Widgets Magazine

IMCCA Collaboration Week New York proves to be a success

Many of the sessions lead to lively discussions about platform selection, user adoption, security and identifying future directions

The IMCCA, a leading voice for the UCC (Unified Conferencing and Collaboration) industry for more than 20 years, just wrapped-up their Collaboration Week New York 2020 event. During February 23rd – 26th, industry professionals and end-users attended events at BlackRock, Poly, Google, Gateway (a subsidiary of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce) and Planar, as well as joining the industry in honoring Crestron’s Randy Klein and Zoom’s Eric Yuan with Emerging Technology Fellow awards at a gala dinner celebration.

Highlights of the presenters and topics include:

  • The IMCCA’s / Poly’s David Danto provided a state of the UC&C industry with an overview of the hot topics that would be discussed at the event. These included the battle lines between various providers, the team chat hypestorm, interoperability, security, the importance and expansion of AI driven metrics, the new look of office plans, and the new Millennial and Gen Z workers.
  • Vyopta’s Mark Haimsohn explained how collaboration metrics provide more actionable insights than ever before.
  • Poly’s Sam Kennedy explained how organizations are evaluating switching from general purpose compute and BYOD in DIY rooms to a new class of appliance endpoint that is inexpensive and runs native collaboration platform apps.
  • Dr. S. Ann Earon detailed the war for collaboration users’ mindshare, and compared many of the biggest industry platforms’ talking points and cautions.
  • Google’s Sandy Jones explained the vision of Google’s GSuite and how it supports very rich collaboration.
  • Nemertes Research’s’ Irwin Lazar detailed trends in the collaboration space, with highlights including many more organizations moving to the cloud and moving to “video first” cultures.
  • Harpervision’s Greg Harper opened the eyes of attendees to the exploding world of emerging technologies such as AI, graphical compute engines, and 5G – and made the point that AV and collaboration professionals need to expand their vision to include awareness of these new technologies that may not be core to their space (today.)
  • Shen, Milsom & Wilke’s Mark Peterson detailed how remote workers and societal transformations are changing how office facilities are designed and built.
  • Rutgers’ Mark Beal and a panel of young students and employees provided an eye-opening glimpse of how Millennials and Gen Z individuals view life, technology and the workplace.
  • Planar’s Lainie Mataras explained the value of collaboration through digital signage solutions.
  • CDA’s Michael Goldman stepped the attendees through the world of Team Chat platforms, comparing them and showing how to evaluate their value.
  • A final Locknote discussion with Legrand’s Jerry Berger, SynergySky’s Sean Lessman, Dr. S. Ann Earon and Michael Goldman discussed and debated the event’s topics. One highlight of the discussion – which included many of the audience participants – was a rousing debate of the health of the AV and Collaboration industries. It was clear that most believed that “traditional hang and bang AV” is contracting, while the opportunities for integration and service organizations to move into the lucrative and growing collaboration space is huge. Many of those in attendance stressed the urgency for traditional AV firms to pivot, with hopes that industry messaging would move from its current ‘look at us’ themes and instead begin to focus on the urgency to evolve.

During many of the sessions, panel discussions featuring end users from Citi, American Express, BlackRock, Ford Foundation, Disney, Bessemer Trust and others lead to lively discussions about such topics as platform selection, user adoption, security and identifying future directions.

Additionally, at a Tuesday evening Gala dinner, Crestron’s CEO Randy Klein was presented with an Emerging Technology Fellow – Lifetime Achievement Award, and Zoom’s founder and CEO Eric Yuan was recognized with an Emerging Technology Fellow – Industry Impact Award. Eric, who could not attend the dinner in person, refused to pre-record a video acceptance, but instead sent a team of his employees to the restaurant to rewire their internet service so he could accept the award live over his Zoom service.

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