B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 1 week ago

The Rise of Hybrid Collaboration Solutions with George Borden

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Sharp and NEC products aim to support the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model through dynamic collaboration across multiple verticals, providing high-quality solutions and devices. Through the recent company merger of Sharp/NEC, those efforts doubled.        

Shelby Skrhak speaks with George Borden, solution sales architect at Sharp/NEC, about: 

- The evolution of BYOD

- Hybrid collaboration solutions

- What’s next for Sharp/NEC 

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify,Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.

You're listening to B two B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by Ingram Micro's Imagine Next. It's not about the destination, it's about going someplace you never thought possible. Go to imagine next dot ingram micro dot com to find out more. Let's get into it. Welcome to BE two BE Tech Talk with Ingram Micro. I'm your host, Shelby skirt Hawk. Our guest today is George Borden, solution sales architect for Sharp n EC. George, Welcome, Shelby, thank you for having me here. How are you today? Excellent? I'm good. Well, today we are talking about Sharp's collaboration tools for our hybrid work world. But let's pan out a little bit first and look at who Sharp or Sharp NYC it is today. So how has the merger of sharpen a see gone. Yeah, that's right, and I'm glad you brought it up. The travel from my my work has started to improve a bit, so when as I'm getting out there and talking to folks there, there's some that have uh that known about this since when it first happened back in November one, and there are there are those of believe it or not, that are new to it. So it's it's nice to hear the reaction about the merger and the acquisition from all the different folks that I'm talking to. From my standpoint, change is always good. And having now the Sharp because I'm a legacy ANYC person, and having the Sharp products now in addition to our our ANYC products, there's just a fantastic offering to to be able to have you know, so much different scope of of equipment, you know, from the very entry level that will probably be talking about today to the most advanced in addition to our legacy equipment. I'm very excited about that and the new people that have come on board. And the same thing could be said if you were talking to the equivalent of me over from Sharp. You know that's been merged in the same way vice averse. So are happy to now have you know, a portfolio that includes so many...

...other things such as projectors and direct uled technology that we've been known for. So it's been a really exciting merger and acquisition. We're still you know, melding together as these merger and acquisitions happen to take. That's exciting the future that we have in front of us, and I'm really excited about it. Yeah, you know, the trend in collaboration is b y o D or bring your own device, But that can certainly present a challenge to really maintain connectivity and security with uh, you know, with the office. So, George, how do you sharp ANYC products make B y o D easier and more efficient? That's an excellent question, shall be. You know, back before the pandemic, you know, there are let's just say, a fair amount of folks using you know software that you know where they were using obviously the company computer software on the company computer. Then unless they had a you know, a company computer that they could take home, you know, than they were forced to work on their machine. I T department had to scramble to get them security resources and provisions to work in such a way. It's just been a darn nightmare for the I T people in addition to the already existing headache bucket that they live with. But the trend is to continue with B y O D. And what I've seen out there in the in the in the field is that companies have adjusted to either provide a company provided laptop that's already vetted with all the security credentials and software and meets all the spects of the VPN for the company and all those important things from a AN I T perspective, so that that challenge I don't see it being is as prevalent as it used to be. Albeit there are still some companies out there that are, you know, working their way through this from different structures, whether it be cost structures and work from home, work at the actual office, balancing and travel and all that other stuff. So yeah, for sure, bring your own devices. Definitely where the future is headed and what Sharp NBC is doing is allowing for the different connectivity types that are expected and and that kind Summers are looking forward to in a solution out there in the market,...

...whether it be a tethered connection with h D M I or new up and coming US v C all you know, single cable connectivity, or of course wireless options and app options for remote connectivity. So the future is headed down that way. Sharp NDC is recognizing that, and we're building our equipment accordingly to support that effort. Of those paths of connectivity, are you seeing one or two really rise above as as the most prevalent ways that that offices want to connect with their employees. And therefore, what are you know, incorme micro partners or resellers may be hearing from their customers are I guess is they're kind of a front runner of what is the most prevalent form of collaboration out there. Yeah, another excellent question. And you know when I'm talking with you know, I T professionals, engineers, a V professionals, and we all seemed the level set on the one major requirement that we want and we want solid connect to We don't want disruptions, interruptions and goodness, it became a meme and a joke over the pandemic of our you know, as your mic working is this thing on frozen screens. You know, everybody was relying on WiFi and you know the rest of the family or significant people were in the home as well, killing the router, and you know, there's just not a reliable connection when it comes to solid uptime connectivity. You know, there are places within companies where wireless is definitely you know, they have the bandwidth to support you know, those activities in such places. But believe it around most back to you know, the hybrid work nature by o D the home environments on wireless, they just don't support you know, that kind of activity full on. So I highly recommend uh tethered connections, and so do a lot of the professionals that we consult with out there in the work world. Well, so let's let's talk about the collaboration itself. So we did a podcast last month or so about this concept of meeting equity, So you know, if our listeners aren't familiar, it's basically the idea that remote workers...

