UC Advanced - issue #7

Issue #7


News, analysis, insights and more

Being Part of the Conversation page 16

The Unified Communications & Collaboration market never stands still and neither should you. Are you ready to plan your next strategic move? As a technology enabler and solutions provider, Nuvias UC offers a portfolio of solutions and services to complement your UC&C offerings. Contact our team on 01635 225000 to explore new revenue streams within any of the fields below.


Industrial Devices

SIP/Call plans








Resource Management

Video Bars




Workforce Management





Content Sharing




Secure calling


High Availability



System monitoring

www.nuvias-uc.com | 01635 225000 | salesuk@nuvias-uc.com



Have we passed the peak of the Hybrid Era?

world. Whatever you blame the current geopolitical climate on, times are tough at the moment which is putting strain on the workforce. Yet, instead of finding innovative ways of being productive, 90% of employers appear to believe that return to office mandates are the way forward. To me, the idea that attendance equates to productivity is a fallacy and I’d argue that it’s detrimental to the company in the long run. Anecdotally, I have worked for two businesses since the pandemic that mandated attendance. While I’m sure the motivation is to be productive, the mandated days were unspecific, meaning that you’re only ever guaranteed to see someone one day a week, limiting any ability to form relationships. Similarly, friends are resigning or finding new jobs within two or three years of employment because businesses are burning out from long days commuting and “meetings that could have been emails.” While the collaboration industry may be aiming for equity in meetings, the wider office culture in the UK seems to be stuck in a pre- pandemic age. It’s emblematic of the gulf between the employers and the employees both in attitudes towards work and their investment in the company. Frustratingly, the technology is there to make a success of the hybrid working set- up. But that set-up feels predicated on being able to trust employees to use these tools to schedule days to come into the office, make use of better technology, and foster that emotional investment into the company rather than focussing on performative productivity. That may be a heavy start to the mag, but I promise it gets lighter! As always, enjoy the magazine, and don’t be a stranger!

I’m sure by the time this magazine is published ISE will feel like a distant memory. But as I’m writing this now, just about recovered from over 30,000 steps in two days, it’s a good time to reflect on what people around the industry said at the show and the trends in collaborations. Naturally, there were some great solutions launched at the show, more than this magazine can do justice for, but what struck me was the demand for meeting room solutions of all sizes. You see, we’ve been at this collaboration lark for a while now, it’s coming up to four years since the first pandemic and WebEx, Slack, Teams, and Zoom were all established collaboration platforms before anyone coughed in Wuhan. So, on the face of it, businesses should have video-enabled meeting rooms before the turn of the decade, or at least looked into these solutions by now. I suspect that businesses are finally starting to wave somewhat of a white flag when it comes to hybrid or remote working. Research from Page Group found that 71% of job ads are more appealing if they mention flexible working with 55% being more attractive with work-from-home options. As a result, meeting equity was another hot topic throughout ISE, as businesses are trying to ensure that every participant is equally heard within a meeting, or at the very least has the experience of being there; succinctly referred to as Meeting Equity in this issue.’ In a perfect world, this would be great. Being able to get a good, not perfect, but a good experience from virtual meetings is the goal a lot of the UC industry is pushing towards; and has largely achieved. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect

Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne Editor

best campaign


Q4 · 2023


Support your Channel Distributors and Resellers by using the new FREE Stock in the Channel functionality: “Authorised Distributors”. Click here to learn more




News You should know p6 AV Are you Shure you can hear me p12 ISE All seeing, all hearing p18 ISE News New products unveiled p21 Sustainability Environmental consciousness p27 Large Room Products Most popular on Stock in the Channel p31 Education BETT-ing on the future p33 Product Review Logitech Reach p38 Thought Leadership Taking a leaf out of the B2C book p41 Retail & Hospitality Consistency on the shop floor p47 Thought Leadership Recipe for success p50

The most popular Large Room Cameras on Stock In The Channel



Barcelona hosted some of the biggest brands in the world to show off the best the AV industry has to offer



Barco, Jabra, DTEN, Shure, Creston and Cisco along with Microsoft & Samsung unveil new products

The British Education Training and Technology show gave us an opportunity to ask some key players some key questions


How an environmental consciousness may help businesses.

Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of UC Advanced can be reproduced. © 2024 In the Channel Media Ltd. Editorial Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 elliot@ucadvanced.com Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ucadvanced.com Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ucadvanced.com Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ucadvanced.com



Logitech Reach is a movable and pivoting camera featuring the Logitech StreamCam

How management tools are improving the retail and hospitality space



Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street,

How does a leading brand in audio technology view the collaboration market?

Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:




Gamma Communications Strengthens Global Presence with Acquisition of...

