It appears that many in commercial sales and integration are still taking their cues from hardware focused discussions – with cloud, software and managed services talk cutting in, not quite at the forefront just yet. Yes, hardware manufacturers’ marketing departments and sales teams still have a job to do, just like integration company teams. However it just may be time to seek out new ways to build on one’s business, more reliant on structuring a digital bridge to the future and less on just the product of the “how it’s always been done” times. I do see this happening more and more, however in terms of conversations I have, not quite enough yet.
Today – infrastructure, communications, collaboration, mobility, security and more can enter into an organization’s digital equation, where much also depends on target markets as certain needs and requirements will vary. Convergence? It’s not in just a simple “merger” of technologies, it’s much deeper than that. Tech industry manufacturing companies build as providers of a multitude of varied solutions (and adding more as they go) – this through acquisitions and partnerships as well – and look to continuously get out in front in the constantly evolving technology landscape.
Connected Futures The Digital Discussion: It Starts in the Boardroom specifies:
If organizations want to evolve and survive in this next era of business, they must become digital entities. And they must do it at the speed of light.
Those organizations that have winning digital journeys will be able to quickly react to market changes – almost in real time. But to do this, they must let go of the old way of thinking and old way of doing business. They must embrace change.
Evolve, and continue to evolve – the technology decision makers, the digital leaders of their respective organizations, are responsible for the forward movement in this fast accelerating era.
Here are some points from a June 2015 report in a joint initiative between Cisco and IMD:
- Digital disruption has the potential to overturn incumbents (a powerful company that has a large amount of market share) and reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history.
- An average of roughly four of today’s top 10 incumbents (in terms of market share) in each industry will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years.
- 43 percent of companies either do not acknowledge the risk of digital disruption, or have not addressed it sufficiently. Nearly a third are taking a “wait and see” approach, in hopes of emulating successful competitors.
- Only 25 percent describe their approach to digital disruption as proactive—willing to disrupt themselves in order to compete.
“Velocity of change” is certainly a concept to be referenced here as well as the relative high stakes involved. Disruptors in technology innovate rapidly, and then strategically promote these innovations through correlating marketing efforts to gain market share, and in turn scale faster than challengers still clinging to standard business models.
For those who choose the “we’ve been successful doing it this way all along” approach the (digital) tide has already turned, and just trying to continue the daily business becomes a main goal in certain circumstances. Tech leaders have repeated the “keeping the lights on” statement over and over again – I have had conversations with some of them in person as well as on podcasts. They’re not calling for technology change in terms of way of thought – they’re downright demanding it.
Being a part of the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) space as a writer, I look at certain technologies and trends in a market I feel is one of the the most identifiable in terms of digital evolution. Polycom, the long-time player has truly re-defined themselves with their latest offerings, including the first of its kind videoconferencing in-the-round solution Centro. Newer industry player Pexip offers a scalable infrastructure solution, coinciding with continuously growing software-defined entreprise IT business models. Vidyo, Videxio, Blue Jeans, Zoom and others offer cloud plays and Collaboration Squared, the 2015 InfoComm Innovations Showcase winner, created a web-video-audio collaboration solution built on the Acano (now Cisco) platform. Cisco Spark is growing in terms of identity in competition with the Slack messaging platform, especially since it offers much more to the enterprise business user.
More players than ever before are truly “owning it” right now, and this year Logitech Video Collaboration burst onto the UCC scene in a big way. Logitech – always known for peripherals, keyboards, mice and USB cams – brings a power play of their own in small to medium group videoconferencing solutions, as well as a well-built partner program of cloud and other technology providers.
Visual collaboration, a newer market category, includes certain companies to watch including Prysm cloud-based collaboration, Oblong – Mezzanine “infopresence” and Bluescape – SaaS-based visual workspace.
Convergence by and large is happening here along with other technology realms in AV and IT as platforms, concepts and partnerships all become part of the equation. Innovation, as well as disruption are non-stop. Each and every provider listed will claim to disrupt the market, each other and even themselves.
For the AV and IT industries, and especially for the customer, the time is now to evolve with the digital discussion.