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Collaboration: The Future of Workplace Technology

A buzzword which you’ll often hear over the coming months (with ISE 2018 just around the corner) is collaboration, and the increasing interconnectedness of the spaces in which we work and the technology through which we co-operate. Collaboration is a theme at the heart of the modern workplace, and the technology that supports this seeks to enable new and more efficient ways of working together. With more people working from home, the growth of huddle spaces, high demand for BYOD in meeting rooms, and the requirement for platforms that support a multi-channel integrated communications environment, the market for meeting room collaboration solutions is expanding rapidly.

Defining this industry can be difficult. Vendors across AV are all using collaboration as an umbrella term for the increasing connectivity of products, and as a means through which to grow sales. The collaboration market includes a variety of products such as: interactive displays, audio systems, wireless presentation solutions (WPS), video conferencing and collaboration hubs (which generally combine a number of these areas). What is clear however, is the growing level of interest that we have witnessed in these technologies over the past 24 months.

As detailed in our corporate end user study, the average employee is spending 5.4 hours a week in meeting rooms and 3.1 hours a week joining meetings remotely via audio, web or video conferencing solutions. With over 20% of meetings hosting a remote participant, the demand for collaborative solutions which make these meetings more efficient is very high.  In addition to this, the survey also highlighted the number of physical meeting rooms is forecast to rise, with 24% of companies surveyed expecting to add additional meeting spaces in the next 5 years. With the target market growing, it is unsurprising that vendors are placing such an emphasis on collaboration technologies.

A good example of this growing interest and investment, is the rising investment in interactive displays in the meeting room; a market rejuvenated by the development of Team Collaboration Displays (TCDs) with major unified communication players like Cisco launching the Spark Board and Microsoft launching the Surface Hub. TCDs have brought the power of their respective platforms, namely Cisco Spark, Microsoft Skype for Business, and Google Hangouts, as well as content sharing, interactivity and a host of other functionalities into a consolidated package, servicing a range of meeting room needs. This has not only brought tech giants to the displays industry, it has acted as a spotlight for collaborative technologies of all kinds and has helped grow overall interest in the market. In addition to the TCDs covered here, network connected displays (allowing content sharing between locations) have performed well, with brands such as Sharp and Ricoh leading this segment. Fuelled by these developments, the market for collaboration displays grew over 30% year-on-year in Q3 2017, with 2018 expected to be another solid year. 

The buzz around collaboration technologies in the corporate market is unlikely to abate any time soon, particularly with ISE under a month away. Moreover, as the workplace continually evolves, and technology continues to influence and support our working habits, growth and innovation in this eclectic market is forecast to accelerate. To keep up with these developments, Futuresource’s latest reports, including our 2017 Wireless Presentation Solutions Market Tracker and our upcoming Corporate Meeting Room Technology End User Survey, aim to provide invaluable insights into these rapidly developing markets.

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Adam Cox

About the author

Adam Cox

Adam Cox is Senior Analyst at Futuresource Consulting and is responsible for researching and reporting on technology trends across the imaging, pro video and collaboration market categories.

Adam is also heavily involved in work looking at end users, service providers across the corporate markets and in addition to this, works on tracking and examining the collaboration, wireless presentation and conferencing equipment sales channels.

Adam joined Futuresource in 2006 working on broad range of market tracking, analytical and strategic pro broadcast AV Projects. He soon went onto lead the broadcast equipment team covering the full broadcast production chain from acquisition to content delivery. Adam holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Film and Television Studies.

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