Gamma has announced its strategic acquisition of Coolwave Communications, a distinguished international SMS and voice services provider. The acquisition comes at a time when Gamma already serves a significant number of the world’s UCaaS, CPaaS & CCaaS providers, along with several hyperscalers in the UK. With Coolwave’s addition, Gamma aims to further improve its delivery of voice services in over 100+ countries, thereby accelerating its overall strategy to meet the communication needs of global organisations. Mike Mills, Director of Service Providers at Gamma, expressed his excitement about the acquisition, emphasising its alignment with Gamma’s strategy to provide top-notch voice & SMS services to customers globally. “This move enhances our competitive position and empowers us to offer even more innovative solutions,” Mills commented. Ronan Higgins, Commercial Director of Coolwave, echoed Mills’ sentiments, stating, “We are thrilled to join forces with Gamma; it is a

great move for Coolwave.” Higgins emphasised the potential of combining Coolwave’s strengths, technology, and customer relationships with Gamma’s resources, size, brand, and energy to deliver unparalleled voice and messaging services worldwide. Daryl Pile, Managing Director of Gamma Business, highlighted the synergies between Coolwave and Gamma, describing Coolwave’s team and capabilities as a superb, complementary fit to Gamma’s Service Provider team. “Together, we now deliver a range of internationally available services to over 400 existing customers,” Pile noted, expressing confidence in the ability of the acquisition to drive growth in the global voice services market.

Daryl Pile


The acquisition of Coolwave marks a significant step forward for Gamma

Communications, reinforcing its position as a leader in the communication services industry and signalling its dedication to providing innovative solutions to its expanding customer base across the globe.

Xelion Unveils Enhanced WhatsApp Business Integration

Xelion has introduced an upgraded version of WhatsApp Business Integration as part of its forthcoming Xelion 8.4 update. This advancement enables seamless integration of WhatsApp Business messaging within the Xelion platform, offering more convenient deployment and lower costs compared to competitors. WhatsApp integration has long been sought after in communication platforms, but commercial challenges have hindered its widespread adoption. Typically, business users are required to register themselves independently, leading to inconvenience and escalating costs. Xelion’s latest version addresses these issues by offering licensing per business, rather than per user, thus allowing multiple agents within a business to utilise the service without

incurring additional expenses. Deployment and registration are managed as a service for the user, streamlining the process. Dave Reynolds, Xelion’s UK Managing Director, expressed enthusiasm about the latest integration, emphasising its scalability within the UC ecosystem and its convenience for users. He highlighted Xelion’s commitment to keeping costs down while enhancing the product, ultimately helping partners better serve their customers’ needs. Reynolds stated, “Instead of productizing this service, we’re keeping costs down. The point is that it further enhances Xelion as a product, and ultimately helps more partners meet the needs of more customers. That’s what Xelion is all about, and we’re delighted to be launching yet another enhancement to our partners and users.”

Dave Reynolds




Look beyond… to more flexible printing. Discover Brother Cloud Solutions.

Look beyond the printer. Discover Brother Cloud Solutions. Printing anywhere, anytime, from any device.

Visit BrotherZone for more information.




Vodafone and e& Collaborate to Provide Comprehensive Managed Voice Solutions

Vodafone and e& have announced a strategic collaboration aimed at offering comprehensive, fully managed voice solutions to support the international voice traffic requirements and growth plans of other operators. This partnership comes in response to the growing demand for voice over 4G/5G (VoLTE) services and the industry’s forecasted shift towards VoLTE adoption. According to the GSMA, VoLTE adoption is predicted to surge to over 70% of global mobile connections by 2030. This upward trend is driven by operators transitioning from legacy networks to 5G infrastructure, coupled with the demand for consistently reliable trans-border managed voice services. By leveraging their collective technical expertise, partnerships, and complementary geographical footprint, Vodafone and e& aim to deliver a robust, scalable, and consistent managed voice service worldwide. This collaboration assures operators of predictable costs, optimised inbound revenues, streamlined regulatory compliance, enhanced fraud protection, and seamless integration of innovative services through a

leading cloud-based architecture. Ninian Wilson, CEO of Vodafone Procurement and Connectivity, highlighted the increasing complexity of managing cross-border voice services amidst regulatory changes and the migration to 5G. Wilson stated, “Operators are seeking trusted partners to navigate these changes while growing their businesses. Vodafone’s strategic partnership with e& offers them a single point of contact and a dependable service globally during this transition to support them in managing changing business complexities.” The collaboration between Vodafone and e& also promises enhanced fraud protection through industry-leading processes and advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) functionalities. As active members of the Global Leaders Forum (GLF), both companies contribute significantly to shaping the industry’s fraud mitigation strategies. The announcement builds on the agreement unveiled last year, where Vodafone and e& detailed their joint marketing, sales, and service efforts to support businesses and public sector organisations in their digital transformations.


