2019: Ideation, Meeting Rooms, and the Challenge to the Channel

How the Shifts to Interactive Flat Displays, All-in-One Ideation, and Service-Attached Meeting Platforms are Affecting AV and IT Channels

The factors driving service-attached meeting platforms (SAMPs) and how they are “infiltrating” conference rooms similarly are affecting how (and which) channels are handling interactive flat panels and “ideation” as an element in the conference room and classroom.

WR has demonstrated elsewhere that SAMPs reflect three market trends: the emergence of Cloud services for video conferencing; 2) the rapid adoption of the huddle room; and 3) responsibility for purchasing AV service and support is shifting to IT decision makers.  Without a doubt, the first-generation Microsoft Surface Hub, as well as the Cisco Webex Teams Board and the Google Jamboard exposed IT distributors and IT systems integrators to both ITDMs and to AV channels, which became an immediate “target” for them based on reach into the conference room and classroom.

Similarly, additional shifts are occurring based on 1) greater acceptance of touch screens and emerging “all-in-one” devices in the conference room and classroom, 2) the need for channels to find the margins they expect and need to thrive when panels are low cost, and 3) video conferencing service providers are establishing their own relationships with end user enterprises, leaving channel providers to reach for new services to remain relevant and profitable.

These shifts have their costs, creating the need for new skill sets but also leaving some AV players behind.  They also are transforming how (and which) channels approach the delivery of interactive flat displays, UC boards, and touch in the conference room and classroom.  They play to the shift to AV-as-a-Service and how AV fits into a cloud-based ecosystem.  But they also are driving device manufacturers, from those who make UC Boards to those who manufacture ideation-focused interactive flat displays to pay greater attention to manageability and scalability – and what IT channels need.

Objectives and Methodology

In Q4 2019 WR held 20 interviews with AV and IT channels (AV resellers, IT resellers and Systems Integrators, distributors, and Telcos) in which we discussed their interactive flat display (IFD) / UC board sales over the past three years.  All of these channel partners sell video conferencing as well as ideation technologies.  Among the questions asked were:

  • How are you transitioning to the concept of UC boards and all-in-one devices, as well as interactive touch panels, as offerings?
  • What kind of demand are you seeing in your territory?
  • With whose products have you been successful?
  • What have been the adoption challenges?

The specific mix of channels interviewed consisted of:

  • AV resellers / integrators – 13
  • IT systems integrators – 3
  • AV / IT Distributors – 2
  • Telcos – 2

Eight of the respondents are located in APAC, seven are located in EMEA, three in North America, and two in Latin America.

No. of Pages: 
12 Feb 2019
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