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Exclusive: The new hero within the modern meeting environment

Chris Morley, market development manager, integrated systems, Shure, on "flawless audio"

With videoconferencing now a daily requirement in the corporate sector, do companies expect more from their AV systems?
Having a ‘good enough’ AV system for meetings, collaboration and general use is simply no longer good enough. The AV experience within the office must be seamless, as it must be for those working remotely, too.

A lot of meetings in the office can still run up to 10-12 minutes late due to technical difficulties or staff not knowing basic procedures – including how to actually launch a call from the room. These issues can lead to frustration, loss of productivity and can be detrimental to the overall wellbeing of employers and employees.  

Investing in an AV system that’s easy to implement, flexible, and meets and exceeds requirements will offer long term benefits to any organisation.

Has the pandemic quickened the convergence of IT and AV departments?
Slightly yes, but not without its struggles. There is still a divide between IT and AV departments, with many AV products and solutions now residing and relying on networks, which can be challenging for IT teams to manage effectively.

Both IT and AV departments must work closer together to understand, develop and support meeting spaces to suit a company’s needs.   

Are we witnessing any trends within the new hybrid working environment?
A lot of meetings are recorded for training purposes, for employees who are away or unable to attend, for reference material, etc. 

Just like being involved in a live meeting, poor audio will result in a poor playback experience for those who missed the meeting, decreasing productivity and effectiveness of collaboration as a direct result. 

Covid-19 has altered the way we live and work. We’re witnessing an increase in people searching for employment that offers a flexible/hybrid work pattern. Those in employment already may have been offered or have asked for a flexible/hybrid contract. 

To offer this type of employment, organisations must be hybrid-ready with the right ‘in office and ‘at home’ conferencing technologies to enable business continuity and maintain the safety and wellbeing of all personnel. 

There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved, detailed within recent research by analysts Frost & Sullivan.  

How can integration with collaboration platforms (Teams, Zoom) be improved?
This is an open-ended question, but the like of Teams, Zoom, Google and so on are on the right track by certifying products that work with their platforms. 

Having this tick in the box for manufactures is essential for compatibility among AV systems. 

Is flawless audio finally the ‘hero’ when discussing AV systems and solutions?
‘Hero’ would suggest that audio saves the day, and in many cases it does! Audio has always been recognised as an important factor in an AV solution.

However, since the pandemic many industries and various sectors – including corporate and education – have come to realise just how important audio really is for effective communication, collaboration and boosting productivity. 

Business leaders and managers are now either thinking about upgrading outdated audio technology or have projects underway, to ensure that they’re not falling behind with the times.

Click here to download the Frost & Sullivan research ‘7 Steps To Improve Meetings In The New Work Era’