The Audio Ecosystem, Part 5: Technology Partners

Chris Lyons | 20/06/2020 The Audio Ecosystem, Part 5: Technology Partners

A meeting without video is still a meeting; a meeting without audio is cancelled.  In fact, 81% of IT Decision Makers say audio has the biggest impact on improving the quality of virtual meetings. Good sound is easy to overlook, but poor sound cannot be missed. It causes fatigue, increases distraction, and reduces comprehension – all of which reduce productivity and revenue.

In this series of blog posts, we have examined the importance of each part of the audio ecosystem in delivering intelligible and natural sound. In this final installment, we’ll discuss the role of technology partners.

The audio, video, control, and network segments of an AV system must work together seamlessly in order to deliver the productivity advantages that businesses and colleges demand. As each of these product categories has evolved in complexity, interoperability has become a vital feature in and of itself.

Premium audio remains at the core of the online collaboration experience; sound is the vehicle that carries ideas from one person to another, whether they are across the table or across the country. As working with globally-dispersed team members and participating in online learning form the majority of our workday, an effortless user experience that actually encourages creativity and productivity becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. 

Delivering natural, intelligible audio requires mastery of acoustics, transducer design, and hardware reliability, which are not part of the typical skill set for makers of collaboration applications or meeting management software.

Capturing audio for a larger group of people is even more complex because factors like room conditions and seating layouts have a greater impact. All-in-one audio appliances do not scale up well to cover larger numbers of participants, moving presenters, or complex acoustic conditions. A solution that works for a table of six doesn’t work for a group of sixty.

All of these things combine to make it essential for all of the systems that inhabit the meeting environment to work together as a team. Here are four benefits of choosing a solution from a trusted group of technology partners.

Partner Solutions Increase Confidence

Meeting and training rooms have evolved from including audio only, to audio and video, and now commonly include audio, video, automated cameras, and a control system to manage these and other systems like room lighting, drapes, and so forth.  One advantage of using a certified grouping of products is that it eliminates risk. You don’t have to invent anything, customize anything or guess at which products might work well together. The manufacturers involved have already done the experimenting for you and developed a proven solution that works. By choosing a trusted audio brand that has established relationships with complementary product providers, you can proceed with confidence that your AV installation will meet expectations.

It’s not enough to say that product A can be used with product B; the goal is to choose products that have already been tested together and are certified for use with each other. This is critical when one considers that audio components must integrate seamlessly with not only the videoconferencing platform but the chosen camera control and room control systems as well. This goes beyond simple connectivity and performance, and extends to usability of controls, indicators, and command strings that enable inter-device communication. Simple things like muting the audio during a conference can be a source of frustration for daily users if they don’t work intuitively.

Partner Products Save Time

With a pre-matched AV solution, the ideal settings and configurations for each piece of hardware and software have already been determined and verified. There’s no need to spend time on trial and error or comparing different combinations to see what works and what doesn’t. The manufacturers have already done the legwork so you can proceed straight to a combination of products and settings that delivers the results you expect. By reducing configuration time, deploying the AV solution is simpler, easier, and faster.

Partners Provide a Menu of Options

Technology partners know that customers have a variety of different needs, so they typically offer a menu of turn-key solutions to suit different room types or sizes. This makes it easy to know exactly what combination of audio gear and collaboration equipment will be most appropriate for a given situation. If the facility will include multiple room sizes and a collaboration software has already been selected, the availability of several options or packages will make it easier to fully address each of those needs.

Partner Relationships Reduce Support Challenges

If a problem does occur with a partner package, no one has to scratch their head to figure out why something isn’t working. You’ll never hear a technical support person say “we haven’t tried that combination before.” All of the suppliers involved likely have each other’s products on hand, and they probably already have the product combination in question up and running so they can simulate the situation. This streamlines the process of verifying operation, performance, connections, or mounting requirements.

Technology partners streamline the process of finding and implementing the best AV solution for your organization. By identifying an assortment of options to suit a variety of applications, trusted brands working together can help their clients to deliver more rapid implementation, better performance and reliability, and a higher quality experience for everyday users.

Read the other articles highlighting the Shure Audio Ecosystem for Conferencing:

Shure audio ecosystem products for conferencing are certified for use with a variety of popular hardware and software collaboration tools, control systems, and mounting hardware, including Cisco, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, One Beyond, Logitech, Chief, Crestron, Audinate, Peerless-AV, and others. Learn more at https://www.shure.com/en-US/about-us/partners.

Chris Lyons

Chris Lyons

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.