Ninian Wilson


Exertis Cloud Partners with Nord Security to Strengthen Cloud Security Offerings

Exertis Cloud and Nord Security have announced a strategic partnership, offering NordPass and NordLayer directly to Exertis Cloud’s extensive network of channel partners. The partnership introduces NordPass, a next- generation password manager, and NordLayer, a secure cloud access platform, to Exertis Cloud’s distribution network, empowering channel partners to enhance their cloud security effortlessly. NordPass, equipped with AI-powered features such as automatic filling, breach alerts, and secure sharing, simplifies password management, thereby improving employee productivity and bolstering password hygiene. On the other hand, NordLayer establishes a robust zero-trust security perimeter for cloud access, offering advanced encryption, threat

protection, and centralised user management. Sarah Potter, Commercial Director of Cloud & Software at Exertis, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “Exertis is thrilled to announce its partnership with Nord Security, home to the world’s most advanced VPN service, NordVPN. This partnership means we can now offer our customers two industry- leading cybersecurity solutions – NordLayer and NordPass.” NordLayer, designed as a business-oriented cybersecurity solution, facilitates secure access to the internet, company network, and resources, ensuring compliance with various work environments. With its quick deployment, 24/7 support, and user-friendly interface, NordLayer promises an efficient onboarding experience without disrupting workflow.

Sarah Potter





Cisco Unveils Cutting-Edge Solutions to Enhance Observability Platform

Cisco has announced a range of new features and applications on the Cisco Observability Platform. The latest enhancements aim to assist customers in delivering secure and high- performing user and application experiences. With applications serving as the gateway for nearly every business operation, ensuring a seamless application experience has become a top priority for IT teams. The introduction of Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) capabilities brings greater visibility and insight into user behaviour for both hybrid and cloud environments. This includes Real User Monitoring (RUM) and Session Replay modules, which provide deep insights into browser and mobile application performance. Furthermore, Cisco has extended observability to Kubernetes workloads, leveraging extended Berkeley Packet Filters (eBPF) technology. This allows operators granular visibility into network activity, resource utilisation, and application dependencies without the need for multiple

across Cisco AppDynamics and the Cisco Observability Platform provides operators with enhanced capabilities, including Log Analytics and Core Web Vitals, in a single account with shared context. Ronak Desai, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Cisco AppDynamics and Full-Stack Observability, expressed confidence in the latest innovations, stating, “These latest innovations further boost the core capabilities of the Cisco Observability Platform, empowering our customers with better visibility, insights, and actions across domains than ever before.” Additionally, Cisco unveils new partner modules, expanding its observability ecosystem with strategic partnerships across various categories, including AIOps, MLOps, networking, infrastructure observability, and business insights. With these advancements, Cisco reaffirms its commitment to providing customers with a unified platform for observability, supporting their digital ecosystems and driving efficiency and innovation in IT operations.

Ronak Desai

tools or manual dependency mapping. A unified observability experience


Promethean continues reign as Top K-12 Interactive Flat Panel Display

continuous innovation and its responsiveness to the evolving needs of educators and students alike. In 2023, Promethean introduced a series of new solutions tailored specifically for the UK & Ireland market, including the award-winning ActivPanel 9 and ActivPanel LX. The ActivPanel 9, equipped with patented ActivSync technology, promises an unparalleled user experience characterised by robustness, seamlessness, and security. On the other hand, the ActivPanel LX caters to customers seeking simplicity, flexibility, and value, further expanding Promethean’s product portfolio to address diverse educational requirements. Simon Port, Head of UK & Ireland Market at Promethean, expressed his pride in the company’s achievements, stating, “Maintaining leadership in an increasingly competitive market is a testament to the long-term investment we have made, not only in our solutions but the development of a robust channel operation.”

Promethean has once again secured its dominance as the leading provider of K-12 Interactive Flat Panel Displays (IFPD) in the UK and Ireland. This feat marks the fifth consecutive year of Promethean’s reign, solidifying its position as the go-to choice for educators seeking cutting- edge classroom solutions. According to the latest report from Futuresource Consulting’s Q4 2023 analysis of the World IFPD market, Promethean’s market leadership from 2019 through 2023 is reaffirmed by sell-in volume, showcasing its unparalleled performance in meeting the demands of the educational sector. Throughout the calendar year 2023, Promethean maintained its stronghold in the UK & Ireland market, outpacing all competitors with a 22.3% volume share. This achievement underscores Promethean’s commitment to





ISE 2024 Breaks Attendance Records

Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2024, held at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue, has made history as the most successful edition in its 20-year journey. Drawing in 73,891 unique verified attendees from 162 countries, this year’s event has surpassed all previous records since its inception in Geneva in 2004, boasting a 27% increase in attendance compared to the 2023 edition. Wednesday, January 31st, saw 51,617 visitors attend the event, marking the highest number ever recorded in a single day, surpassing the previous record by nearly 22%. The total number of registrations reached 95,396, with 172,627 visits across the four-day event. Additionally, Friday witnessed a record- breaking attendance of 24,528, solidifying ISE’s position as a premier event in the industry. The success of ISE 2024 extended beyond the exhibition halls, with the city experiencing unprecedented occupation in hotels, bars, and entertainment venues. Exhibitors reported unparalleled footfall at their booths, reflecting the vibrant energy and enthusiasm of attendees across the largest-ever ISE show floor, spanning 82,000 square metres.

