Michelle Burbick
Michelle Burbick is the Associate Editor and a blogger for No Jitter, UBM Tech's online community for news and analysis...
Read Full Bio >>

Michelle Burbick | March 01, 2018 |


Top Video & A/V Trends to Watch for at EC18

Top Video & A/V Trends to Watch for at EC18 Simplicity and consistency will be hot video collaboration themes at Enterprise Connect, says track chair Ira Weinstein.

Simplicity and consistency will be hot video collaboration themes at Enterprise Connect, says track chair Ira Weinstein.

We're in the midst of a major A/V refresh – the biggest in 25 years, as Ira Weinstein, industry analyst and chair of the Video Collaboration and A/V track at Enterprise Connect, told me.

Enterprises across the globe are tossing out their clunky, complex gear and redoing their meeting room A/V and video in favor of new technology that's simpler, easier, and quicker, Weinstein explained. And they're not doing so because they need better quality video, but rather for ease of use and consistency, he added.

In fact, consistency is one of the most significant video collaboration challenges enterprises face today, Weinstein said. That's because every meeting room looks and feels different, so people don't know how to do their business in the one they've just walked into, he added.

"Simple to use, easy to manage -- that's the trend," Weinstein said. "And for an industry that has lived and breathed complexity, it's a brave new world -- an end user-centric world, not technology-centric."

Tackling Scale: Rise of the Huddle Room
As companies work to make the room experience more consistent, they're also making video-enabled meeting spaces less scarce.

"Today, we need to empower our users, and organizations are waking up to this need to add in hundreds of additional meeting rooms," he said. "And users want to do more than just sit there and chat. Users expect to walk into these rooms and share content, present content, have video calls or audio calls."

User demand has contributed to the growing popularity of huddle rooms, with many organizations today turning small office spaces into casual meeting rooms and empowering teams with collaborative workplaces. The exact number of huddle rooms is hard to pinpoint, given that many have been carved out of leftover spaces, but Weinstein estimates the number is at 40 million or so. Many of these rooms, however, haven't yet been outfitted with video capabilities -- and this has vendors and channel partners scrambling to provide cost-effective solutions, Weinstein said. "This is a healthy market evolution."

Top Video Collaboration & A/V Trends for 2018

Dive deeper into the top video collaboration and A/V trends in this upcoming webinar with Ira Weinstein and Logitech's Simon Dudley, director of product strategy. You'll learn:

  • What huddle rooms are and why this segment is growing so fast
  • How meeting room experiences change when they're powered by software-based videoconferencing
  • What trends are driving the meeting room of the future

Register now!

Targeting Simplicity: Start with Your Users
Simplicity, whether for a huddle room or larger meeting space, is key, Weinstein explained. We're now seeing simpler solutions with fewer configuration options, requiring fewer devices, and offered at a lower cost to address smaller enterprise budgets, he added.

And solution simplicity applies first and foremost to the end users, he said. "The best UI is no UI." If the solution is easy to use, an enterprise will have less worries around adoption and return on investment, Weinstein added.

"Please, please, please start with your users," Weinstein pleads of organizations planning to update their video collaboration infrastructures. This is a necessary first step, but one that enterprises often forget to do. "And don't have your technical people talk to users," he added. "Have your help desk talk to them and find out what's working and how you can make it easier."

Second, enterprises should take a look at what they've deployed to determine if they really do have a problem. "Your tech may be great; don't just toss it out," Weinstein said.

Third, enterprises should evaluate where users want to meet and determine whether they need more huddle rooms. And, fourth, enterprise IT should go through the workflows and use the collaboration tools to see how hard processes are and make sure the tools do what the organization needs them to do, he said. Finally, before taking action, do a gap analysis, he said. "Figure out where you are today and where you need to be when you're done updating your video and A/V infrastructure."

"Eighty percent of this is putting yourself in a user's shoes," Weinstein said. Too often, enterprise IT will gravitate toward technology and try to fix issues by buying new technology -- "but it's not about that. It's about the users and what they need to collaborate to get things done."

Our Video & A/V Future
Looking out toward 2021 and beyond, Weinstein said he expects video collaboration to become more consistently simple to use. And automation and artificial intelligence are going to play big roles in the future for the very reason that these technologies will simplify meeting tasks and the overall experience.

"And no discussion of our video and A/V futures would be reasonable without talking about voice and voice commands," Weinstein said. Voice-enabled digital assistants are going to come to video collaboration and A/V, he said, but because we have to do things carefully in the enterprise, this will happen in a controlled, secure, authentication-based way.

Also expect to see deployment trend more toward cloud and hybrid implementations, Weinstein said, with enterprise use of managed services on the rise as well. And augmented reality(AR)/virtual reality (VR)? Well, that will have its place in the future as well, with AR being used to surface relevant information during video meetings and VR used more for niche purposes like engineering design.

With Enterprise Connect little over a week away, Weinstein has a few things on his watchlist. "What I'll really be looking for is integrations. ... Integration is where you add value. I'm not dissing business partnerships, but what I'm asking for is next level to that: 1 + 1 = 3."

Learn more about Video Collaboration & A/V at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Regular Rate or get a free Expo Plus pass.

Ira M. Weinstein is an industry analyst and researcher with more than 25 years of experience in the video conferencing, audio visual, and UC marketplace. From 2003 to 2017, Ira was a senior analyst and partner, and the head of the end-user advisory team at Wainhouse Research. In early 2018, Ira founded Recon Research ( -- a next-gen research and advisory firm focused on the enterprise communications space. Ira is the chair of the Video Collaboration and A/V track at Enterprise Connect, and can be reached at [email protected].

Follow Michelle Burbick and No Jitter on Twitter!


September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.