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Collaboration and the Cloud

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UC Expo

17 -18 May 2017
ExCel London

With UC Expo opening the doors of its new venue, ExCel, later this month, it will be obvious to visitors just how important the Cloud has become to key AV applications including collaboration and digital signage. In this short report ahead of the show, AV News reports on recent developments in collaboration solutions.

The impact of the Cloud will be even more apparent at UC Expo this year, with enthusiastic support from a broad range of iFPD vendors – including Avocor, Clevertouch and CTouch – and meeting room technology vendors, including i3 Technologies and Starleaf, some exhibiting for the first time at the show. UC Expo is said to be Europe’s largest Unified Communications and Collaboration event and anticipates welcoming over 5,500 ICT professionals. The two-day event showcases the leading technologies that enable smarter working and truly connected business practices.

UC Expo debutants Crestron will demonstrate its new, powerful table-top meeting room system, Mercury.

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Debutants Crestron (Stand F108) will demonstrate its new, powerful table-top meeting room system, Mercury. This is described as “the most complete, flexible, and powerful table-top meeting room system available today”. Its all-in-one console can transform meeting rooms into highly effective collaboration spaces by combining all the must-have conferencing and collaboration features employees need, along with the fast, secure cloud deployment and management required by IT managers.

“As the leader in meeting room control and automation technology, we are pleased to be demonstrating our solutions at UC Expo 2017. Only Crestron solutions successfully address all the challenges that arise as unified communications requirements move from the desktop to the collaboration space,” says Petra Van Meeuwen, Media Relations Director at Crestron EMEA. “Our solutions add a layer of intelligence that transform an organisation into a high-performance enterprise and demonstrate just how easy to use, easy to deploy, and easy to manage our systems are”.

Bridging the gaps

Continuing the theme of interoperability, Polycom (Stand F111) co-exhibited with Microsoft (Stand E112) on the CeBIT Microsoft Skype for Business stand. Polycom and Microsoft have a strong and long-standing partnership, which has seen the companies research, develop and innovate many of the industry’s leading UC solutions available today, such as Polycom RealConnect.

The companies recently also announced the extension of the familiar Skype for Business user interface to the Polycom endpoints Polycom RealPresence Group Series, Polycom VVX 500 and 600 Business Media Phones and Polycom RealPresence Trio.

“Intuitive and flexible Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions enable working from anywhere and this is exactly what we focus on at Polycom. In addition to having freedom to work seamlessly from any location and at any time, customers often evaluate the value of the technology by factoring in ease-of-use of the solution,” said Jens Brauer, Area Sales Vice President, Central Europe, at Polycom.

New partnerships

UC Expo stalwarts Dolby and BlueJeans (Stand E121) will be appearing together as a recently announced partnership, demonstrating “a superior meeting experience is scientifically designed to enhance comprehension and increase participant productivity.

Recent BlueJeans research showed 92% of respondents said that they’re currently using video to stage regular internal meetings and 69% said they’re using video for ad-hoc communications between team members. This proves that work-based collaboration is strongly driven by video while external communication is working its way towards full video integration.

To encourage this process, Dolby Laboratories and Blue Jeans Network have announced that they are collaborating to create an entirely new meeting experience. Dolby Voice, the audio technology delivering in-person sound quality, is being integrated into BlueJeans onVideo and BlueJeans Huddle group meeting solutions. This creates superior meeting experiences scientifically designed to enhance comprehension and increase participant productivity.

“Dolby is a proven leader in creating spectacular audio and video experiences for cinema and home theatre. Through Dolby Voice, our scientific research and technologies are applied to collaboration audio for conferencing that is exceptionally clear and natural sounding,” said Andrew Border, Vice President, Communications Business Group, Dolby Laboratories.

“Dolby Voice combined with BlueJeans creates meeting experiences that are free from audio distractions and stimulate better participation and conference flow, closely resembling the dynamics and productivity of face-to-face meetings. Bringing together the BlueJeans platform with Dolby Voice effectively addresses common challenges such as background noise, not knowing who’s speaking, echo, people talking over one another, and uneven sound levels across environments. Combined, these technologies allow enterprises and individuals around the world to experience more productive video meetings.

“By integrating Dolby Voice with BlueJeans video services, we are radically improving the video conferencing experience. Dolby is widely recognised as a leader in sound technology, and this partnership represents BlueJeans’ continued commitment to delivering the best meeting experience for our customers,” said Krish Ramakrishnan, CEO of BlueJeans Network. “Enterprises around the world trust BlueJeans as their preferred video meetings platform because of our focus on quality. Dolby was an easy partner of choice for us because they are simply the best audio provider in the market.”

