How Far Will ThinkHub Ride ‘NEC Bump’?

T1V’s ThinkHub collaboration solution was featured in NEC Displays of America’s InfoComm 2017 booth showing off the two companies’ bundled solutions and raising ThinkHub’s profile in the market.

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T1V's ThinkHub was featured in NEC Displays of America's InfoComm 2017 booth.

T1V remains supremely confident that its ThinkHub is superior to more well-known collaboration competitors such as the Microsoft Surface Hub. That “well-known” part, though, can’t be dismissed. So T1V took steps to overcome its awareness gap by partnering with NEC Displays of America on ThinkHub packages and displaying in NEC’s extremely busy InfoComm 2017 booth.

“The presence that we had in the NEC booth really helped,” says T1V VP, national accounts Marco Ventura. “They were great at showing off the ThinkHub. If they had visitors that wanted to see it on a screen size that they weren’t showing in their booth, they’d even bring them over to our booth.”

The NEC-T1V bundle includes an NEC touch-interactive display combined with the choice of T1V ThinkHub Base software. The display giant and T1V announced their partnership several months ago. At InfoComm 2017, many saw the solutions (which come in 84- and 65-inch options) for the first time.

ThinkHub Premium is a 4K solution leveraging ThinkHub’s multiuser software application designed to help teams to visualize and problem solve. By consolidating all information on a large-format touchscreen, ThinkHub transforms traditional meetings into more proactive, effective sessions that drive conversations, positively impact performance levels, and that physically alter the workspace, according to NEC.

T1V Wants to Get Word Out about ThinkHub

The collaboration category has significantly grown over the last few years. It’s not that T1V sat on the sidelines as other brands’ solutions gain market share. However, the company does contend that if more integrators knew about its ThinkHub solution they’d embrace it over high-profile competitors’.

“Knowing that we have a phenomenal solution is great, but I will say it’s frustrating when we talk to integrators — big and small — and they say this is a really cool solution, but I’ve never heard of you. Where have you been?” Ventura says. That’s why “the exposure from the NEC booth is something that we’re really excited about.”

T1V is never shy about directly comparing its ThinkHub to competing collaboration solutions. At one point it provided CI with a list of ways ThinkHub compares comparably to the Microsoft Surface Hub:

  • ThinkHub can run on any size touchscreen.
  • It’s geared to collaboration of any size, not limited to one or two people.
  • It supports multisite collaboration
  • It supports wireless device sharing across Mac, Windows and Android.

When integrators discover T1V’s ThinkHub solution, they generally like what they find, says marketing and communications manager Blair Rubio. Integration customers’ meeting spaces are changing, she points out, so integrators need to be able to offer a range of collaboration solutions to address various needs.

“We see that within our full range of solutions there is an answer to that change, whether they’re designing for a huddle space, remote office or large-scale conference room,” she says. Meanwhile, customers bring an expectation that they’ll be able to connect their devices. “Whether they have a Mac, Windows or Android, we support any of those devices. When you look at the landscape and the competition, we’re really one of the only companies supporting that now.”

A great example is T1V’s offering ThinkHub Connect, a collaboration software designed for education spaces that allow all devices and displays to connect to one another, spurring interaction between instructors and students, students to students, and group to group. T1V recently announced that ThinkHub connect was deployed at Texas A&M University College of Engineering.

For T1V, it’s another step toward getting the word out about ThinkHub. That’s important. “Unfortunately, it’s not always the best technology that wins,” Ventura says, pointing out examples from consumer electronics history. “We recognize that we’re not Cisco or Microsoft or Google, but what we do have is a phenomenal solution. That’s where our partnership strategy is very, very important. Being with NEC, they’re very entrenched in the market place. I think that is going to help us.”