...that are connecting to a meeting have the same voice connectivity presence that the on site workers would have. So how can technology like this really ensure that those that are working from home can stay engaged with on site workers. Wow, that's a multi layer that's a multi layer answer potential question there, Shelby. But I'll dissect it a little bit from from my vantage point. The first thing, I do, believe it or not, I have to step away from technology for a minute, and I just have to say to everybody, we know we've been in meeting environments where the camera has not been necessary to show we've been in meeting environments where we've been peer pressured into turning our camera on and all of the above, and they're ultimately what we have to do is we have to create a presence somehow, whether it's showing our our avatar or our face, or participating in the sideline chats and any of these softwares that are available. Even if it's a meeting with a broad stroke of audience attendance in your company, if you have two fifty people attending and just say you're a participant and you don't necessarily have any value to add, at least throw a thank you in there on the chat so that if you know, one of the upper folks and marketing folks or anybody else of of of authority, see that, they're gonna know you're participating, and they're gonna know that you're there. Now, on the technology side of things, you know, what I'm liking and what's exciting me is the different aspect ratios of display technology that are being talked about some of you you see some of this in the gaming world, you know, the twenty one by nine aspect ratio. I like that because, as you know, companies you know, like ours that are you know, considering these things, you know, we're gonna be you know, giving folks the visibility from an avatar and a you know, a headshot perspective, you know, in a real meeting looking type of room with a long elongated aspect ratio like that, it's going to help as well. We've seen that with Microsoft teams and they're pushing you know, they're pushing that,...

...you know, and and I agree with it wholeheartedly. So yeah, definitely, it's going to be a combination of make yourself known, participate wherever you can, even if you don't have value to add. But when it comes to you know, display technology and being able to show the faces and you know not you know, I remember the guy who has had the green screen and he was riding the motocross biker out at the beach. I love that one. And it's it's obviously burnt out a bit, but that kind of illustrates, you know, just how much we need to be seen. So I think that as you know, the display technology keeps increasing, where more and more faces can be shown in a combination with participation, you've gotta winning combination there. Yeah, tell us a little bit more about that. Twenty one by nine aspect ratio. I want to make sure that I'm understanding the concept here. Well, well, basically it's it's a longer looking aspect ratio. Currently, the only thing I can say about it is that our current direct uel e ed technology we're working on providing kits and accessibility to twenty one by nine aspect ratio, and that from products standpoint, I don't have any domain over the product marketing folks, so we will have to wait until key announcements are made moving into three for such things. That's exciting. Well, so let's talk about some of the price points here in terms of good, better, best. So I asked that because a lot of companies are really right now, they're considering maybe tightening their belts, so they want to make sure that their technology spend is a really good balance between quality and affordability. So can you speak to some of those price points then, and and how a variety of companies, not just the big enterprise level but smb s can take advantage of this type of technology. Yeah, and you know how true, I don't care who you are. We all want to save money and and you know, having you know, down revenues over a time that was, you know, against our will. It was one of these things that you know, we're all looking in order to capture lost revenue. You know. One of the great things Sharp NBC is doing now by virtue of the merger and acquisition, Sharp brings over a e thra of aquost board offerings...

...that really makes sense, and and they've they've done a really great job positioning features and costs associated with whatever budget level individuals have. Now some of these machines, you know, from the marketing level, they're presented from a vertical standpoint. So always the assumption is very entry level products, they tend to be more adopted in education and house of worship and things like that. That's not necessarily true. There's you know, big business, big budget entities that appreciate a quality, simplistic display with just exactly what they're needing as a use case for that particular area. Uh So, in combination with what we come to the party with from the NBC perspective, which is our CB series all inclusive you know collaboration product which by the way, shameless blurb it's on sale. You know, reach out to your NYC Sharp rep find out more about how you can get into that, you know, in a very attractive price, all the way to what Sharp brings, which is the four t B seventy and eight entry level product, all the way up to the UH the p n C D seven oh one, which is more of the Windows collaboration type of things with Internet of technology, Internet of Things technology, sensors and all of that. So we really run the spectrum now from a display standpoint, all the displays are four K as one would expect, the viewing angles are respectable in the industry, anti glare technology is available, fingerprint resistance, and then ultimately the different ports that the verticals expect, whether it is a tethered port of an app to share information or a wireless radio. But one other mention I have to say about any of the awkwast board offerings in the Sharp portfolios. That is a fantastic pen software that comes that can be installed on an external computer. This pen software access and overlay, and an expanded whiteboard unlike anything that I've seen in the market in this space. And that's because I come from a very simplistic one off whiteboard in our CV series. Now that we have something as comprehensive and fantastic. I can't stop talking about it because it adds so much to the experience any of the vertical users for...

