The 2023 Modern Work Summit featured speakers from Microsoft, Zoom, Intel, Shure, and many more, plus a bevy of new hardware and software solutions for hybrid work from Crestron
By Brad Hintze, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing
The shifts in the way the world works aren’t just technological. There’s sweeping cultural change afoot, too: The digital transformation has made the world think about how the workplace is evolving and how people best fit into this digital transformation.
That’s a lot to cover in a two-day event — but Crestron had help. Dozens of our professional partners joined us in Madrid, Spain, for the Modern Work Summit with one goal in mind: meeting the needs of the hybrid workplace.
We heard from a wide variety of presenters during the Summit, from authors (Andreas Ekström) to analysts (Craig Durr of Wainhouse Research) to execs who are actively assisting our “boots on the ground” product development (Microsoft’s Ilya Bukshteyn). Whether they’re helping us craft hardware, software, or new ways of looking at the future of work, each brought an incredible range of knowledge and experience to our table.
Our recent work with Microsoft to create a version of Crestron AirMedia® Connect Adaptor that integrates with the Microsoft Teams® Rooms software is an excellent example of these kinds of partnerships. Microsoft understood that there was a growing demand for BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) options that worked with their software in the modern hybrid workplace, and Crestron helped them develop a tool for just that purpose.
A highlight for us, of course, was the Crestron Solutions for Modern Work presentation. With input from Ilya and Patty Ardinger-Purcell of Comcast, alongside our internal Crestron subject matter experts, we were delighted to showcase our latest hybrid work solutions.
Didn't catch our livestream event in real time? Watch it here!
Crestron Solutions for Modern Work: The Products
We focused on three products that Crestron recently developed to meet the demand for collaboration and scheduling tools for the rapidly evolving hybrid workplace. These three are just the latest in our ever-expanding portfolio of hardware and software solutions designed for collaboration and scheduling. To be clear, these aren’t updates of existing products — they represent new categories of devices for the modern workplace. By providing more and more choices for our customers, we’re reinforcing our commitment to creating an ecosystem that can solve nearly any problem a business might come across as it strives to implement the right solutions for its people.
Desk Scheduling: The Desk Touch and Desk Q
Physical work environments are evolving, and many companies are opting to move away from scheduled desks for employees. This means that a growing number of businesses are turning to desk booking as a means to reduce their physical footprint in the new reality of hybrid work. In fact, a recent Frost & Sullivan study found that 26% of IT decision-makers responded that they are replacing many assigned desks with hot desking, and 33% responded they are building newer types of meeting spaces like phone booths, digital hives, jump spaces, and meeting pods.
If employees don’t need a dedicated desk five days a week, why not share? That arrangement, of course, opens a world of scheduling issues: How do we help employees find the right place to work? How do we make it simple and easy to use?
As the market leader in room scheduling solutions, Crestron is addressing these needs by launching a Desk Scheduling solution that will be available in two form factors: Desk Touch and Desk Q. The Desk Touch, with a 3.5” screen embedded into the device, is designed for higher-end executive spaces, while the Desk Q is a cost-effective device (leveraging a QR code with a printed placard) built to be deployed at scale. Most importantly, though, both products provide organizations and their employees with the data they need to find a workspace quickly and let IT know what spaces are being used when. That’s made possible with the Crestron XiO® Cloud technology operations management platform, which integrates seamlessly with Desk Scheduling devices. These solutions are about optimizing workflow — and making the return to the office as frictionless as possible.
Crestron Flex Pods
Clear audio is absolutely critical to a great collaboration experience, both for in-room and remote attendees. The Crestron Flex Pods system provides outstanding sound with unmatched flexibility. We’ve seen a growing need for audio solutions that can be deployed in multipurpose spaces that are reconfigured on a regular — sometimes daily — basis. Those rooms need audio that can be adjusted quickly and easily, with minimal infrastructure.
The Crestron Flex Pods system is a two-part solution — there’s a hub that connects over USB to your Microsoft Teams® Room software, Zoom Rooms® videoconferencing, or AirMedia® platform, and that hub then delivers two-way audio wirelessly to Crestron Flex Pods. Crestron Flex Pods feature state-of-the-art speakers and microphone arrays that effectively cover a radius of seven feet. You can drive up to four pods with a single hub, making for a flexible and fast way to blanket a space with audio connectivity.
Crestron Videobar 70
As you’re likely aware, the demand for all-in-one collaboration bars is skyrocketing. At Crestron, we recognized the opportunity to create an exceptional one, and we did just that. The Crestron Videobar 70 is designed for larger spaces, and it’s a solution that can be deployed at scale with minimal infrastructure. The four 4K cameras in this Android™ device — outfitted with intelligent video that can track an individual speaker — can deliver a picture of unrivaled clarity at a range of no less than 30 feet. An automated privacy screen and sound that features excellent speakers and no less than 24 microphones round out the experience.
Ultimately, though, one of the strongest differentiators is that the Crestron Videobar 70 is part of the Crestron ecosystem. You can remotely manage and monitor the bar from the XiO Cloud platform. It integrates seamlessly with our touch panels. Simply put, it’s another element offering the consistent, intuitive, and frictionless user experience you’d expect from a Crestron product.
Readying for InfoComm, Readying for Hybrid Work
Attending the InfoComm® 2023 trade show this year (June 14-16) in Orlando? Be sure to stop by our booth (#2501) for a demo of these solutions (and many others!). You’ll be able to see the products in action, feel the fit and finish, hear the audio, see the magic of our intelligent video speaker tracking functions — and talk to the Crestron team to find the best solutions for the modern workplace.
There’s also another tool at your disposal, a tool we rolled out during the Modern Work Summit: A self-evaluation survey that provides any business with a Crestron Modern Work Readiness Score. In this case, “Modern Work” is defined by Crestron as work practices based around flexible work patterns and supported by digital technology, with a focus on three key elements: remote collaboration, in-person collaboration, and the scaling up of those patterns across the organization. Developed in tandem with our new analysis — “At the Tipping Point: How Modern Work is Going Mainstream and Why Companies Need to Be Ready” — the score can help any organization determine just what tools they need to meet the challenges of the hybrid workplace.
We’re in a world where the workplace is continuously evolving. There’s a tremendous opportunity in that evolution — an opportunity to completely rethink what “work” is and how and where it’s done. At Crestron, we’re committed to finding the best ways possible to make workplace technology that serves this evolution more human — all while creating hardware and software that’s unmatched in quality and reliability.