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

Episode · 5 months ago

Video Conferencing Solutions for Today’s Distributed Workforce


Only 30% of users employ an external webcam. That means that the vast majority of people are still using the webcam that came standard with their computer equipment.

When it seemed like we would only be working from home for a short period of time, high-quality video conferencing equipment didn’t seem like a necessity.

But now that hybrid work is becoming the norm rather than the exception, it might be time to revisit your video conferencing solutions.

Shelby Skrhak talks with Ricardo Barbosa, Distribution Account Manager at Logitech, and Chad Simon, Strategist for UCC, a Specialty Business Unit of Ingram Micro, about:

- Technology challenges the typical home worker faces

- The wide range of quality in webcams

- How Logitech products offer compatibility and enhance productivity

For more information, visit the Logitech Ingram Micro Resource Center or contact Logitech Market Development: (LogitechTeam@ingrammicro.com).

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.

...mm 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 B two B tech talk with ingram Micro. I'm your host, Shelby skirt hawk and my guest today are Ric Barbosa, distribution account manager for Lodge tech and chad. Simon strategist for U. C. C. Specialty business unit of ingram micro rick and chad. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Yeah. Well so today we are talking about video conferencing solutions for today's distributed workforce. But I guess what strikes me is that the communication solutions we're talking about? I mean these aren't just dataset Iraq's or infrastructure, these aren't tools that maybe not everyone touches. These are something that nearly all of our office workers touch and it's something we're using right now. So chat going back to the beginning of the pandemic, it seems like when there was a mad rush for web camps to work from home and then up until today how things have changed what technology challenges does the typical home worker face? Well, it's really interesting because this was something that I think everyone thought that they had squared away right? Because everyone's done videoconferences from home, everyone's you know done all of these remote things but not on a steady basis. Right? So what what the challenges people were finding was that their home office was not set up to to really conduct business and in a great manner, right? It was it was okay for that one off. It...

...was okay for that, you know, for every once in a while. But what people were finding was that a the quality of their camera was not up to par be there set up the location where they were at, not up to par their audio as well as, you know, in congruence with their video is just not up to par. So that coupled with people understood how to do it in the office, right at their desktop. They had this great set up well in their home office, they had just enough. So what, what happened during the pandemic was it was a bunch of band aids, right? We threw a bunch of band aids and everything. We we sent out best practices, we we did all of those, all of those things. And it it kind of mitigated the problem, what we're doing now and what we did, you know, midway through the pandemic was, you know, make sure people had the right tools, the right setup so that they could conduct business in the same manner that they conducted in the office chad you touched on this. But rick, let me ask you about the very wide range of quality and webcams, what are some of those common challenges with webcams, I would say perhaps the most common challenge And it's not a technical challenges. That only probably about 30% of users are actually using an external webcam. Most rely on what comes standard with their tablet or their laptop and there's definitely quite a bit of quality difference when it comes to that chad was saying when folks deployed at a mass rate start working from home and everybody started using videoconferencing, I think folks also started becoming a little bit more aware that there is a difference when it comes to the technology with these cameras, the quality, the quality or video and a lot of things that uh, and internal camera doesn't provide that an external one does. Right. So we start...

...looking at lighting, lighting is a big factor, a lot of the technology that we have built into their cameras adjust for the lighting provides a much clearer picture you want to have. That comes down to that experience, right. You want to have that better experience. And again, lighting plays into that. There's also a lot of supplement lighting that you can use. But these cameras can also make a lot of adjustments to improve that, which then ultimately gives you a better picture quality and uh, and I think comes down reliability as well to you hear about a lot of the internal camera, standard cameras that comes, I mean they just don't have the same reliability and and one of the things probably I would say using an external one, external camera that an internal one doesn't do is just the flexibility around it with the different options and you can actually go in there and customize the settings to your preference with these cameras. Yeah, yeah, it really does make a difference. I mean, again, you know, these are the things that what we're talking about are what we're using actually to record this. Uh, this podcast is an audio podcast. But you know, we are looking at each other with external webcams. You know, I've got uh, you know, multiple lights in here to make sure that the lighting is good. Those are all things that going into the pandemic. Most employees didn't think about this stuff. You didn't have to think about this stuff. And then all of a sudden it became apparent that it needed to be addressed. So chad, what does that market look like for communications equipment or UCC solutions? I mean with such a varying degree of quality, I mean many companies are looking to to upgrade or unify their communications equipment for their employees and and that's that's clearly an opportunity, right? Absolutely. I mean, anyone who has heard me speak or talk to me at all knows that I'm all about the customer experience. The end user experiences king coupled that with the pandemic. So the pandemic really didn't change the future in my mind. What the pandemic did was accelerate the future by about, Oh I'd say 10 years or so. And it's...

