InfoComm 2017: Understanding the Evolution of AV Investments and Where to Focus your Efforts

by Jennifer Clark on June 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in ScanSource Communications,Technology,Unified Communications,Videoconferencing,Wireless

2017 proved to be the largest attendance ever for InfoComm with more than 44,000 people descending upon the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Offering more than 100 educational breakout sessions, and nearly 1,000 booth demonstrations, there were ample opportunities to understand the evolution of AV investments and how to apply it to your business. To recap the event, below are our recommended takeaways from the show.

  1. Simplify while enhancing. While it may seem the products and solutions presented at InfoComm were designed to simplify daily life, there were times when the conversation shifted to “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” From an iPhone, there are as many as nine steps involved to turn off a light in your home (wake up phone, swipe to security app, open app, find the light function, etc.). Or, one can simply stand up, walk to the wall and turn off the switch. Don’t overcomplicate in your quest to simplify, and try not to stray too far from the desired outcome.
  2. Blend in the background. In the same notion, InfoComm also inspired attendees to think about technology as something that disappears as it becomes woven into everyday life. The flashiest solutions can be imposing, so consider the behind-the-scenes products that allow you to thrive most.
  3. Solve for the room, not the customer. In one case study from the University of Oregon’s IT department, we were reminded to consider the room’s size and needs before deciding the solution. A huddle room will have different needs, and ultimately budgets, from a large auditorium. Instead, outline the functions of the space first, and then find the technology to match it rather than outfitting a room with unnecessary products.
  4. Look at how meetings have evolved. Presentations from Center Stage (20-minute sessions in the middle of the Expo Hall) showcased the evolution of conference rooms and how people use meetings to conduct business. Meetings are moving to more collaborative, leaderless and less formal. End users are now expecting content-sharing, responsive devices in place of white boards; high-resolutions monitors; all-in-one conference phones compatible with Skype for Business; and boardroom furniture that comfortably accommodates and changes with the number of attendees.
  5. Don’t become a disruption. Speaking of being comfortable at work, attendees also heard about various disruptions to the workplace. In one breakout session titled, “Six Disruptions in the Workplace,” IT departments reported a challenge to support both Apple and Microsoft applications and hardware. This inadvertently places employees into silos and can ultimately yield workplace malaise. According to a Gallop poll, only 13% of employees are engaged in the workplace, and 36% would choose to work from home over a raise. As a result, employers need to look for engaging, remote-driven technology, opportunities for hybrid solutions, and how to deploy BYOD into most every scenario.
  6. BYOD security is important. What, about the security threats BYOD can impose? In the session, “Managing your Collaboration Infrastructure and Endpoints,” industry panelists shared their thoughts on security risks that accompany managed services. While many businesses are moving to managed services — from data storage to software programs — there can also be a risk for the IT department. While some enterprises allow third parties to host their networks and security efforts, many smaller businesses aren’t as comfortable releasing private information to a new set of eyes.

These are just a sample of the insights shared with attendees at InfoComm. As we learned, the landscape is certainly changing and evolving. So, what does all of this mean for the future of AV? Check out our five recommendations for resellers to consider moving forward in our blog, here. And, to dig deeper into any of these topics, contact ScanSource Communications at  AV@scansource.com and ScanSourceKBZ at CiscoFASTPATH@scansource.com. We’ll be glad to help you discover your biggest opportunities in the channel.

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