This year’s exhibition showcased a record- breaking number of exhibitors, totalling 1,408, highlighting the industry’s commitment to innovation and collaboration. From advanced display technologies to immersive audio systems and smart automation solutions, exhibitors from around the globe presented cutting-edge products and services aimed at enhancing user experiences and pushing the boundaries of the pro-AV and systems integration landscape. Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events, expressed his pride in ISE’s remarkable journey, stating, “ISE 2024 not only reflects the cutting-edge technologies defining our industry but also serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of creativity and camaraderie.” He emphasised the event’s commitment to being a global platform for industry professionals, in partnership with AVIXA and CEDIA. The celebration of ISE’s 20th anniversary added a special touch to the event, with commemorative events, retrospective installations, and acknowledgements of industry pioneers.

Mike Blackman


Colt Technology Services Expands Internet On Demand Service to Ten New Countries physical routers, the vRouter is located in the

Colt Technology Services has announced the expansion of its Internet On Demand service to ten new countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and several European nations. This expansion, which offers increased bandwidth of up to 10Gbps, aims to cater to the growing demand from businesses seeking flexibility and automation across their digital infrastructure as they expand into new markets. The Internet On Demand service, now available in a total of 27 countries across Europe, Asia, and North America, provides businesses with the ability to use digital infrastructure whenever they need it. With features such as real-time network connectivity and pay-as-you-go billing, the service helps organisations save costs, reduce unnecessary energy emissions, and mitigate risks. Colt’s virtual router, a key component of the On Demand solution, has been designed to help businesses reduce emissions and meet sustainability targets. Unlike traditional

cloud, saving energy and physical space while delivering virtual network functionality on demand through a fully automated, centralised platform. Peter Coppens, VP of Infrastructure and Connectivity Solutions at Colt Technology Services, emphasised the evolving needs of businesses in today’s market landscape. He stated, “Businesses navigating unpredictable, uncertain markets want to self-serve, they want to automate as many features as possible, and they want to pay for only the bandwidth they use.” Coppens highlighted the economic and environmental benefits of Colt’s Internet On Demand solution, which aligns with the needs of businesses seeking to generate new revenue streams in overseas markets. A recent survey conducted by Colt of 755 IT leaders across Europe and Asia underscored the importance of On Demand connectivity, with 76% stating its significance and one in five deeming it essential to their business operations.

Peter Coppens




Are you Shure you can Hear Me?

How does a leading brand in audio technology view the collaboration market?

Every year Ofcom produces a report that outlines how the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consume their entertainment content for people like me who find that sort of thing interesting. In the 2023 report, the media regulator found that one in five adults listen to podcasts each week, equating to roughly 11 million adults, which may not be surprising to many given the number of podcasts that have popped up since the turn of the decade. In fact, the podcast industry is set to grow to $149.34 billion in 2030 according to Polaris Market Research and it’s not hard to work out why, when this content is being cut up into TikTok videos, and YouTube Episodes as well. One thing that links most podcasters, nay, content creators together is the equipment they use. Specifically, if you look closely, the word ‘Shure’ is often etched on the microphones that pick up everything someone has to say; for better or worse. Priding themselves on capturing high- quality audio, Shure is consistently identified as a ‘key player’ in the events audio industry, has built a large podcast mic market, and is getting ready to celebrate a century since S.N. Shure set up the “Shure Radio Company” in

Chicago in 1925. That knowledge is now being focussed in the virtual meeting room, bringing quality audio to the masses, because, as Shure Senior Director of Global Strategic Market Development, Rob Smith says you can’t have a meeting when you can’t hear anyone. “When you think about it, there are three elements in a meeting,” said Smith. “You’ve got the video, content sharing, and audio. “If you take away the video, the meeting can pretty much carry on, and a lot of people have meetings with people turning off the cameras. If you lose the content it’s going to impact some meetings but we have the ability to talk through a presentation. If you take away the audio the meeting is done. “So if we look at the hierarchy of importance audio has got to be first but for a long time it’s been the least regarded part of the puzzle. In the last few years, we and others have been trying to demonstrate the need for good audio, and I think the message has got through for that top-tier room, in the boardroom, and the multi-purpose spaces. “Generally speaking, most people realise you’ve got to have decent audio because otherwise, half the people in the room don’t

Rob Smith Senior Director, Strategic Market Development


Using the built- in camera and microphone in a laptop might work... but to be sure businesses should want to have a good setup, and it’s actually quite easy to do...

