Is WOW the Right Word? The Lack of Innovation at InfoComm 2015

Published: June 22, 2015

It is hard to believe that a column from me would come across as sarcastic or just plain negative in someway. But before I go rambling on about all of the things that InfoComm 2015 was missing, I want to make the following disclaimer.

I came to the show with high hopes and was looking forward to seeing some things that blew my mind. I wanted it bad, really bad, but it didn’t happen.

However, knowing my somewhat skeptical nature I asked clients, manufacturers and old friends to tell me what products inspired them. They too, came back to tell me that they didn’t see anything at the show that really got them excited.

I did hear from a few people that the Microsoft Surface Hub was hot. For me, I just think everyone was happy to see that Microsoft showed up.

I did however miss the cozy seating that resided in their booth last year. I mean, a large format touch driven flat panel… one that runs a Microsoft OS and only does collaboration (natively) with Microsoft Skype for Business? I’m not sure what everyone else was seeing, but I’m pretty sure that these panels have been around for a decade (or more) and for 23k each I’ll deploy a mobile ready cloud video solution to… I don’t know… maybe 100 people?

Read: Another Take on Microsoft Surface Hub

I did see one product that I thought was pretty awesome. It was called “Tech Dryer,” and it offers a solution to saving a wet phone from shorting out. More something out of Shark Tank than InfoComm, this product found its way to the InfoComm Innovation Showcase booth, and in this case, they got it right. However, for the industry, I’m not really sure I see this selling all that well? Any of you plan to put these in inventory?

Where are Big Data, Mobile and Future Forward Enterprises?

As an AV guy at heart, I love bright projectors, great sound and the largest flat panel display in the market. However, I’m not the target buyer so, much like CES, my longing for gadgetry doesn’t move forward an industry that is solving the biggest communication problems of today’s business.

In the tech space, within the CIO and CMO communities that are driving much of the future forward tech planning for the enterprise, the hot button items aren’t found in gadgets at all. In fact, what they are trying to do is figure out how to create more mobile, more flexible work forces that are using tools on their mobile devices. Essentially, how do we get people out of the conference room, out of meetings and back to working on getting things done that matter?

This by no means says that meetings won’t take place and that conference rooms won’t continue to be required. But the technology that is garnering the end users’ attention is that which mobilizes the workforce and provides tools for workers to get more done with less intrusion.

Click for InfoComm 2015 Coverage.

And beyond mobile, why aren’t we spending more time talking about data? For years we have been begging for a way to become relevant to IT decision makers and with the emergence of Big Data as one the CIO’s biggest challenges, we could easily make data a centerpiece of validating that we are relevant with hot tech trends and that we are prepared to justify the ROI of our solutions by showing the data that supports the use and adoption of our products and services. Sadly, I didn’t see the term big data once as I found my way covering the floor from end to end.

I mean, they did have an unmanned drone exhibit in aisle 70,000, so there was that. I mean, let’s just skip Cloud, Social, Mobile and Data for now because I’m sure the industry is all over a business model for flying drones.

All kidding aside, it was another very well run and very well attended show, no bones about it. However, this industry’s desire to evolve is in conflict with the entire way we show ourselves off at the years biggest show.

If we truly want relevance in the c-suite of the enterprise of the future then it is time to start talking about what they want to hear, and no matter how much I want it to be about bigger, brighter and cooler gadgets, gadgets are the last thing on their mind… and they need to start being the last thing on ours.

Posted in: Insights

Tagged with: InfoComm

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