...any of these products. So load balancing here the the the end answer is that we have anything from the very entry level to the very advanced. I would say, just from a price perspective, I don't ever talk price because I'm not in that in that direct sales mode. But the entry level stuff is is just shy sub two thousand. The high end in the high end perspective, you're looking at about the a kiver take some some change. So that's the nebulous cliff notes version of that. From a price perspective. Yeah, well that's great because just to give us a reference point, uh, to understand if your budget is within the you know, you're in the right space right exactly. The net is, please call us no no matter what your use cases, no matter what your vertical is, we have a solution for you. And outside of the rd prepackaged solutions, we even have the ability to do custom solutions. So um, you know, if there's something that you don't think that we can handle, please bring it to our attention, you know, and let us uh, let us see if we can't help you, because I know that we can. So what's coming next for Sharp NYC in three? I wonder if we can go over some of the maybe specific products that have already been announced that we can look forward to seeing, or or things that you really want to highlight. I mean, you mentioned the pen software that sounds interesting in what it can do as a kind of extended whiteboard where the cool stuff is coming down the pike. There'll be some microphone camera you know, add ons for certain boards that are going to be coming down pretty soon. The trend moving into three from that I witnessed from the marketing department, they're gonna keep improving upon efficiencies and economies of scale by virtue of our merger and acquisition. You know, there's gonna be uh, you know, a pace moving forward to providing what I would consider the best of features with price point on all models across the board. That we're gonna still, you know, be moving forward with a lot of initiatives from the n EC side as well as on the Sharp side. And from the...

...roadmap that I have seen, which is you know, pretty much been announced. Nothing really uh stand out that that I've seen to talk about beyond that, except for some TA considerations, which I'm really happy to have now for government customers and people that are t A compliant, you know, capable, but it's that TA compliancy is UH displays that are manufactured in countries that have basically it's the United States list for acceptable countries of manufacturer and certain countries are not on that list. So if there are entities that have that regulation or that consideration for purchase, we have that pathway for them with our products. But that being said, yeah, we're really excited about the future. Obviously some of this, you know, since it's not in my purview, but I can't speak about it as we move forward, and some of these products are still being worked on diligently by our professionals in the product department. I am personally excited from my vantage point about the consulting that I'm getting into to be able to deliver these offerings to our potential customers and our existing customers well. As we do start to wrap up our episode, this is actually kind of a related question to my last one, but we always ask our guests the same final question, and that's where do you see technology going in the next year. So you talked a little bit about what sharp DC technology might be coming down the pike. But within the collaboration space and B Y O D and all of the potential technology stack that's out there, what do you see coming in Yeah, well that's a good one. But the loaded question right that, yes, you have to ask that. Personally speaking, I never get to talk about mobile it's not what we do. However, I feel that the software manufacturers for collaboration technology, they're going to be making more mobile friendly in rows with their software software in general. For the display technology, large screen displays, collaboration displays are are They're going to only improve in what they have done, especially under you know, the situation that we've had...

...for the last couple of years. Now that is full steam ahead, and the businesses are trying to figure out how work from home, work on prem is gonna bode. You know, they're gonna be load balancing all these different technologies, whether it be your laptop, whether it be your actual you know, huddle room, meeting room space, or your your handheld. So I think the handheld is gonna come come in a little more prominent moving into the future as we figure out how we're gonna be working and where we're gonna be working, and um from a display technology, I'm like I mentioned early on in the in the in the call, you know, the different aspect ratios, different display technologies like direct view l e ED. Considerations are still high for projection technology because of its ability to do a single span vertical and like a traditional video wall. Traditional video walls are still being considered in a lot of areas. So it's it's really gonna keep moving forward in my opinion. But we're gonna start seeing a little bit more augmentation on the software side, some interesting things regarding aspect ratio and of course what we're gonna you know, whatever unknowns that we're gonna see coming up in the mobile space. Yeah. Also for listeners who have any questions about something that we talked about today or want to reach out, how can they find out more information? You can go to Google and you can search start any seed displays. You can go to the Google the Google later right and go Sharp for Sharp any C displays and then order you can go to uh to the Sharp Corporation and look at everything that way. But essentially it's Sharp any C hyphen displays dot com is r U r L and if you need to reach me, feel free to reach out through the website. They know where to find me. I can hide and I'm more than happy to go through any product offering with you or any demonstration of certain collaboration solutions as I happen to be able to do so from my home office. So um yeah, reach right out to us and we're more than happy to help. Excellent well, George, I appreciate all the the insight today. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you, Shelby, it's been a pleasure, and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to be two be tech Talk with ingrap Micro. If you like...

...this episode or have a question, please join the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag B two B tech Talk. Until next time. I'm Shelby skat Hawk. You've been listening to B two B tech Talk with Ingram Micro. This episode was sponsored by Ingram Micro's Imagine Next. B two B Tech Talk is a joint production with sweet Fish Media and Ingram Micro. Ingram Micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform,.

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