12 182

know what’s going on. Certainly, all the remote participants are maybe only hearing from half the people in the room.” Hybrid working This new challenge to emphasise the importance of audio has come about from a poor experience in meetings between disparate participants. As businesses seem to be on the precipice of giving up on remote work and enforcing mandatory office days, you’d think they might have a point. We’ve all been on calls that have been dominated by a dog barking or an overactive microphone, despite the participant having nothing to say. This poor experience is exactly the scenario that Smith’s team are hoping to rectify, leaning on nearly 100 years of expertise to improve the experience for everyone. “With the growth of hybrid working, the challenge we’ve got is that quality audio has to be in place for every room,” said Smith. “Otherwise a CEO joining remotely won’t be able to hear half the participants because the microphones are at the front of a room that is too big for the solution that’s been chosen. That’s a waste of quite an expensive amount of time. “What we’re trying to do, as a company, is provide premium quality audio to every meeting room and education space, because it’s no good only having three or four per cent of meeting rooms in the world being useful. “We’re trying to apply our expertise of nearly 100 years in other spheres to every meeting room, whatever the size, everywhere in the world.” Speaking from Experience These hypothetical scenarios turn into real- world experiences when Smith talks about his background. Smith joined Shure five and a half years ago after establishing himself in the AV industry in various guises for 27 years, from building visitor attractions and museum exhibits, up to meeting rooms, auditoria, corporate government and education-type solutions, working in roles from engineering, to sales, and then management. In these roles, the concept of working from home or being able to do work away from an office has become commonplace, with Smith explaining he has been frustrated in the past when communicating with the office. “Using the built-in camera and microphone

Large Meeting Room Setup

For the larger room, just using the speakers on the screen or a couple of speakers at the front generally means that the people at the front will end up going deaf but the people in the back still can’t hear... ...What you have to do is place speakers throughout the room and then you start to create an easy listening experience at both ends.

in a laptop might work,’ said Smith, “but to be sure businesses should want to have a good setup, and it’s actually quite easy to do if you spend a few hundred dollars. “The challenge is when you’re a remote participant joining a large meeting room, particularly if you’re the only one. “I’ve had the experience in a previous company where I was being introduced to the entire sales team, but I could only hear about half the room because the microphone was stuck at the front. “If the people at the back of the room were having a conversation, I was excluded. If someone at the back was asking a question, I had to ask someone to repeat it, so I wasn’t a full participant in the meeting.” This isn’t a new phenomenon for many of us, and as Smith points out, repeating contributions and battling unavoidable technical issues disrupt the flow of meetings and can inhibit creativity too. “A significant number of remote participants have challenges finding a natural discussion flow,” continued Smith. “That means that they’ll start to zone out. “I was lucky in the example I described because it was an introduction to me so I didn’t have too much trouble getting attention. But if it’s a big meeting and a participant can’t be heard, or discussions are happening that they’re not part of, they’ll tend to become just an observer in the meeting, which is a waste of talent and a waste of time.” Blending into the Furniture At this point, many of you will be reclining in the back of your chairs reminiscing – no, reliving your own worst experiences dialling into a meeting I’m sure. One of the common themes of the past couple of years has been the fine-tuning of the meeting room solutions that had to be






Easier Set Up While Shure can supply the right solutions to the customer they can only do so much. Installation is a factor that not many hardware manufacturers can control, however, Smith says that’s where he and his team are looking to innovate. “We’ve been providing technically- engineered solutions that require a high skill level to install,” said Smith. “So what we’ve been doing over the last five years is making these solutions easier to install, provide equity of experience for everyone taking part in a remote meeting, and provide the experience that my boss’s boss has to every single meeting room. “The next thing is making systems that self-adapt to the room they’re installed in. It’s quite easy to establish what the acoustically perfect room needs to look like. Unfortunately, architects don’t give us that. They do like a concrete box with glass everywhere, and to be honest, I quite like the aesthetic myself, but it’s not the best for an audio room. “Our goal is for IT technicians to be able to put the microphone in a room, push a button and it figures out that room and sets itself up to provide the best audio performance. Our current range of products do that to a certain extent, but we want to get it so you can put the right microphones in the worst room possible and it gives you the best possible solution. “There will always be a space for those multipurpose rooms needing someone to program the microphones. But for 90% of the rooms that are a single space, we need to make systems that set themselves up much quicker and much easier.”

