February 2017 - Amsterdam Below Zero…

Who is against whom in the world of conferencing? 2017 has begun and we are figuring out where the conferencing world is going.
For the past 18 years, Veidan’s staff has lived and breathed conferencing 24/7, and all the services surrounding conference calls.
As the years have passed the costs of millions of face-to-face meetings have been saved because of these easy-to-use services. Technology has changed since then, needs have changed, and in the past few years we have been witness to a huge range of new services in the worlds of audio, video, content sharing and everything in between.
So in order to stay as updated as possible, we decided to change out the air we were breathing in Petah Tikva and go, for the first time, to the ISE conference in cold, snowy Amsterdam.
The Integrated Systems Europe Conference in the RAI conference center in Amsterdam gathered about 1,200 presenters from the world of conferencing, including display and projecting solutions, sound systems, electronic control, smart conference rooms and more. We came in order to get a complete picture of the world of conferencing and be introduced to new technologies, products and complementary services in the field. For three out of the four days we focused ourselves in the Unified Communications area and the fourth day, in the other areas.
We used the conference to set up meetings with other presenters, and even spent some time with veteran business partners like Polycom, Cisco, Logitech and even Compunetix though they were not presenting at the conference.
The most obvious trend in the conferencing world over all was a move to cloud model video conferencing. Older players alongside new one presented their services’ abilities and suitability for service providers like us and users like you. Everything connects to everything in order to provide a solution where the organizer is “indifferent” to the how (hardware or software) the other participants connect. It gives the impression that some have a long way to go in this area but we are close and are only dependent on new services that open themselves up to the world and enable connection to a unified service. Even the user application has become simpler, more intuitive and easily adopted by end users. On the video conference hardware side, veteran vendors, such as Polycom and Cisco, presented alongside newer vendors like Logitech and Huawei. Some products and services were unveiled for the first time at the conference and garnered a lot of interest. It is interesting to note that many companies were started by employees from Tandberg which was bought out by Cisco.
Beyond the new video solutions that we saw, smart screens for conference rooms were obvious in their introduction to the market. Many have built-in processers, allow writing freely and many other interactive uses.
We were also happy to meet other Israeli presenters, especially the Crestron representatives. Crestron makes control systems for smart conference rooms.
And of course, how could we miss the giant display screens made by the Chinese, the world of projectors, sound systems, advanced furniture for conference rooms and the variety of advanced and impressive technologies that spark the imagination. Both in terms of size and price, not all the products are good for the Israeli market. Our job was to sort through the hundreds of presenters and find the ones that were most relevant for us and for you.
We have already returned to our little country. We are again breathing the fresh air of Route 4 and are working hard to actualize at least some of the new services and products that we saw even in the next few months.
Here’s an important tip for anyone going to the conference next year:
Bring a folding chair in your backpack (after walking for kilometers at the conference, you need to sit down here and there and rest. And there is nowhere to sit there).
See you in the next post!