Earlier this month, some of the world’s largest collaboration companies were gathered under one roof at London’s very own ExCel centre. UC EXPO brought a host of industry-wide developments that spelled out an exciting future for collaboration tools – and Futuresource was fortunate enough to witness it in person. With a robust team of analysts in attendance, we picked up on the latest news and innovations sweeping the world of collaboration.
So, what did our team of analysts uncover at UC EXPO 2022?
A seismic shift to high-quality solutions was felt across the board at this year’s UC EXPO. It’s been a turbulent few years with Covid-19 changing the face of communications for good. 2020 saw businesses scrambling to equip their employees with the necessary tools to facillitate homeworking. The focus was on rapid deployment, but now, businesses are shifting focus toward high-quality solutions.
“This year’s UC Expo was very much a quality-oriented environment,” says Anjum Iqbal, Senior Account Manager at Futuresource Consulting. “As customers’ needs change, so does their demand for technology. The shift to hybrid work means that customers want higher-quality video, improved sound, interoperability, and ease of use. It was encouraging to see vendors striving to provide that.”
With a renewed focus on quality abound, vendors were also posing some key questions. How do you include remote workers in the meeting room experience?
For employees joining an in-person meeting remotely, more often than not there’s just one camera with a single point of view. This makes for an unsatisfying and unnatural imitation of a traditional meeting room – the very antithesis of collaboration brands’ aims.
A few solution providers were turning towards tabletop cameras to address this issue. The Meeting Owl 3: 360 camera from Owl Labs was a notable example, as well as the Logitech Sight camera. Both are powered by AI and represent a new generation of collaboration tools that enable seamless remote experiences.
Mobile phones are fully interoperable: your chosen carrier does not dictate to whom you can talk. Users on Vodafone are perfectly capable of calling users on EE, likewise Virgin and O2, and so on and forth. With internet video connectivity, users aren’t granted the same luxury. A fundamental flaw of conferencing platforms is that both parties must be communicating via the same application in order to connect.
“A focus on interoperability is one of the most exciting takeaways from this year’s UC Expo,” says Alistair Johnson, Head of Collaboration Research at Futuresource Consulting. “A big piece of external news is that Cisco products announced it will be able to run Microsoft Teams natively, entirely for the benefit of the user. Such efforts were a common theme throughout the show and certainly represent a wider industry shift.”
As brands recalibrate to focus on seamless user experiences, a more gratifying and lucrative future for the industry emerges.
For over 15 years, Futuresource has covered the entire collaboration ecosystem from market reports and strategic outlooks to end-user insights. For more information about our suite of services including specific reports, visit our Collaboration Services webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest Enterprise and Professional AV Insights