installed after the pandemic. In short, after slinging a camera and a mic into a meeting room to ‘video-enable’ it, it’s time to find a longer-term solution. So what does that look like? According to Smith, it doesn’t have to be a complete rip- and-replace job. “We’ve got a family of microphones called the MXA series which uses array technologies with over 100 individual microphones built into a single unit. These fit in the ceiling, keeping a low profile, and can pick up audio in the entire room. “The secondary thing is, particularly for the larger room, just using the speakers on the screen or a couple of speakers at the front generally means that the people at the front will end up going deaf but the people in the back still can’t hear. What you have to do is place speakers throughout the room and then you start to create an easy listening experience at both ends.” While Smith will emphasise the ease at which businesses can put together an effective meeting room solution, the essential feature that he mentions is keeping a low profile. “People say ‘it’s got to be easy to use’, what we’ve got to aim for is ‘it’s got to be invisible’ to the user.” “You should be no more aware of the audio system in a meeting room than you are of the carpet because it should just work. All you should ever have to do is turn the volume up, turn the volume down or mute it, and

You should be no more

aware of the audio system in a meeting

room than you are of the carpet because it should just work

frankly, if you’ve engineered it properly, you probably shouldn’t even need to adjust the volume.”

MXA Series


wu cwawd v. naenwc es idn.tchoemc h a n n e l .c o. u k



Being Part of the Conversation

How to deliver meeting equity in hybrid collaboration spaces

Most companies that introduced flexible working in recent years noticed an immediate improvement in productivity. But gains have diminished over time as teams suffer from digital fatigue and a loss of corporate culture. Employees are being urged to come back into the office to help address these issues. Meanwhile, HR, Facilities, and IT teams recognise that there is a need to rethink workplace design and technology. The reality of the hybrid office means that there is always someone dialling into a meeting remotely. Unfortunately, too often participants struggle to achieve a smooth conversation flow where everyone can contribute equally. When it’s difficult to hear clearly or identify speakers in the room, it becomes harder for remote participants to actively participate, let alone lead discussions, resulting in their passive listening. Such limited engagement significantly hinders the sharing of ideas and effective decision-making. Meeting room technology investments have not kept pace with the demands of modern workstyles. Although the detrimental effect of sub-par audio solutions is becoming more apparent, upgrading to premium technologies is sometimes considered excessive. Fortunately, professional networked audio systems continue to become more powerful

and integrated, delivering greater functionality with fewer components, reduced effort and at lower cost. Decision-makers no longer have to settle for glorified speakerphones that go on the wall; now every meeting room can enjoy boardroom-quality audio. A prime example is the Shure Microflex® Advance™ MXA902 Integrated Conferencing Ceiling Array. It combines advanced array microphone, wide-dispersion loudspeaker and powerful digital signal processing technology in a single ceiling-mounted device that provides consistent voice capture and listening levels for everyone in a 6x6m (20x20ft) area – ideal for any small to medium-sized room. Because it mounts overhead, everyone in the room is roughly the same distance from the microphone and the loudspeaker, meaning that everyone can hear and be heard equally well. Compared to wall-mounted soundbars, the MXA902 delivers more naturally interactive audio and better supports dynamic discussions. Moreover, the Integrated Ceiling Array only requires minimal setup as there is only one device to install and one network cable to connect. Certification with Microsoft Teams, Zoom Rooms and Google Meet guarantees the highest standard of performance, eliminates time-consuming tweaking and adjustment, and provides certainty that the solution “just works”. The human experience is key to making hybrid work, work. Companies are increasingly driving workplace reformation and investments in collaboration technology to ensure productivity and support organizational well-being. The future is all about integrated audio that stays out of the way and works flawlessly, all while providing an equitable experience for everyone. Learn more about Shure Microflex Ecosystem solutions at www.shure.com/microflex .




Make room for teamwork in small- and medium-sized rooms with the MXA902. It’s the first-ever audio conferencing solution to combine an array microphone, loudspeaker, and IntelliMix® DSP in one discreet ceiling-mounted system.

Scan to learn more


works with Google Meet



All Seeing, All Hearing

Barcelona hosted some of the biggest brands in the world to show off the best the AV industry has to offer.

