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Post Acquisition: InFocus, Jupiter Find New Ways to Collaborate

InFocus CMO Brady Bruce discusses Canvas Touch and ConX; crowded collaboration category and impending impact of Microsoft Surface Hub.

Shortly after InFocus acquired Jupiter Systems in fall of 2015, Brady Bruce, then Jupiter’s VP of marketing and strategic alliances, told CI that the merged companies would work quickly to integrate each’s well known collaboration products – InFocus’s Mondopad and Jupiter’s Canvas CRS-4K.

A few short months later it unveiled the fruits of that integration at Integrated Systems Europe.

Bruce, now InFocus’s chief marketing officer, took some time to discuss the integration of Jupiter’s and InFocus’s brands, how the two groups have collaborated and its plans for the collaboration category.

On how quickly the Canvas-4K and Mondopad integration, the InFocus Canvas Touch, came together …

“It was one of the obvious benefits that came out of the merger. We were able to do that integration within days of the merger. The two companies had been converging naturally in the conference room with Jupiter coming from the control room side and InFocus from the conference room side.

“We look forward to the introduction of the Surface Hub,” says Bruce … “There is a big [collaboration] market here and there is a lot of room for many different players with different solutions to find growth here.”

“One of the things we liked early on was that MondoPad provided the perfect environment to run Canvas software. The big touchpad is exactly what the Canvas customer needs. We were able to merge the MondoPad hardware with the Canvas software and create a solution. With the Canvas Touch I have the single screen and I can hang it on the wall.”

On integration of the brands …

“In so many ways the merger of the companies felt inevitable. We were both coming to see the important of the conference and huddle room for enterprise customers as well as public sector customers. Jupiter was moving in that direction coming from the display wall side and InFocus was already in there exploring it with MondoPad.

“The two companies had set on the same mission and aligned themselves to focus on that mission. When we sat down as executive [and other management] teams we realized we were speaking the same language and believe the same things with respect to the application and value that our customers were seeking. We arrived at the same place at about the same time and were speaking the same language. It made the cultural aspect of the merger that much easier and productive.”

On development of ConX Wall and ConX Exec video conferencing solutions for video walls …

“InFocus has had the MondoPad that has built-in video conferencing. The opportunity arose to take the video conferencing technology that InFocus had and deliver it to a video wall. There are, of course, thousands and thousands of Jupiter video walls around the world in control rooms and other environments. One of the things we heard from Jupiter customers is that they’d like to incorporate video conferencing into those video walls. It was, again, inevitable and more simple than anyone imaged. We created ConX Wall and ConX Exec. You can build a video wall [with video conferencing] with up to 96 displays or as few as 1 or 2. It’s the scalability that our customers really seem to appreciate.”

InFocus’ ConX solution for enterprise conferencing and collaboration.

InFocus

On growth of collaboration category …

“People expect to be able to be connected no matter where they are and the industry has focused on collaboration. If we’re not going to be in the same room together, what are the things we need to have [access to] to be productive?

“Is it a document? Is it notes that we store and access later? Is it a presentation? It’s not just what people do but why they’re doing it. Collaboration has become the code word for trying to understand all of that and to deliver solutions. Like any buzzword, collaboration has been misused. I giggle sometimes as to what people refer to as collaboration.

“So InFocus and dozens of other companies that talk about collaboration are working on something but I think the definition is a loaded prospect. We’re focused on what is the customer’s desired outcome and how can we help deliver that.”

On Microsoft Surface Hub’s impact on the collaboration category …

“It’s validation for us. Both Jupiter and InFocus, now one company, have been toiling in the touch-enabled collaboration phase for some time and have been successful at it. Microsoft typically waits to see development before they come in. Their arrival signals to us, ‘Hey, there is a market here. People do want this.’

“We look forward to the introduction of the Surface Hub. It’s been delayed and there have been price increases, but it does indicate that there is a big market here. We see their entrance as a good thing. There is a big market here and there is a lot of room for many different players with different solutions to find growth here.”

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