alliance.
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