For many pro AV users, the technology isn’t as much about engaging with their customers as it is improving collaboration among employees. This is especially true in the growing AV markets of corporate businesses, education and healthcare.
Video conferencing and collaboration systems are steadily growing in these and other verticals, giving value-added resellers (VARs) like yourself a unique opportunity to establish yourself in the pro AV industry by leveraging several strong and emerging trends. To get started in the collaboration arena, familiarize yourself with these four types of collaboration solutions that are already heading to the big-time:
1. Mobile and BYOD-enabled.
Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are already a huge part of workplace collaboration, and a growing number of pro AV customers want to enable their workforce to bring their own device to make collaboration as simple and seamless as possible.
According to a 2014 Infonetics survey, an impressive 74 percent of collaboration technology users rate mobility a very important feature. For many users, mobile capabilities and BYOD integration are simply a must-have. This year and beyond, a growing number of your customers will likely seek out mobile and BYOD-enabled solutions, such as video conferencing and chat, data and desktop sharing, and social media integration.
2. Cloud-based collaboration solutions.
Improved cloud security has helped to enable the BYOD trend to fully take hold. Today, cloud-based technologies are also enabling better collaboration among coworkers, teachers and students, patients and doctors, and more. The beauty of cloud-based systems is that the end users can be located anywhere—whether it’s across the office or on the other side of the world.
3. Interactive displays.
Not long ago, digital signage wasn’t necessarily associated with collaboration, but with the rise of interactivity, that perception has rapidly changed. Today, interactive screens of all sizes are helping to aid collaboration in a wide range of industries.
For example, doctors can use digital signage to communicate medical information with patients and colleagues. Researchers can use gesture-control video walls to better understand robotics. And professors can employ touchscreen displays to illustrate complex ideas to their students. In each case, the ability to interact closely with the technology helps to improve information-sharing.
4. Wireless devices.
The reliability and security of wireless transmission has greatly improved over the last 10 years, and today it’s helping to improve the flexibility and affordability of AV installations around the globe. In addition, end users today are much more comfortable with wireless technology, as it is already a part of their everyday lives. It makes sense that the protocol has become much more common in collaboration applications.
As VARs increasingly embrace working with the data network and their customers’ IT departments, wireless is being leveraged more and more. For your customers, that means greater flexibility in system design and installation, which can help save time and money upfront and over the years as their solution grows.
What other collaboration solutions would you add to this list? In your experience with pro AV technology, what would you say is the device or system that is the most sought-after for collaboration?