Category Unified Communications

Poly’s “Power of Many” Message for Businesses

Poly made noise in the AV and workplace collaboration industry this week as it became the new face of the combination of Plantronics and Polycom.

The company is supporting its first marketing campaign, “The Power of Many,” with some high-profile announcements that focus on product integration with technology from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Poly made these announcements while at Enterprise Connect in Orlando.

In the days that followed the rebranding as Poly, the company announced:

The Power of Many

Common to these products is their emphasis on bringing people together, which is the message of Poly’s “Power of Many” campaign. The “power of many” also describes the functions that are brought together in a solution. Systems that combine useful functions are what you might envision when you hear the term “unified communications” — the ability to review one’s calendar, join a meeting, and make video calls from one device.

Along with this versatility, the goal is simplicity, which is key to the user experience of solutions that combine multiple functions. You could say that’s the main appeal of a solution that includes Alexa, making it possible to manage meetings and room devices through voice.

Poly’s solution announcements this week indicate their focus on a positive user experience. Common to each of them:  These solutions integrate with systems that people are comfortable with and want to keep using in a way that isn’t needlessly complex. One phrase on the Poly website touts the ability to “concentrate on ideas in the air, not devices in the room.” When people use workplace collaboration solutions, they shouldn’t notice the technology to an extent that is disruptive. Rather, they should be able to give their attention to the collaboration that the technology is making possible.

As new solutions enable us to do more from more places, companies are wise to incorporate those solutions in the workplace to attract talented people who want to be able to collaborate in a variety of ways and do it on demand.

The solutions that are easiest to use will be the most attractive, as long as they have the capabilities that people expect. Those capabilities are with us in a variety of solution packages. The power of Poly’s message is in its focus on how its solutions make it easier for people to produce the products, ideas, services and innovations that keeps their businesses growing.

Webinar Recording: Improving Your UCC Meeting-Room Audio

In this webinar, recorded on March 6, learn what it takes to deliver high-quality audio throughout your organization’s meeting rooms so that all participants — including those joining remotely — have an effective, productive experience.

The most important part of any video call or conferencing meeting is the audio. Without good audio, there’s no meeting. Get the recording of this free Commercial Integrator and MyTechDecisions webinar, and learn how Biamp audio solutions provide a high-quality experience. Zach Snook, product manager for Biamp, covers:

  • Beamtracking microphones
  • Power-over-Ethernet amplifiers
  • desono™ conferencing speakers
  • Soundmasking
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • DSPs
  • VoIP deployment tools

You’ll also hear from Charlie Salto, a project engineer for AVI-SPL. Charlie gives his insight into audio design for meeting rooms. Whether you’re refreshing a meeting room or designing and installing a new solution on a tight timeline, experts from Biamp and AVI-SPL explain how they can address these challenges quickly and efficiently.

Get the Recording for “Improving Your UCC Meeting-Room Audio” >

 

Manage Your Company’s AV and UC With Symphony as a Service

On the worldwide stage of ISE 2019, AVI-SPL announced the availability and value of its Symphony as a Service (SYaaS), which makes it easy for organizations to monitor, manage and improve their collaboration estate, and provide a better user experience of their AV and UC systems.

The Symphony managed services platform is the engine that drives AVI-SPL’s award-winning managed services for its clients around the world. With SYaaS, that platform is available on a subscription basis. AV and IT departments can be proactive about their collaboration spaces and devices as they launch and manage video calls, and keep track of the quality of experience during meetings. Through the service’s mobile-friendly, web-based dashboard, staff will have real-time insight into an organization’s AV devices, video systems, and conference infrastructure.

Symphony as a Service also provides analytics about room and device usage so that companies have the business intelligence to make informed decisions about future investment in meeting spaces and collaboration technology.

The announcement has been covered by industry magazines like rAVe, Tech Decisions, AV Magazine, AV Network, and Commercial Integrator, which shared this video it recorded at ISE 2019.  Here, AVI-SPL’s SVP of Services Tim Riek explains the value of SYaaS.

 

Driving Change in the Workplace

You’re committed to improving the way people work at their jobs. How do you get those you’re trying to help — and those whose support you need — to share your enthusiasm for a vision of working smarter?

The term “digital workplace transformation” lends some industry weight to this vision.  But it doesn’t capture the complexities and obstacles different organizations may encounter as they try to improve their internal processes and their ability to interact with customers. It also doesn’t make a case for the benefits, which include helping companies connect with customers (through tools like video collaboration and interactive displays) and making it easier for individuals and teams to work together.

Let’s add some context to our consideration by addressing AVI-SPL’s perspective on — and contributions to — workplace transformation.

