A landmark conference; a new brand to the market; and several important product solutions, all combine to make this the ‘month of collaboration’ in a year that has already seen the technology emerge as the outstanding opportunity in AV.
According to AVIXA, the corporate market continues to account for the largest segment of pro-AV revenue. Corporate office environments are expected to generate nearly $15 billion in revenue in the Americas in 2018. Growth is expected to be somewhat slower than the overall industry, at 1.5 percent annually from 2017 through 2022. The Market Opportunity Analysis Report (MOAR), covering the corporate market examines the opportunities and challenges for providers of pro-AV solutions and technologies.
“Increasing productivity is the main driver to corporate AV spending. This takes increasingly different forms today, as many office workers are being reached on mobile platforms such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones, rather than via traditional desktops or in conventional conference rooms. Often these mobile devices are brought in by the employees themselves, creating security and content sharing challenges. Workforces are also often distributed, requiring collaboration technologies for empowering teams.”
“Despite mobility, organisations are pulling the focus back to the office environment. While companies still seek to provide workers the flexibility to determine when and where they can do their best work, a growing faction of corporate America is attempting to create more innovation by bringing employees back to home base. AV technology implementation is the way for companies striving to make the office a modern workspace, in part by improving user experiences.”
Given the broad and diverse challenges faced by the current business environment, decision-makers remain focused on upgrading or installing audiovisual technologies and solutions to support office workers. This is reflected in increased planned capital expenditure among corporate technology managers to the tune of approximately $181 billion in the U.S. for 2018. This translates to nearly $12 billion in AV systems investments this year.
Consistent with an office focus, plans emphasise collaboration space. Project plans focus mostly on upgrading AV products and services that are utilised in conference rooms, both large and small as well as incorporating AV technologies like audio equipment and capture and production equipment. Integration of existing key solutions will be a part of these plans, with significant increases for security and surveillance systems and wireless presentation technology.
“What used to be a series of disconnected flagship conference rooms have become communication and collaboration points, tied together with networks,” said Sean Wargo, Senior Director of Market Intelligence, AVIXA. “What were cookie-cutter office buildings have become statements of corporate identity, brand, and culture. Where individuals used to be housed in a rabbit warren of individual offices, open concepts with privacy rooms and huddle spaces have emerged to facilitate inter-team coordination. All the while, some companies are instead down-sizing their headquarters or local offices to encourage and support telecommuting and remote work.”
Rise of the meeting room
A recent Futuresource blog reported “workplace meetings have undergone a physical and cultural transformation during the past five years, both in terms of their location and the technology used to facilitate them. Modern working habits and technological advancements have contributed to the rise of the meeting room as a high growth vertical for audio visual, unified communications and collaboration technologies.
Further to this, employees are increasingly meeting in other areas of the office with major implications for the vendors involved in these markets. The development of modern technologies which serve to increase teamwork, and businesses pursuing top-down policies to create collaboration focused spaces, are fundamentally altering the modern workplace.
One key area of change relates to the physical makeup of meeting rooms. Here, the number of large meeting spaces has decreased during the past two years, predominantly due to the macro trend toward smaller, faster, more flexible meetings. Typically, large meeting rooms are being repurposed for smaller meeting spaces and, with over a quarter of companies looking to add additional meeting rooms over the next three years, the overall total addressable market of meeting rooms is expected to surge.
Businesses are very keen to promote top-down policies which utilise space more efficiently and promote smaller, more collaborative sessions amongst workers. Manufacturers have also been quick to respond to these changes, producing a raft of collaboration technologies designed for smaller meeting room and huddle spaces that are already seeing good traction in the market.
Another clear indication that the traditional meeting is undergoing fundamental change is the type and variety of products that are now being used in these spaces. This development is most evident when we look at meeting room budgets, which have grown increasingly diversified across product categories. While the meeting traditionally was the mainstay of telephony and display technologies, we are now seeing that as the size of a meeting room grows, there is a significant increase in spending on goods other than displays, such as audio, collaboration devices and control products.
The distribution of budgets is highest in large meeting rooms, where over 60% of funds are spent outside of display technologies. This diversification is not only evidence of the growing importance of a wider set of technologies but also the increasing complexity of the meeting room market.
Demographic change and budget diversification are not the only significant changes happening to the meeting, with employee habits and practices also undergoing a cultural transformation. With more employees working from home, and the increased ability to work in multiple locations geographically or in different areas within an office, workers are now much more flexible with where they are working and who they are working with.
Employers have been keen to develop more informal meeting spaces in step with these modern flexible working habits and, with 20% of meetings now being held in locations such as kitchens/eating areas, breakouts rooms and receptions/foyers, it is no surprise that 43% of companies surveyed as part of this research state they are investing in dedicated technology for these spaces.
With dramatic changes happening in the corporate meeting room, technology providers are meticulously following the evolving demands of the modern workplace and how employees work with one another. This market presents both an exciting opportunity for growth but ample room for failure and, with culturally diverse variations in how employees work with one another, Futuresource’s Corporate End User Study provides the most comprehensive guide to the corporate meeting room and the nuances of this rapidly evolving marketplace.
Explore the latest collaboration trends at Connect!
