Identifying the Best UC Client Solutions

To discuss all things UC & Conferencing, AV Magazine caught up with our Group Head of Technology, Jenny Hicks.

A couple of years ago, Wainhouse Research estimated that there could be as many as 50 million huddle rooms around the world. [1] Huddle rooms are typically small, informal spaces that enable ad hoc meetings and cannot be pre-booked, and their adoption has been driven by new corporate management styles that reflect the preferred collaborative, informal way of working of the millennial generation that will soon constitute over half the workforce.

Acendo Vibe Millennials 150dpi

Q: How do you identify and exploit Unified Communications (UC) technologies within your business?

Hicks: We identify Unified Communications (UC) opportunities through many different product categories. Displays and interactive displays into meeting, huddle and training spaces present Midwich with opportunities to promote UC&C technologies. 

Midwich exclusive UK & Ireland distributor of Samsung and HARMAN’s huddle room solutions

Hicks: I was also excited by the announcement in December 2017 that Samsung and Harman have launched a new huddle room solution targeting small- and medium-sized collaboration spaces. Leveraging Samsung’s industry-leading visual displays and collaboration products from Harman, these integrated solutions target group collaboration in the 50 million huddle spaces. All four solutions are exclusively available through Midwich.

As part of this new huddle room solution from Samsung, the new Acendo range from Harman gives customers a quality audio and video experience with interface simplicity and a stylish design. Acendo will allow us to support customers with their UC hardware requirements regardless of their chosen software and conferencing systems. Also, as part of the Samsung-Harman huddle you have a range of screens to complement your meeting space including; the new 4K UHD QM55H or if you want to go interactive there is the PM55FBC (pictured) with its intuitive PCAP technology.

ACV 5100BL Front Right2

Q: Conferencing is the basic and obvious form of collaboration. Technologies include audio conferencing, video conferencing, and web conferencing which is increasingly found as a component of a UC suite. Do you agree? 

Hicks: Conferencing is integral to collaboration. Most unified communications and collaboration opportunities grow from a conferencing enquiry. Video is now an expectation of conferencing thanks to the millennials entering the work force in great numbers, but this technology is in a transition period from traditional on premise systems to cloud based software solutions. Most identify collaboration as working with others in a workspace or on one document, but when you’re not sat around the same table, conferencing is essential to communicate. Nowadays, most vendors offer great video and audio capabilities and as the central component to most UC suites, they are focusing on adding features such as content sharing, annotation and recording. The successful solutions will be the simplest to use. The ‘one click’ to fully achieve a function is fast becoming a mega trend that the user community will soon expect from many technologies.

Q: UC should be about integrating various ‘enterprise’ communications services which, when used together correctly, should enable people to collaborate effectively – a support infrastructure we need in place to do business. Do you agree?

Hicks: UC is a necessity now. Generation Z will expect a video enabled remote working world. Gone are the days of joint homework projects requiring a ‘play date’, this generation have worked collaboratively utilising the cloud and videocalling before hitting the double-digit ages. Businesses need to invest now to future proof infrastructures ready for expansion and scalability to support every worker not just every meeting room. The shift towards soft codecs from on premise conferencing will make this possible. A UC strategy and investment are imperative to achieve maximum productivity from your
workforce.

ACR 5100 Front Left2

Is this the common perception? Or do people just think IP telephony and Skype for Business when they think of UC?

Hicks: Most of us now think of collaborative working as part of unified communications systems, this is mostly thanks to super brands like Microsoft and Google developing collaborative and conferencing tools and suites. IP Telephony, messaging and presence technologies, video and audio conferencing and multi touch interactive displays and smart boards are all enablers of collaborative working. We may be close to the abbreviation UC fading and the UCC (unified communications and collaboration) title becoming most widely adopted.

For more information on any of the Samsung HARMAN Huddle Room solutions, please contact our AMX Specialist team by emailing amxsales@midwich.com or our Samsung specialist, Chris Bloxsome chris.bloxsome@midwich.com  

1] http://www.polycom.co.uk/content/dam/polycom/common/documents/
analyst-reports/wainhouse-research-understanding-the-huddle-room-ar-enus.pdf