We’re just back from InfoComm 2022 – the only training and exhibition event 100% focused on professional-level AV equipment. After a two-year hiatus, we couldn’t wait to see the latest products, hear what our partners are working on, spend time with industry colleagues and discuss the most pressing issues our customers face.
Most of our hallway conversations centered around the shift to a hybrid workplace. Everyone was talking about the future of work, what it means for companies of every size, and how we can solve our customers’ biggest pain points as an industry.
This post covers what’s on our minds after this year’s show and shares our biggest takeaways. If you’re a CIO, technology department leader, or systems administrator wondering about technology’s impact on the workforce, then this is for you!
All the major audiovisual equipment manufacturers (OEMs) attend InfoComm. The big-name brands usually have the largest show floor presence, complete with two-level booths featuring wow-level technologies. You’d expect that from brands like Crestron, LG, Sharp, Sony, Philips, and Logitech at an industry showcase, right?
All these brands manufactured equipment before the pandemic; however, none had experience making product design choices during a global pandemic. These OEMs are responding to an increased demand for their products, adapting to changes in the marketplace, and navigating disruptions to the worldwide supply chain.
In other words, everything has changed.
The current AV product life cycle is 3 to 6 months! This is a dramatic shift from 2020 when typical AV technologies could last several years. It’s no wonder many organizations balk at technology investments. No one wants to make the wrong AV equipment decision. You simply must move forward if you expect your organization to thrive.
AVI has responded to this conundrum with the industry’s first subscription service for meeting room solutions. It’s called Velocity and you can read more about it here.
Our Chief Information Officer, Brad Sousa, believes many in the industry knew the promise AV products held for the future of work. But we never had that pivotal moment where everyone wanted, needed, and used the tools at equal levels. Until the pandemic.
Now, it’s an inverse problem with demand outpacing supply. Our pivotal moment is here. Yet now it’s clear that COVID didn’t create the moment. Instead, COVID helped us realize the true purpose of technology products: to create human impact.
Learning & Education
Hybrid workplace initiatives were the talk of the show floor at InfoComm 2022. How we work, collaborate, and interact with one another today means everything work-related needs to be hybrid. In addition, meetings need to be equitable so that people can join from anywhere and still have an equal seat at the table.
New offerings from tech giants like Intel and Microsoft will make meeting equity real. For example, we're at an inflection point today when everyone who is needed at a meeting can be included in the meeting – it's not determined by room size. Some join in person while others are remote. But the key difference is everyone has the same on-screen presence.
The result? More people have access and exposure within the organization, which is a net gain for innovation, ideation, productivity, and employee development.
The days of working solely from the office are essentially over. Kay Sargent’s education session at InfoComm, “Work Going Forward – 2023 and Beyond,” clearly painted the picture of the future of work. People don’t want to make an either/or decision. They want the flexibility to work from anywhere.
Our EVP of Sales, Don Mastro, says it’s clear hybrid work is here to stay, and companies are navigating the way forward in real-time. He believes the value of the AV industry has changed because now we know it’s about more than tech specs. It’s about connection.
Put differently, Microsoft sees its Teams room as a device – like a mobile phone. The device drives business forward because it connects people. In the same way, the audiovisual, unified collaboration, and digital media solutions we saw at InfoComm 2022 are business enablement tools. Companies can’t operate without them, and they’re top-of-mind for CIOs.
Companies that achieve top-tier performance understand the value of speed. In fact, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff calls to speed the new currency of business.
In the AV industry, we need to help companies work at the same speed but encounter less tension than they’ve endured over the last two-plus years. Companies don’t have an excess of time right now – especially those going through a digital transformation to stay competitive.
We spent years helping people adopt emerging AV technologies. The pandemic allowed us to jump the crevasse – with lightning speed. Now that everyone is using the best available tools, it’s time to shift our focus to delivering a fantastic meeting experience regardless of where we may work.
What’s more, the impact technology has on work culture is clear. If we make time to return to the office and find ourselves in back-to-back-to-back Teams meetings where half of our peers chose to stay home, we’ve failed. As humans, we need human interaction. It’s not as satisfying to conduct Zoom calls knowing most on the call are multi-tasking. Productivity issues will start to become evident. Work product is going to suffer.
The solutions we use must enable engagement and that means CIOs, IT directors and everyone connected to technology offerings must put in the work to ensure we get hybrid right.
Success begins in the design phase. You must intentionally design an employee-centric technology solution that enables hybrid work. This includes thoughtful discussion around meeting equality tools including multi-camera, automated switching systems, and multiple displays that are synced together to keep everyone engaged. With the right solutions in place, you can create ecosystems that drive equity for all. We also recommend creating specific hybrid guidelines that prevent tiered societies or proximity bias from developing.
Are you prepared for a permanent hybrid workforce?
If you’re a mid-sized company, you can take advantage of our experience and expertise rather than looking at every AV option available. We’ve narrowed down the best solutions to effectively help you stand up and support the new hybrid workforce.
We have already mentioned Velocity, our meeting space solution subscription option that lets you create a responsive and flexible hybrid workplace ecosystem without making a significant capital investment. Using this option, you can learn how your team will use the capability with a solution you can get in or out of more quickly.
Large enterprises will appreciate how we view your AV estate. We approach AV like IT. This includes program management capabilities and global support that allows you to have a finger on the pulse of every project, every meeting room solution, and every incident we manage. Initiatives like these only come from AVI – the largest global audiovisual service provider, with more than 25 locations in North America and coverage in 164 cities and 50 countries worldwide.
Why not share your goals with us and let AVI help you create human impact with audiovisual, unified collaboration, digital media, and broadcast solutions? Click the button below to schedule a consultation with our experts!