TP&VC Insight asked a group of channel leaders who had booths at Infocomm what they thought of the event.
GT – Greg Thompson Huawei
JK – Jim Klueber – Compuntix
MG – Marina Geronazzo – SMART Technologies
RS – Rob Sheeley – Vaddio
RS – Yes, it seems that our industry is finally waking up to the idea that video conferencing is just one of many different tasks that enterprise users want to utilize their rooms for. The trend we picked up on at the show was that meeting rooms needed to be designed to allow them to take advantage of all the changes that are happening to content these days. These changes include content creation, media retrevial, collaboration, presentations and so on.
MG -The biggest change we noted was the fact that InfoComm organizers had created an entire pavilion devoted to unified communications solutions. It is clear that this is a growing area of interest for the AV community, manufacturing and solution provider companies and end users.
GT – This was Huawei Enterprise’s first time at InfoComm, as we just launched the U.S. Enterprise business just last fall. That said, from the new products we saw at the show – including our own Telepresence solution on display – to those in attendance, we sensed a renewed energy on the show floor. It appears the AV and ICT marketplace is riding a new wave of innovation, and it was great to see how fast technology is accelerating. It’s clear Moore’s and Metcalfe’s laws are still going strong.
JK -There was certainly an increased interest in videoconferencing this year. There is always some interest, but people seemed to have actual budgets this year and were looking to purchase this year rather than just see what is out there. At our booth, we were mainly focused on Cloud Services (for video) and Mobility and these seemed to resonate well with the interests from the crowds.
JK – Compunetix has been attending Infocomm for quite a few years now. This was by far the best show for us. We had more visitors than normal and the quality of the visitors was much better. Rather than just have people walk in and ask what we do, this year we had many more people who knew us and scheduled meetings with us and had some serious business discussions with us.
RS – Yes, This year was very busy at the Vaddio booth, we are very happy with how the show went.
GT -While it was our first time exhibiting at InfoComm, we were very pleased with the quantity and quality of visitors who came by to talk with us. We plan to continue our involvement with the show, particularly as Huawei Enterprise grows in the market. InfoComm is clearly today’s “shopping mall” for the AV industry, where one can find and explore a wealth of products to meet today’s ICT multimedia needs, and we intend to be a part of it.
MG -Yes – we had visitors from all sectors including channel, end users and potential alliance companies.
GT – Given Huawei’s roots as a leader in network infrastructure solutions, it wasn’t a surprise that many customers at the show mentioned a desire for increased ease-of-use, integration, and an underlying high quality network infrastructure needed to deliver the promise of rich universal communications and a successful deployment overall. It’s no longer about specific VC products; it’s about solutions and the infrastructure that can deliver it cost effectively and reliably end-to-end.
MG – There was a lot of discussion regarding the number and variety of interactive displays and touch screens that were evident at the show – it is clear that touch capability is becoming a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’ in many working and learning environments.
RS – The AV Bridge struck a very positive response with our dealers and integrators. For years now VC manufactures have been tightly bundling their Video Conferencing systems so that the dealer would have little choice but offer their factory authorized bundles. Well that does not leave the dealer with much room to be creative and really offer their customer a truly unique solution. With the AV Bridge the dealer now controls all of the design parameters and can select any or all soft codecs they want, any cameras, any microphones well you get the picture. This product had the most buzz in our booth.
JK – We had a pretty even split of visitors at our booth. For the service provider visitors, there was a strong interest in the scalability, security, and partitioning capability that we were demonstrating and discussing about our EVERGREEN MCU. The other half of our visitors were very interested in how we were leveraging our relationship with AGT to offer a mobility component for video – particularly on iOS devices and Android devices.
RS – I really liked the new Sony BRC-H900 HD PTZ camera, For those customers that truly want a broadcast camera, this camera is just amazing.
JK -Unfortunately, between scheduled meetings and simply working our booth, I did not have the opportunity to visit much of the show floor to see what was new and exciting. The only thing I did notice was some very sharp, large-screen display technology from some of the vendors as I was walking in and out.
Was the show long enough for you to see all the people you’d like to see?
MG – Three very full days was enough for our purposes.
GT – InfoComm is so large and jam-packed with new technology, there is never enough time to catch up with everyone one would like to see. Even with the increasing capabilities of today’s social media, video conferencing, and UC tools, the need for person-to-person communication is still an important aspect of the vendor-to-customer relationship, and events like InfoComm are a critical element of that. That said, Telepresence and other video conferencing solutions are becoming vital tools as we stay connected over the network, so the focus of shows such as InfoComm should shift slightly to be about enabling future customers to see and experience new solutions to their needs, while global Telepresence-like tools allow us to stay in touch, collaborate, and conduct business virtually in person whenever and wherever we may be.
JK – The show was a good length for us. Wednesday and Thursday were very busy at our booth, both with scheduled and impromptu meetings. Looking towards next year, we will likely consider getting a bigger booth and increasing our staffing for the first two days. Friday was slow, as always at the booth, but I had a number of separate meetings which filled in the time pretty well. If we do bring a larger staff next year, I would send some of them home early as the last day is always slow.
RS – No, I wish they would add another day, but I am not quite sure if my staff could handle another fun night in Las Vegas.