David J. Danto
Collaboration / AV /
IoT / Multimedia / Video / UC
Director of Emerging
Multimedia & Collaborative Communications Alliance
A View From The Road Volume 10, Number 2
In This Edition:
· A Whole Lot Of Connecting Going On
· Collaborating With Silicon Valley Via InfoComm
· AV Security – Your House Is On Fire
Connect – Back Down To Earth
· Sparking Promises And
the relative industry quiet of February, March comes in like its proverbial
lion with industry activity. And
apparently, it’s all about connecting.
InfoComm’s bi-annual roadshow for (mostly) non-members – InfoComm Connections - took place in
San Jose on March 3rd and 4th. Then,
just a week later, Enterprise
Connect – The former VoiceCon – took place in its
usual spot – the horribly overpriced Gaylord Palms in Orlando. With all that connecting going on you could
correctly bet that there was a lot of news to talk about.
Hall, the President-Elect of InfoComm’s Board of Directors, opened the San Jose
event with a compelling presentation that explained why the Internet of Things
(IoT) will change everyone’s lives – including the AV
and multimedia industry. If you were not
aware, our machines are already speaking with each other (as I discussed in my coverage of this year’s CES
all these devices clearly now “network endpoints,” the issue of AV security
came up for a much needed rousing debate as part of the IMCCA’s Collaborate
Seminar that took place within Connections.
In the first session Hisham Abdelhamid from Cisco, Steve Alexander from Crestron, Robert
Haley from Compunetix, Philip Langley from Harman and
Josh Srago from Teecom
joined me to discuss it. We all agreed
that the recent
news of a ‘backdoor’ found on an AMX control system didn’t really represent
a specific breach or threat, but represented an endemic lack of security on all
integrated AV systems.
the AV industry (manufacturers, associations, users) accept that the days of ‘install
it and forget it’ are over, and we take specific steps to develop regular
update/patching processes for the industry, AV will become the soft target for
all malware to gain footholds in the enterprise. One person in the audience stood up and
pointed out that on a scale of 1-10, where our panelists thought everything was
a 7.5, he thought it was a ‘House on Fire’ 10.
(I tend to agree, as I pointed out in episode
5 of my webcast Connected! Everything IoT which
was recorded at this event.)
that session we spent time focusing on the very hot issue of Huddle Rooms –
what they are, what they aren’t and what they should be. Expect this to be an exploding space at InfoComm
in June this year. (I’ll of course
be there with my Dimension
Data and IMCCA colleagues presenting the IMCCA sessions on UC&C. Here’s how those
went last year. Reach out if you
need a free pass.)
also spent time on the nuances of collaborating in Silicon Valley – what makes
it different, unique, strange – perhaps all of the above. This was the IMCCA’s first panel discussion
with content dedicated to a specific region.
I can’t wait till November when we do “Collaborating on Wall Street.”
about 20 hours at home to do laundry I was off again - this time to Orlando and
talking about this conference I always like to refer the old joke about going
to a fight and having a hockey game break out.
This show used to be called VoiceCon – all things
enterprise voice – until video and collaboration broke-out in a bit way and
they had to change. This year the show
was under the guidance of a new General Manager – Eric
Krapf – who did a great job of keeping things
organized and focused in his first year.
seminars had some very rich content – with some jaw-dropping metrics. One in particular was represented on this
slide presented in the ‘UC Market Disruption: What's Real and What's Emerging’
read that right it means that less than 20% of all (+100 person) UC sales in
North America are using soft clients, and over 80% are still using hard desk
phones. I found that stunning in light
of all the hype about ‘throwing out your phones’ we’ve heard over the last few
years. Apparently less than 20% of us
are buying into that.
were a lot of announcements and even more market positioning that took place
there. Some highlights include
announcements from Cisco about the next generation of their Spark cloud
service, Announcements from Microsoft and Polycom about “Project Rigel”, and a
new product kit from Logitech that includes the PC and lets users pick the UC
service they want to use.
lots of opinions about what I saw and heard, but as I pointed out to another
analyst recently, Microsoft and Cisco are religions, not technologies, and no
one really ever willingly converts. You
can find good things and bad things in all of the announcements depending on
which firm’s alter you worship at. (If
you really do want an agnostic opinion feel free to send me a note and I’ll be
happy to privately detail my thoughts.)
About the only opinion that wasn’t controversial was that Google blew
their keynote opportunity – for the third year in a row. People are genuinely interested in Google’s
thoughts about where collaboration is headed, but instead of finding out
anything about that Google presented a panel discussion with partners this
year. Really? A Keynote panel discussion? Nothing on new services, ecosystems, planned
Alphabet technologies? All that cool
stuff and instead we get a chat?
Everyone I spoke with was disappointed.
That’s it for this edition of A
View From the Road.
My next update will be in June after InfoComm.
This article was
written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions. David
has had over three decades of delivering successful business outcomes in media
and collaboration technology for various firms in the corporate, broadcasting
and academic worlds - including AT&T, Bloomberg LP, FNN, Morgan Stanley,
NYU, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan Chase. He now works with Dimension Data as their Principal Consultant for the collaboration,
multimedia, video and AV disciplines. He is also the IMCCA’s
Director of Emerging Technology. David can be reached at
David.Danto@Dimensiondata.com or DDanto@imcca.org and his full bio and other
blogs and articles can be seen at Danto.info. David is also the co-founder of Masters
Of Communication. Please reach-out to David
if you would like to discuss how he can help your organization solve problems,
develop a future-proof collaboration strategy for internal use, or if you would
like his help developing solid, user-focused go-to-market strategies for your
collaboration product or service.
images and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use