...really cool where we're at in the industry right now because we're in more of a democratized situation where there are there are choices from low end all the way up to almost room type systems that are available to people nowadays and all of them have excellent quality. Right? The low end isn't going to have all the features and functionality and the integration that the high end has. But I've seen people with just simple Microsoft webcams or logitech webcams, the low end ones that have excellent quality video and the great part about it is like I said, is it's being democratized. So we have choices and we can make our as we move into more of this hybrid work environment, which I think is here to stay, we have the ability to make our home office mimic our work office, right? Or we have the ability to, I'd like to say, you see as a work from anywhere, do anything anywhere anytime and that experience should come through all of those situations, right? And we're finally getting to the point, I think partly due to the pandemic that we have that where those user experiences ring true through all of our work locations. I like that, democratizing the uh the equipment and the quality for everybody. So rick, let's talk about some specific logitech solutions for these common problems. How can logic address uh compatibility issues, for example with different types of equipment and what are some of those other products that help address specific concerns. So logitech's products are definitely, I mean that's that's the beauty of working with logitech is our products are essentially compatible with most platform solutions. Um there there's definitely a need to make sure things...

...are compatibility because compatibility, it leads to productivity right? Essentially is what we're looking at. But logitech products are certified for the most common, more common platform such as zoom Microsoft and google. And so that drives a little bit more go to market strategy when you start looking at if you're deploying across an organization, whether you're going to be on a Microsoft teams platform resume. I think logitech fits well into those and it adds that extra continuity when we start looking at making sure things are compatible. And so again, this ranges from a simple home solution or in an office room solution. Right? So as we continue to see, there's going to be the need for that hybrid model is really where a lot of the the industry is going and not just the industry, everyone is going in that direction from a work from home perspective and looking for ways to find a little bit more of that work life balance chad mentioned that we got propelled 10 years into the future because of the pandemic. I think it also forced companies to rethink their entire work strategy and for their associates, whether they're working from home or working from the office. And I think that's where Logitech plays a big part into it and designing these solutions to enhance that and use your experience that are compatible with the major platforms. Are out there a quick question I had. So when I was looking over the lodge tech products that are available, I did notice that some have a designation as for zoom or for teams, are those than compatible only with those or or is that maybe a more specialist solution for that platform? It's a more specialist solution for that platform. So you'll find the product if you are using one of our products that's Microsoft teams certified that products are going to work if you get onto a zoom conference call. But what you'll find is there there will be customize ations with that product to work specifically with Microsoft teams.

You mentioned productivity also, Are there large tech solutions that can tangibly make work faster and easier for home workers and there are probably things that you don't really think about that they do add to our productivity. Yeah, I do believe that there is. And when I look at larger tech, obviously we're talking today about you c c Right, and the work from Home Office as well. But I think I really do believe that that work from Home Office expands beyond having a webcam. Right, And perhaps a headset when we look at logitech and we released earlier this year, we released our logic both series of products. This is a new line of keyboards and mice that come with the logic, both wireless technology. It is a extra secured wireless technology. It provides a lot greater connectivity as well to cuts down in the office space when you have all the wireless noise and so forth from bluetooth devices and other wireless devices that are that are in the office, it cuts through that. So you won't have that same latency when you're using these these keyboards are the mice. And then at home to a lot of times we don't think about like okay at home, are there risks? There's a lot of security risks when at home, especially a lot of shared networks depending on where you're at proximity, your neighbors. It's the interference even from the microwaves or interference with the products. And the logic bolt product really cuts through all of that and provides a much greater experience. And then I think it comes down to continuity. Right? So if I'm using the same products that I'm that I'm comfortable with using at home is that I am in the office, then I get a lot that's much, much greater continuity than I've ever had before. Yeah, definitely. And that saves time and seems headache I guess being able to have that connectivity and and make sure that it works as it should every time as we start to wrap up this episode. Yeah, we always ask our guests the same question to finish and that's where do you see technology going in the next year and that can be a wide...

