Most companies have seen their workforce evolve to include a mix of local and out-of-town employees. While local workers may visit the office a few days a week or only occasionally, remote workers may never come in. That places additional pressure on AV/IT managers to ensure that their AV conferencing capabilities are up to the challenges of the hybrid workplace.
Participants in hybrid meetings often measure any collaboration solution by three fundamental metrics.
SEE AND BE SEEN
The ability to effectively collaborate on a call relies heavily on being able to see all participants and have them clearly see you.
HEAR AND BE HEARD
Clear audio is the key to any hybrid meeting. Collaboration cannot happen if you can’t hear or understand the conversation, whether you are in the office or joining from home.
EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE COLLABORATION
Screensharing, document sharing, and other inclusive features are driving factors in conducting a successful hybrid meeting. Participants must never feel like the technology is an impediment to the main function of the meeting.
Compressed time schedules often make it impractical to build your own AV conferencing system from scratch. Even an assortment of components from well-regarded manufacturers may end up requiring extensive configuration and troubleshooting to work together. Even then, it’s possible that the same equipment package won’t scale up or down to fit the needs of other meeting rooms.
What AV/IT managers crave today is the certainty that the solution they choose will work well. To this end, AV hardware and software providers have been working together to take the guesswork out of specifying, installing, and using different components together.
Certification programs created by collaboration platform providers set testing specifications to:
With audio performance being such a critical factor in the user experience, providers have placed emphasis on guaranteeing every aspect of system performance. This includes defining recommended room dimensions and use cases for different equipment packages to ensure complete microphone and loudspeaker coverage in the room; full video coverage and integration with multiple camera functions; and sufficient computer processing power for application quality, room system control, monitoring, and management.
The certification process indicates that devices have been through a high level of testing and validation to eliminate the risk of sub-par performance once installed. Acquiring certification requires vigorous testing to achieve performance benchmarks and guarantees a product’s compatibility with a particular collaboration platform.
Shure solutions are developed and engineered from the outset with the goal of receiving certification from industry partners. A dedicated team of engineers at Shure is focused on product certification and test and evaluate Shure products against popular platforms, monitor progress with third-party testing labs, and assist in real-world trials for consistency and compatibility.
While specifications and objective tests are important benchmarks, the user’s experience with the system and subjective satisfaction is the ultimate goal. And the best indicator of this is real-world performance in the hands of real people. An example of such evaluation is Frost & Sullivan’s series of Analyst Gauntlet tests, where real AV/IT technicians install, set up, and use AV components in real meetings.
Read about how the Shure MXA920 Ceiling Array Microphone performed when subjected to the Frost & Sullivan Analyst Gauntlet.
EXPLORE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
About the author
Chris Lyons is a 30-year Shure veteran who has filled a variety of different marketing and public relations roles. His specialty is making complicated audio technology easy to understand, usually with an analogy that involves cars or food. He doesn't sing or play an instrument, but he does make Shure Associates laugh once in a while.
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