Finishing touches are being made to the programme for a brand new event curated by Maverick AV Solutions at the iconic London Design Museum in September, with brilliant meetings, interoperability and the myths and legends of the Millennial workforce among just some of the topics lined up for this two-day event.
Live on the 26th and 27th September, ‘Connect – Age of Collaboration’ will welcome industry speakers from across the globe to discuss, explore and provoke thought about the workplace of the future.
In addition to previously announced keynotes led by acclaimed tech broadcaster Spencer Kelly and Hollywood futurist John Underkoffler, Maverick has lined up top-calibre speakers from partners including Microsoft, Dell, Cisco and Barco.
CIO and Head of Workplace Services at Logitech Massimo Rapparini will be outlining his vision of the future of videoconferencing, while Peter Otto, Director of Product Strategy and Design at Condeco, will examine how to create a work culture that fosters innovation and creativity.
Zoom’s Mike Adam will be forecasting the end of bad meetings, and Craig Decker from Cisco will provide some fascinating predictions about the future of Cloud working.
Maverick has invited speakers from the worlds of design, human resources, architecture and academia to lend their perspectives on the future of work. Steelcase will present on the crucial role furniture and design play in a productive work environment, Dr Harriet Shortt, Associate Professor in Organisational Studies at the Bristol Business School, will take an image-led look at how we create a workplace identity in the era of thought-pods and hot desking, while Barry Flack, HR influencer, will explore how it feels to be managed by an algorithm.
Vice President Global of Maverick AV Solutions, Jon Sidwick commented:
“This event is bringing together a mixture of fascinating speakers from different kinds of businesses to learn and explore the future of collaboration, a must-visit for those seeking a competitive edge in our industry.”
Limited spaces for the event are still available, visit https://www.connect-ageofcollaboration.com/
Stage: a new collaboration workspace from Clevertouch
Clevertouch has announced the launch of Stage, a lightweight, quick to launch collaboration and meeting tool that gets rid of the pain and frustration of difficult meeting access, now available on the Pro Series E-CAP touchscreens.
Stage is a real-time collaborative workspace meeting solution that gives any organisation the opportunity to collaborate and annotate on shared documents seamlessly within a live video conferencing environment. Designed for both on-site and distributed teams, users simply need to open a web browser, enter their pin and start working together.
Co-developed and adapted for Clevertouch with NUITEQ, a specialist in the development of human computer interactive software, the aim of Stage is to help participants start a meeting quickly with minimal fuss. With Stage, there is no need to download apps or software, saving time and avoiding problems with complex firewalls. The cloud-based collaboration solution is safe, secure and will fit seamlessly into any organisation.
Built in features include:
· Real time whiteboarding and collaboration on shared documents
· Voice and video meeting capabilities
· Support for most BYOD devices to connect to the meeting
· No need for an account to join as a guest
· Screen sharing capabilities
· Find your collaboration workspace safely stored in the cloud, at any time
Stage now comes as standard with all our new Clevertouch Enterprise E-CAP touchscreens, providing users with the complete collaborative solution without any additional cost.
Shaun Marklew, sales and marketing director for Clevertouch, comments: “The ease of conversation should flow in every meeting. Stage gives you all the benefits of video conferencing with the added ability to work on shared documents in real-time. This new browser-based collaborative meeting solution will give you the full in-room experience regardless of your location and device”.
Dennis Mohi, VP Business Development at NUITEQ said: “We asked ourselves a simple question: Where does a business grow and thrive? In its ability to share information quickly and execute on decisions made in its internal meetings. Stage lowers the barriers to enter a meeting and raises the playing field to offer a place for groups to come together, share ideas and deliver results.”
New functionality for NovoTouch
Vivitek has announced that users of its NovoTouch Collaborative touch panels are set to benefit from increased flexibility and productivity – as well as new personalisation and management features – thanks to a free feature upgrade.
Available now, the upgrade will further the solution’s appeal in corporate and education markets. Users of the NovoTouch, featuring 4K-UHD resolution with 20-point touch-screen, already enjoy wireless presentation and collaboration functionality via the integrated Vivitek NovoConnect technology, enabling full BYOD support and intuitive connectivity.
The new firmware upgrade brings added functionality to Vivitek’s popular NovoTouch, including:
· Enhanced Usability features:
· Remote meetings – NT LiveScreen function – allows screen mirroring to multiple NovoConnect devices. The NovoTouch content can be streamed in real-time to other NovoTouch or NovoEnterprise devices.
· Android Device support for Full Screen Mirroring via the NovoPresenter App
· Improved compatibility with productivity tools including Microsoft Office applications, PDF documents and many others.
· Install applications directly from the App store, to personalize the NovoTouch environment.
· New “Google Classroom” support – for Education.
· Integrated Digital Signage
· Complete integration of NovoDS – a flexible and easy-to-use digital signage content and management software – with easy content updates via wired, wireless networks, or NovoDS Cloud.
Commenting on the free firmware upgrade, Holger Graeff, General Manager, Vivitek EMEA, said: “Vivitek’s program of continuous product development ensure our customers are able to enjoy a future-proofed solution that stretches from wireless collaboration and touch interaction to digital signage and easy management features. This firmware upgrade adds even more value to an already very complete ‘everything in the box’ proposition for NovoTouch users.”