No conference has had it easy in recent years. Without dragging up the past, the appetite for a global international event may have been subdued somewhat for want of a better word. But ISE 2024 felt like an official “we’re back” moment from a show that, on reflection, couldn’t have chosen a worse time to move from Amsterdam across Europe to the 500,000m2 facility in the Fira, Barcelona in 2021. I happened to have been in Amsterdam in 2020 for the last show at RAI, and have fond memories of diverted planes due to Storm Ciara and wheelie bins of hand sanitiser dotted all over the place as the COVID-19 pandemic began its intrusion into our lives. In those days the show was between the 10th and the 14th of February so, I’m obliged to say “more important than all of that I ruined Valentine’s Day because I didn’t want to go to dinner when we came back and I’m very sorry.” A lot has changed since I last went to ISE. Front and centre that year was a huge curved display rigged up to a Play Station for anyone who wanted a go at playing FIFA in between meetings. This year, while the hardware was as impressive as ever, a handful of exhibitors were reticent to use the topic of the

for Machine Learning or Analytics. “The challenge in a way is that AI has become a buzzword that overshadows

everything you do,” said Holger Graeff, General Manager EMEA, Vivitek. “Businesses can say today ‘We are working on AI features’ but we should ask what is it? What does it mean? “Internally, in Taiwan, we have built a booth that considers artificial intelligence but these advantages happen at different levels. So I’d like to see more before commenting on it more.” “You walk anywhere here and the stand says that they have something with AI but that of course means something different to everybody,” said Nicole Corbin, Vice President of Operations, at Utelogy “Of course, we are looking into it. There are things that we can do with data and analytics in our platform, and we’re always looking at gathering even more insights we can present to our end users. “We can provide self-healing services already, but I wouldn’t necessarily call what we are currently doing AI. Maybe in the future, we will look into machine learning and predictive analytics so that nobody needs to analyse the analytics.” Despite a little scepticism, Richard Trestain, Product Marketing Manager, EMEA at Jabra showed that the AI installed in systems is making meeting room experiences better. “We have a lot of work to do before AI has the ability to direct the meeting,” said Trestain. “We already have AI-based chips on

Rob Smith Senior Director, Strategic Market Development

day, Artificial Intelligence, opting instead


ISE is a very efficient way of meeting a very large, large number of people in a short space of time. We also believe in being good corporate neighbours and supporting industry events, and more importantly, it is a good place to exchange views, see where the world’s going and catch up with people.


This is our first year at ISE but we’ve been to Infocomm for several years. I have to tell you, they’re both unbelievable shows. Infocomm is invaluable for North America, but I’m also finding a lot of people from North America here at ISE who are trying to learn, and see what’s changed in six months because the innovation in the space is crazy. So this show is my favourite bar none.

the device and that’s how we’re delivering the kind of feature that we might have called machine learning. “The application of AI to make the meeting experience even smoother is great. People are talking about how cameras don’t necessarily focus on the person who is talking in the room, because we might want to see other participants’ reactions to what is being said. “We already do something quite nice, which is that if two people are talking to each other it will deliberately place them in the right position so they’re actually talking to each other across the screen. So with our system, participants won’t be talking directly over the screen. They’ll all be sitting next to each other. It’s these things that we can do with AI.” The Attitude Problem Away from the technology, a key theme of the show was addressing attitudes towards remote or hybrid working within the wider business landscape. However, in a world where management seems to be clinging to the idea of coming into the office every day, Kristin Celano, Senior Director of Global Brand and Communications at Owl Labs pointed out we’re all new to this. “We spent something like 50 years to figure out the way to work is to go to an office every day,” said Celano. “Everyone is a little hard on hybrid, but we’ve been at it for three or four

commuting costs or transport costs, which is great. Another trend is that younger generations


want to wear what they want, so businesses might ditch the dress code, instead of paying them more money or covering commuting costs.” “Companies are trying to mandate it, and other companies are trying to sell it,” said MacDonald. “But the cost of incentivising employees to come back to the office has gone through the roof and maybe isn’t working as well as mandating it.” “You just have to look at the data and figure out the different levers that matter to employees and build better experiences,” continued Celano. “I always say, every year we come out with this report, for five years straight it has said that everyone is tired. But if you know the trends that are happening, we

Ben MacDonald, Global Channel SVP

years. We have to give it a second. “I think more immersive technology,

engaging technology is going to help, better hybrid policies, listening to your employees, there’s going to be a mix of things that are just different than how we’ve done previously. “We also learned it’s expensive to go into the office. In the States, it was something like $56 a day on average to come into the office, including commuting costs, if you buy lunch or dinner, or a coffee.” With this expense, it’s not a surprise that Owl Labs discovered that some employees believed that remote working should be a legal right in its State of Hybrid Report. Celano and Global Channel SVP at Owl Labs, Ben MacDonald, went on to address the question of how to convince employees to come back to the office. “Some companies now are covering




