Wow. I really don't know how else to put it. InfoComm 2015 opened my eyes.
If the movie Independence Day was Hollywood illustrating to us that when it comes to the universe, "we're not alone," then InfoComm positioned the A/V world in that light for us. Hundreds of companies were on the show floor, showing their most creative and high definition cameras and content sharing solutions. And while many were impressive, Polycom's new solutions were hitting the mark with booth visitors more than just about any other solution in the massive Orange County Convention Center.
As soon as the clock hit 9am ET on Wednesday morning, the Polycom booth was in full motion, with visitors eagerly looking to check out the latest solutions that would help bring their business closer to the workplace of the future. Many gravitated to Web Suite, where Greg Pisano and his team led many demonstrations and impressed audiences with the content sharing capability and real-time multi-point annotation. Several reporters and analysts received a download as well, with some even walking away saying "you are setting the stage for others to follow."
The Media Suite station was also busy, with Cara Daly and Matt Billow demonstrating how any work space can become a high-powered media station. What was really cool is that we were "drinking our own champagne" as reporter David Maldow of Let's Do Video put it. During the show, Brianna Woon and I played news anchor. Through a live-stream video mount atop one of the stations, we broadcast live from InfoComm and interviewed our marketing team via RealPresence Media Suite to talk through the solutions we were showing.
Polycom also had a strong presence during key speakership panels. John Antanaitis, Jim Smith, John Bartlett and Michael Frendo all spoke on one or more. On several occasions, while others on the panel were boasting about their products and how they are changing the workplace, Polycom speakers took a different, calculated and more reasonable approach. And all looking at the workplace of the future.
On Wednesday morning, Michael Frendo served on a panel where a representative from a prominent competitor remarked that end users are struggling with their collaboration solutions because "they're using them incorrectly." Michael quickly returned serve by saying "is it the customers who are using it wrong? Or are we not developing solutions the right way? In my mind, we as an industry are failing the customers." In other words, solutions need to be easy, more intuitive and blend into workflows that customers are already familiar with.
Wednesday's lunch session with John Antanaitis also positioned Polycom as a thought leader. The question was asked "what technologies do you see moving the workforce ahead?" After several comments from the 10-person deep panel on specific technologies their companies were developing to change workspaces, John was honest. "I see us doing a lot of naval-gazing up here," he said and later noted that it's not about the technology that changes workspaces, it's about building the technologies that fit current workspaces and needs of the incoming workforce.
Jim Smith also talked about the end user experience. We all love video conferencing, but there is a science behind it. And Jim showed the audience the table of elements by illustrating why background, eye level and lighting are so important to the overall experience.
InfoComm 2015 represented a stronger position on the need for content collaboration. Audio and video are great, but content is where collaboration really buckles in. And at the forefront of that was Polycom, with three new solutions announced this week - and on display - customers and partners had the opportunity to see them live and understand our vision for the workplace of the future even better.
InfoComm was an eye-opener to me. A great blend of new technologies, cool gadgets and a vision of what the future can be when we collaborate. While some of my colleagues may need a breather from all the hard work put into the show, I honestly can't wait for next year.