AVI-SPL designs, integrates, and supports the type of meeting spaces where it’s easy for participants to start video collaboration meetings, connect personal devices to room systems, and present materials to in-room and remote participants. Among AVI-SPL’s case studies, you’ll find many examples of corporations, museums, and schools using interactive displays to engage their guests so they can find information and get a favorable view of the organization.

As you commit to workplace transformation, consider the value your business provides and how that value could change or be delivered more effectively. AVI-SPL helps companies improve their ability to collaborate in teams because it gives them the technology tools that today’s workers expect to have, and it makes them easy to use. One reason for that ease is automation, where rooms are designed for a minimum number of user interactions to engage any of the major functions. And scalable cloud-based services automate the scheduling, launching, and management of meetings so that they start on time and with no inconvenience to the participants.

Gaining consensus for workplace transformation

Digital workplace transformation requires people and an organizational structure that are open to change and are willing to put in the work to achieve it. To gain consensus for workplace transformation, learn how people want to work, their current struggles, and what kind of functions they expect of their technology systems. By collaborating with consultants and internal focus groups, you’ll identify areas for improvement. The solutions providing that improvement may include a catalog of meeting spaces with systems for video collaboration, simple control of room devices, interactive touch panels, and wireless presentation systems.

Always remember that the end goal is a better way of working together. Don’t undergo a process of change for its own sake, just to say that you’ve done it. The technology systems should fit the workplace culture (be it the current culture or the culture the company wants to emulate).  Because change will affect the entire company, give a voice to different stakeholders, including representatives from HR, marketing, finance, operations, and the like.

Once you’ve determined that change is necessary to improve the way people work, follow these steps laid out by JLL:

  • Those in leadership positions must endorse the commitment to change. If the executives don’t believe in the plan, why should the rest of the company?
  • Understand why employees might be resistant to change. If they are resisting because they think they don’t have the ability to change, or because they won’t have sufficient support, work through these obstacles through workshops and training sessions.
  • The resistance can be cultural (“this is how we’ve always done things”) and personal (“we don’t have the skills “). When you understand different cultures and how they can affect your strategy, you can address employee resistance through training and new processes.
  • Your company’s circumstances should dictate how you implement change. Some companies can change quickly, while others would be better off with an incremental process.
  • Manage your strategy. Be flexible and willing to change the strategy as you learn more about the way your company operates.

The entire business doesn’t have to be ready for change. To make changes on a small scale, focus on a couple of internal groups or departments that would benefit from better collaboration with one another. As they are successful, they can be part of the advocate groups who share the news of their success to the rest of the company.

In the comments, tell me about your challenges with improving the workplace through meeting spaces and collaboration systems. You can also fill out this form and share your questions with AVI-SPL’s collaboration experts.

Work With the AV Partner That Understands What Your Business Needs

Dan Newman’s recent article for Commercial Integrator isn’t just a warning to commercial AV businesses; it’s a set of criteria that companies should use when shopping for an AV and unified communications provider.

Dan covers a handful of mistakes that AV integrators need to overcome if they want to remain competitive. Those mistakes include being too slow, incomplete service, and working with the wrong manufacturers.

AVI-SPL isn’t making those mistakes.

Rather, AVI-SPL embodies traits and abilities that companies should look for in a partner that provides digital workplace solutions and services.

  • AVI-SPL Smart Spaces is a catalog of ready-to-deploy meeting rooms that allows for easy collaboration and presentation using the latest in AV and UC technology, including video collaboration and wireless presentation systems.
  • Our research and development team is always improving AVI-SPL’s Symphony managed services platform, which is the cornerstone of its award-winning video managed services. Symphony automates the scheduling, launching, and management of your meetings, gives you the ability to monitor and manage your AV and UC estate (including rooms and devices), and generates the reports you need to guide your AV and UC investment.
  • AVI-SPL is the only AV and UC solutions provider that is part of JLL’s Workplace Strategy Council. To share its commitment to workplace transformation, AVI-SPL hosts educational events throughout North America. JLL, a global professional services company that specializes in real estate, is a valuable partner with us in delivering these events, because they help explain the future of work and how companies must adjust to attract and retain the best employees. I frequently share insights from JLL on this blog, including this one on the 3-30-300 rule.
  • AVI-SPL meets with Fortune 500 companies in its Customer Advisory Board to understand what they need to improve collaboration in the future workplace. These meetings have helped us understand the issues these companies want us to help them solve, including voice control in meeting rooms, workplace flexibility, and the need for video collaboration systems that are reliable and easy to use.

I’d like to hear about your challenges when it comes to improving the workplace experience. Comment below or send me an email. I may use your insight for a future post, and I’ll help guide you toward resources that address those challenges.