become more spread out, meeting equity, and making sure we have the same experience sitting in the conference room than sitting at home, or on the phone is important. “We need more equipment in all the conference rooms so that we can share, collaborate, and communicate with people all over the world because the time has ended, everyone will go to the office.” “I think some people think meeting equity is just a bonus, but it’s essential,” said Shure Senior Director, Strategic Market Development, Rob Smith. “Because typically, if you think about a big meeting, the managing director and the board for example, if the CEO comes in and sits at the head of the table furthest from the screen, it’s likely that person won’t be heard, but that’s the most expensive person in the room. “Habitually I work from home. But if I’m in a meeting with headquarters, and I can’t hear half the meeting, and I can’t be heard, I might as well have not gone.” Turning towards a solution, Tonya Brilon Head of Product Marketing, Personal Workspace B2B at Logitech said that to even start to move forward, software and hardware fundamentally need to work together. “Before the pandemic sometimes there was one person who dialled into a meeting but most of the people were sat around a table,” said Brilon. “Then when the pandemic hit we all got equal space in the meeting with our own Hollywood Square. Now the reverse is true, the people who go into the meeting room have a square but the other participants can’t see the people in the meeting room. “We have tried to combat that with software, like smart switching or smart gallery and we have launched Sight cameras, a 315-degree view that can focus on who is speaking. “The hardware and the software are enabling us to create more equitable meetings, but then I think, as human beings, we have to be more thoughtful about turning to the screen and speaking to those people, rather than pretending that only the people in the room are in the meeting. “I think that if you have a culture of hybrid working, then everybody will know what it’s like to be on that other end, and you’ll see people try to turn to the screen and ask the remote participants what they think. “So it’s a combination of technology and culture. Or just come back to the office so you don’t have to worry about it!”

We have a rather strong reseller base in EMEA, so it’s great to see our customers because we are working with distributors in a lot of countries to meet their customers and get a feeling for how the industry is developing, what the signs of the time are, and what direction people are going.

can create the solutions that are meeting those demands, because our products can solve the problems the data is suggesting.” Equity of Experience While where we will be communicating is a debate that will rage on, the experience that we receive is still something that needs to be addressed. Meeting Equity was a topic that summed up the focus of the show as businesses continue to look for new ways to keep their employees engaged after logging on. “We are coming from a pre-pandemic conference room which had a projector or a display and that’s it at the end,” said Siegfried Hermann, Lightware President of EMEA. “But I think the trend all over Europe is that we won’t come back to the same scenario we had five years ago where everyone vivitek.eu

Holger Graeff General Manager EMEA

Tonya Brilon Head of Product Marketing, Personal Workspace B2B

goes to the office every morning. “As we


It’s about talking to customers, it’s talking to people in our industry and asking what are the pain points, what are they seeing. I’ve had a lot of great conversations with attendees here looking for solutions and asking them what’s working for you? What’s not working for you? So I think, for all of us, it’s an opportunity to meet customers face to face of course, but it’s also an opportunity to just talk to people in our space.


NewS from the show Barco Unveils ClickShare Bar: Revolutionizing Wireless Conferencing

Barco introduced the ClickShare Bar, a video conferencing solution designed for small to medium-sized meeting rooms. The ClickShare Bar integrates high- quality audio and video capabilities into one device, enhancing the renowned ClickShare experience. With ease of installation, reduced total cost of ownership, and flexibility, the ClickShare Bar aims to meet the evolving needs of hybrid work environments. It offers advanced features such as noise suppression,

speaker framing, and group framing to ensure optimal audio and video experiences for all participants. The ClickShare Bar is available in two models, Core and Pro, catering to various


collaboration needs. Notably, it is the first

carbon-neutral video bar on the market, reflecting Barco’s commitment to sustainability.

Jabra Unveils Jabra+ for Admins: A Game-Changer in Remote Meeting Room Management

Jabra unveiled Jabra+ for Admins, a cloud- based API-first software platform for remote monitoring and managing meeting rooms and devices. The platform offers IT administrators seamless

enhanced intuitiveness, and real-time status updates, facilitating efficient device management and troubleshooting. Integrated with Microsoft Azure for security and scalability, Jabra+ for Admins offers Single Sign-On (SSO) for easy access and integrates with IT help desk systems and third-party tools. Holger Reisinger, SVP Enterprise Solutions at Jabra, emphasizes the platform’s simplicity and efficiency, catering to the complexities of the hybrid workplace.


management capabilities, providing visibility and control over settings, firmware, and insights from a unified software platform. It boasts a modern user interface,

DTEN unveil new a Mate for the meeting room

DTEN introduced the DTEN Bar and DTEN Mate, a comprehensive video conferencing solution tailored for small meeting spaces. The Small Room Solution combines advanced AI-powered audiovisuals with ease of deployment and management, catering to various room configurations. Certified for Zoom Rooms with Microsoft Teams certification expected soon, it accommodates up to 7 participants and transforms small meeting spaces into dynamic collaborative environments. Key features include versatile mounting

options, AI technology for noise suppression and movement tracking, an innovative camera system, high-quality audio, seamless content sharing, and intuitive room controls.


The solution is available through DTEN’s Channel Partner network and was showcased at Integrated Systems Europe in Barcelona.




Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52


Powered by