The work-from-home (WFH) trend appears to be here to stay, at least in some capacity. While we’d all love to put the pandemic far behind us, the reality is that many workers and organizations feel it’s still unsafe to return to the office. At the same time, many have discovered the benefits of working remotely and are hesitant to return to the office life we’ve known for more than a century. However, being productive at home requires adopting conferencing technology designed to keep organizational teams and customers connected. Enter personal collaboration tools.
Collaboration tool must-haves
Chances are, your customers have access to cameras (via laptop, tablet or phone), but their image and sound quality leave much to be desired. Investing in a dedicated higher-spec solution can solve many issues, provided the following are considered before purchasing:
Shopping list: Personal collaboration tools
- Resolution–How much resolution is enough for your customers? Recommending a 720p camera doesn’t make much sense when that’s probably what’s being replaced. On the other hand, 4K video might seem like a great idea, but it will come at the cost of bandwidth. The resolution and field of view (FOV up next) required depend on the use case. For example, if your customer wants participants to read the writing on a whiteboard, higher resolutions will be necessary.
- FOV–If your customer use case is simply one person sitting at their computer, a narrower FOV (65 of 78 degrees) might be preferred. However, if you need a camera to view an entire conference room, wider FOVs are ideal. It might also be ideal to use a solution that identifies, zooms in and follows the speaker.
- Microphone–A single user will often rely on a headset for its microphone and speakers. However, some conferencing collaboration tools include beamforming microphone arrays and provide echo cancellation and background noise-suppression features.
- Light correction–Many of today’s at-home offices weren’t purpose-built for videoconferencing. As a result, adequate lighting is usually lacking. In these cases, look for cameras that include HDR or other low-light features to ensure the subject is well lit and that light sources like sunlight pouring through a bedroom window don’t negatively impact the exposure.
- Compatibility–Most conferencing technology will meet USB/UVC standards. However, it’s a best practice to ensure the camera will work with your customer’s software of choice, whether it’s Microsoft Teams, Zoom or something else.
To jump-start your selection of personal conferencing technology, Ingram Micro’s UCC expert Chad Simon has shared the following recommendations:
- Jabra PanaCast 50–Jabra’s all-in-one video bar solution offers a 180-degree panoramic 4K view, eight microphones, whiteboard streaming, analytics and more.
- Logitech MeetUp–This video bar solution includes a 4K camera, speaker, beamforming microphone array and motorized PTZ lens.
- Logitech Pro Personal Video Collaboration Kit–This kit includes a Logitech BRIO 4K webcam and Zone Wireless Bluetooth headset.
- Poly Studio P–This suite of solutions gives you options depending on your customer needs. Choose from a professional webcam, video bar with integrated speakers or all-in-one webcam/personal meeting display.
- ThinkSmart Core Full Room Kit T–This kit includes Lenovo’s ThinkSmart Core computing device certified for and preloaded with Microsoft Teams Rooms. Also included is a controller display, AI-based camera, smart soundbar with mics, software for remote manageability, deployment and more.
For more information on how you can deliver these solutions to your customers, contact Chad Simon