This issue is exactly why the professional AV market is expected to grow to $112 billion in 2024
There are two things restricting the UC space from going to the next level: interoperability (yes, duh) and integration-as-a-service (?). I am using the phrase “integration-as-a-service” as a catchall phrase to describe the later-discussed topic of convergence.
Interoperability is obvious, hence the reason for my saying “duh.” This is why I am excited to read this article
written by the Futuresource Consulting team. We are also seeing the number of software partnerships rise — see the Airtime and AirServer article below — which follows the trend of software and hardware partnerships. Both of these things are fueling the growth of UC.
Further, we are seeing quite the convergence of market spaces with the increase of collaboration in the workspace: pro audiovisual, IT and workspace/project management. The current solution to this problem is two-fold: integration-as-a-service and smart end-user customers. But unless integration companies step up, they are going to miss the mark. Consider this: a company calls their (well-established) integrator and says that they want a Zoom Room. The company is only using Zoom because they implemented it three years ago as a Band-Aid fix to the not-so-great Skype for Business that was a part of Microsoft 365, which they are using as their overall productivity suite. The company is calling the integrator for two reasons: (1) they heard about how the ease of Zoom Rooms and (2) the integration is easy. The integrator answers this call by saying “OK, company, one Zoom Room coming up!” But does that company actually need a Zoom Room? Is that the best overall solution for their collaboration problem?
The convergence of the IT space is obvious: Collaboration, and the physical spaces within a company’s collaboration solution like meeting spaces, require network integration. You know this, so I won’t spend too much time discussing it.
The convergence of the workspace/project management space is the big kicker here: Who is asking a company how they currently work and how a collaboration solution — that they are either already using or want to begin using — will help them in the long-run? Buying into a Zoom product, a Cisco WebEx product, a Skype for Business product, a G Suite product, a BlueJeans product, etc isn’t like buying a display or a projector. At the very, very end of the day, all collaboration products do the same thing: They increase the ability for workers to collaborate across physical and virtual spaces. They don’t, however, achieve the same end-goal like displays and/or projectors do. End users (the employees using the conference room or joining a videoconferencing call) actually care about the technology used in a collaboration product because that technology is driving their user experience. They don’t care about the technology in a display or a projector, they just want to see the signal from their laptop on the wall at the end of the table.
We have now come full circle: We need interoperability but we also need “collaboration consultants” to analyze the way a company is working, the collaboration technologies they are currently using and how that is going to improve their work overall. The solution to this problem requires an individual, an integration company or a completely new market segment to think from the perspective of a project manager, the C-suite, the end user, the end user customer and the IT manager all at the same time. This will allow the UC space to thrive.
Did you see the relaunch of the Shute MXA910 microphone? That news is also below.