Huddle solution

In parallel, BlueJeans is making the Dolby Conference Phone a part of the BlueJeans Huddle solution. The 360-degree voice pickup is said to capture the entire room’s conversation, and spatial audio technology presents in-room and remote voices as if they come from a distinct location. This integration supports BlueJeans’ one-touch meeting initiation from the Dolby Conference Phone interface creating an in-room video meeting system that is easy to deploy, use, and manage. BlueJeans Huddle with the Dolby Voice Conference Phone is expected to be available by the end of Spring.

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Bringing together the BlueJeans platform with Dolby Voice effectively addresses common challenges such as background noise.

According to Wainhouse Research, there are as many as 50 million meeting spaces that have not yet been video equipped. The new BlueJeans Huddle with Dolby Voice solution can turn these rooms into highly functional collaborative spaces by adding superior audio-visual technology at an accessible price point for businesses of any size.

Other options

Another recent option for huddle spaces and meeting rooms will be shown by Anders+Kern UK Ltd (A+K). On Stand C104, the distributor will be exhibiting its latest communication and collaboration solutions alongside its newest partners, i3-Technologies.

Products will include the newly launched display board, the i3HUDDLE 2.0. The board gives easy access to Skype, Excel, PowerPoint and the i3MEETINGHUB, which is a collaboration tool where remote and local users can interact, brainstorm and present together.

The i3HUDDLE integrates with the i3SYNC Touch, which will also be on display and available to demo at the event. The i3SYNC is a lightweight presenting tool which allows you to instantly share your screen with other participants in full HD quality. Bridging the gap between traditional and UC tech, the i3SNAP will be exhibited, This is a dry-erase board that allows you to easily take and share digital meeting notes.

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Anders+Kern UK Ltd (A+K). On Stand C104, the distributor will be exhibiting its latest communication and collaboration solutions alongside its newest partners, i3-Technologies

“The beauty of i3-technologies is that their products overcome and adapt traditional meeting environments so that they can work more efficiently in the modern workspace,” says Steven Black, Managing Director at A+K. “A+K is the sole distributer of i3 products in the UK and looking forward to welcoming attendees to our stand so that they can see the impressive range for themselves”.

Lisandro Nunez, i3-Technologies Director of Global Business Development and Marketing, will be speaking about the company’s innovative product range as part of the seminar series at the event.

Display options

From the debut by Avocor in 2016, where the UC Expo audience demonstrated their interest in IFPDs in droves, particularly when they discovered that Avocor was powered by Windows 10. This year visitors will have a much wider choice with Avocor being joined by Clevertouch and CTouch and, of course Microsoft Surface Hub.

Clevertouch-Pro

The Clevertouch Pro Series comes with new functions and MDM controls (Mobile Device Management) that makes life easier for IT Managers. 

Clevertouch (stand C101) will be showing the recently debuted 65” Capacitive Touch Display, as well as the Corporate Clevertouch Pro Series. All models in the series come with LUX, the most intuitive user interface ever developed for large interactive displays. The first truly agnostic large interactive display on the market, all products and software in the Clevertouch Lux range will connect with all platforms including Chrome, Windows, iOS, Android.

The Clevertouch Pro Series comes with new functions and MDM controls (Mobile Device Management) that makes life easier for IT Managers. Shaun Marklew, Sales and Marketing Director at Clevertouch, commented: “As always, our planning and development of new innovations focusses on what end users want, resulting in a faster, more enhanced experience and technology that helps business. Our latest features and Capacitive screen will change the way end users work within the Corporate sector”

CTOUCH (stand C107) also introduced a new business range of IFPDs at ISE 2017. In 2015, CTOUCH’s turnover exceeded € 17 million largely from the education sector. According to conservative projections, revenues could be tripled within three years, with significant growth comping from the business market, international sales, and improvements in technology.

New from Avocor

As the first manufacturer to present its products to UC EXPO, Avocor is back this year with its F series IFPD, designed to encourage users the ability you can walk up and start using the technology, with the minimum of user adoption barriers. Avocor will be showcasing its new whiteboard application at UC Expo, Avocor Note by Nureva, shown for the first time in the UK at the exhibition.

A significant upgrade to the existing Avocor Note software proposition, this new, revolutionary whiteboarding application enables users to create professional meeting content and will be available as standard with all Avocor interactive displays for business from mid-May. 

 

 

 

 


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