...range of topics. But chad I'll start with you, where do you see technology going in the next year? That's always one of my favorite questions to answer. Actually, you know, in the immediate future, I said, you know, we were putting band aids on things, we were trying to make things work. We're moving from the Band Aid phase two, I guess I'll call it realizing you see his full potential, which is incredible to me because it's been my dream since I started in this industry. Oh God, I'm going to I'm going to age myself but 20 some odd years ago that we could do all of these things that we dreamed of, you know, and there's always been problems I eat band with or you know, not the right applications are not the right equipment, you know, we're coming into this era where everything is coming together and we're, we're able to get that experience. So you know, to kind of recap on that we're moving into, okay, let's not just make it work, but let's make it great, let's make that user experience great because like I said, the user experience is everything. But on another note, I've always looked at one of the indicators for you see, I look at the video game industry because if you really look at it, one of the largest, you see platforms in the world is either Microsoft, xbox or playstation. Right? When you think about what people are doing on those, it's really a large communications platform and what I'm seeing in that industry right now is a lot of mixed reality. Right? So we're seeing a lot of augmented reality, we're seeing a lot of virtual reality. So I looked to see maybe not this year, it could be this year, but I like to see some more mixed reality, some more augmented reality, some more virtual reality kind of trying to bring people together more when, when they can't be together. Yeah, I'll just maybe add to what chad just...

...said about gaming and that's another area where logitech is is a key player in as well. And um we do see gaming uh increasing in many areas and it's it's being driven already at the education level. So we see, we see that the high school level that they're offering it as an extracurricular activities and so forth. So I agree with chad that the folks are getting more and more aligned with gaming and gaming is becoming such a big part of everyday use that when by the time that generation comes to and they start being in the workforce, they're going to be looking for similar types of engagement or tools like they've been using and when it comes to gaming. And so I do agree. 100%. Which what chat is saying. So it's interesting to see where that will end up going and where the lines will start be less blurred and just kind of mesh in with one another. But I do see that the as far as where are we going? I think that the adoption for you see c will continue um there's going to be new and innovative ways of leveraging collaboration tools, Right? So we're just going to continue to see like if it's whether it's immersive or what might be, we're going to see these collaboration tools and platforms are going to continue to enhance and get better improving that and use your experience. And I think then manufacturers like logitech will continue to design and roll out products that are going to enhance that. So I didn't mention earlier that we have the logic doc as well too, which is our new work from home docking station, right? For. And so that's going to allow you to have meeting controls on there. It's going to allow you to power your laptop and have everything else plugged into their right? So you're cutting away with that clutter. But again, it's really what it's doing is it's improving that, working from home experience, right? So I think we're going to continue to see innovation and we're going to continue to see new products rollout and so forth. Yeah. That's interesting that I hadn't thought about that before, that the generation of gamers that are, that expect the very best performance from their pc, the very best quality for, you know, for their webcams and to be in and speed to be able to, you know,...

...to broadcast these on twitch when they go into the workforce, they're going to expect that same quality. And so that's that's interesting what the effect of that will be. Yeah, we're definitely interesting to see it. Yeah. Yeah. Well, how can our listeners find out more about what we talked about today? If they like to find a little bit more about logitech and also our partnership with ingram Micro. I encourage them to visit the logitech, ingram Micro resource center page that we have and the link for that can be found here on the notes. And if they're looking to find out a little bit more just in general about how to partner with ingram Micro and logitech, they can contact our logitech market development team at logitech team at ingram micro dot com. Fantastic chad and rick. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you for having me. This has been fun. Thank you and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to B two B tech talk with ingram 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 skirt talk, 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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