Held at the Phyd space in Milan and in mixed mode (for the first time since the pandemic), the Audio Video Control Forum 2022 was held. The event organized by SIEC – Systems Integration Experience Community was dedicated this year to mapping the lines of evolution of video conferencing platforms.
The panel discussion, moderated by journalist and independent popularizer Nicoletta Boldrini, featured representatives from Cisco, Google, Jabra, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, Poly, and Zoom. Many topics, covered through a plurality of views, both in the hardware and software fields, from new ways of hybrid work to security aspects, from new needs in terms of collaboration and communication, to new business models and challenges for the future.
The state of the art of existing technologies seems to be promising, and it imposes the issue of ease of use. The general impression is that the portfolio of offerings is very broad (and indeed, that sometimes the market is even in danger of being saturated), but that there is a lot of room to implement both easy-to-use and, above all, easy-to-manage. In this sense, as Francesco Pedroni – Sales Specialist for the Enterprise market of Google Cloud Workspace – says, it is important to treasure the experience of users, whether business or consumer. They are the ones who often tell us how to use the tools; it is enough to bring these experiences back to the business world while respecting the necessary requirements of security and stability (as well as, in some cases, simplification and immediacy). Beyond that, there is the whole world of AI, which is now so broad that it makes access to business knowledge much easier than in the past.
Accessibility is also a key term in the discussion of so-called hybrid work. What good has been left from what we learned during the pandemic? Coming out of the “union” implications, it should be an opportunity for optimization of resources and physical spaces, even under the thrust of sustainability (e.g., energy needs to be channeled to networks). As Enza Truzzolillo, Large Enterprise Country Lead at Lenovo Italy, says, long-term plans are needed in the direction of smart collaboration, allowing for greater transparency, better implementation with workflows and business tools, and easy sharing flexibility in a secure environment. Not forgetting well-being: data from the Milan Polytechnic tell us of widespread technostress, resulting from inappropriate use of technology and a managerial culture that is often still too tied to tools such as time sheets. Well-being and sustainability are the basis of the strategies of many companies, and Italy seems to be is particularly attentive in this.
We then talk about Security, one of the issues most felt by both producers and end consumers. As Calogero Valenza, Major Account Manager Large Enterprise at Jabra, says, cybersecurity must be respected on both the software and hardware side, even by passive peripherals. In addition to SOC 2 certification, for example, cameras must be protected by edge computing systems: images are processed by a device and remain within the device, not subject to data bridging or hacker attack. Also significant is the establishment of two Google Cloud Regions in Italy to monitor cloud data. Also important is the reflection offered by Tamara Zancan (SR product marketing manager modern work at Microsoft), according to whom, in order to cope with increasingly pervasive AI technologies, the barrier of physical space will be widened, but this should not frighten us: ethics always depends on people, never on technologies.
Finally, if the intent is to map the evolving trends of technologies, one eye cannot fail to fall on the forms of Extended Reality (VR, AR, MR), but also on the opportunities offered by the metaverse and holograms, both in terms of inclusiveness and efficiency and productivity. While the applications of these technologies may be broad (from design thinking, to the fields of education and healthcare, etc.), it is also true that, as Michele Dalmazzoni, Director Collaboration South Europe at Cisco, notes, we should not think so much about the technologies of the future: the future is already here, we just need to distribute it, creating a digital culture capable of giving space and implementing, and perhaps making interoperable, individual products.
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