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Technology update Continued from P12


content-centric discussion. “No other team collaboration prod- uct makes it so easy to share so much,” says Oblong. Well, we’ll see, but Oblong’s list of ISE en- hancements was impressive: • Microsoft Exchange integra- tion makes it easy to schedule a Mezzanine room.


• The integration takes ad- vantage of calendaring to make starting or joining a meeting as easy as point and click. • Skype for Business integra- tion brings a familiar videocon- ferencing UI to its users. •An updated Mezzanine Screencast application for wire- less screen sharing now features auto-discovery and meeting support. (Once the application is installed on your device, all you need to do to connect to Mezzanine is be present in the room - not dissimilar to the ease of access to a known Wi-Fi con- nection.)


• Point and click meetings are also available in the new and improved Mezzanine Screencast application.


Oblong makes an iMPACT! at Inmarsat


Customer reaction


And do customers understand the value of such a product? Does a multi-screen solution support decision-making? Oblong Indus- tries, Mary Ann de Lares Norris VP EMEA said: “We find that once people experience Mezza- nine for themselves, once they use the gestural wand and see the dynamic UI it offers, the tech- nology speaks for itself. It opens people’s eyes as to the very real business benefits that they can have with a deployment of Mez- zanine across office locations.” Oblong’s innovative Mezza- nine platform creates a common digital workspace where teams can share content and ideas, accelerate decision-making, and collaborate more effectively. Of course, there are a number of ways to do this – notably the pro- jection-based Nureva Wall and its Span software, and seeming- ly more to come, but Mezzanine is surely the most fully resolved flatscreen solution available to- day.


Working together


It is often said that, in today’s market for collaborative solu- tions, no one vendor can pro- vide everything. Some degree of cooperation, openness and interoperability is necessary to make the market work. Oblong is no different, and the company has announced a collaboration between Mez- zanine with Cisco Webex Teams (formerly known as Spark). Co-workers can move between the desktop work- stream of a Webex Teams environment to a multi-user, multi-location, multi-stream Mezzanine meeting space with ease. Teams rely on enterprise collaboration platforms to message co-workers, create project threads, and share data and knowledge. These platforms provide a shared virtual workspace for day-to- day work. But for those times when the team needs to es- calate a project situation to a face-to-face meeting, there is Mezzanine. Complex prob- lems often require teams to


visualize multiple data


streams simultaneously and to engage with each other and each other’s content. Mezzanine meetings are easily triggered in Webex Teams, creating a link be- tween the Webex Teams space and Mezzanine. Any assets shared in either space


are synchronised immediate- ly so teams can easily ac- cess and utilize content that is shared after the meeting ends. Mezzanine bridges the virtual and physical work- spaces with a content-rich shared experience for stake- holders in the room, in con- nected rooms, and in remote locations. Everyone can con- tribute as equal participants in shaping decisions in re- al-time.


“In almost every business vertical, there is a need to es- calate discussions into fully fledged meetings and gather stakeholders around critical information for decision-mak- ing,” explains Oblong’s VP of Business Development, Steve Vobbe. “Clearly Mezzanine is ideal for these moments, and access to it is obvious when it’s embedded in the enter- prise ecosystem. As a Cisco Solutions Integrator it was natural for us to unite Mez- zanine with the Cisco eco- system to maximize meeting engagement and outcomes.” Justin Ramirez, Head of Global Business Development for Cisco Webex confirms, “We’re making it easier for our customers to understand it’s not Cisco solutions OR Oblong solutions, it’s Cisco PLUS Oblong to create the most productive and collabo- rative work environment.”


Inmarsat required an advanced presentation and collaboration tool to enable interactions in both virtual and physical spaces, and to create a cutting-edge new environment to showcase their solutions.


collaboration tool to enable interactions in both virtual and physical spaces, and to create a cutting-edge new en- vironment to showcase their solutions to both existing and potential new clients. The new workspace would be situated at Inmarsat’s UK headquarters, located by London’s Old Street and part of the ‘Silicon Round- about’ area which has become the centre of Europe’s thriving technology sector.


Innovative presentation


The scope and purpose of the iMPACT! room is explained by


EVENT UC Expo hits the spot


You can tell when a show comes into its own - the ambience changes. There is a real feeling that business is being done, and the venue is free of tyre kickers, and the pros move in numbers. This year’s UC Expo, held at ExCel on the 16-17 May, had that feel- ing, and exhibitors were uniform- ly enthusiastic about the event. Jon Knight, Commercial Director at Ascentae said: “Personally I found UC Expo extremely busy, I don’t think I stopped talking!” We have seen something of a sea change this year: smarter collabo- rative working is now the norm as organisations take advantage of


P14 AV News June 2018


new methods, technology and best practice. UC Expo 2018 brought together some of the world’s lead- ing influencers and brands to dis- cuss the next evolution in smarter collaboration and help address the collaboration conundrums busi- nesses are currently facing. For example, Snorre Kjesbu of


Cisco discussed the future of col- laboration and how it empowers teams and accelerates productiv- ity. Kim Wylie, Head of Customer Change and Transformation at Google Cloud who shared insights for building a culture where knowl- edge is a shared resource and employees act like owners. Dave


Michels, Principal Analyst at TalkingPoint, looked at drivers for the adoption of workstream col- laboration. Topical issues, like the much-heralded AI revolution were discussed in the context of UC deployment. Visitors were invited to “get up close and personal with the next wave of collaboration technology” in the future tech demo zone, including cutting edge interactive whiteboards and augmented reality headsets. Of perhaps more immediate applica- bility was the session on Microsoft in the Microsoft Theatre and the resulting discussion of what you


should consider when thinking about collaborative working and developing an effective collabora- tion strategy.


On the show floor, over 100 exhibitors provided attendees with the opportunity to discuss the most advanced technical solutions available, including the majority of iFPD vendors and a selection of resellers. Following the success of the 2018 show, the event organisers immediately announced the dates for next year – the 15-16 May 2019.


us to ‘jump into the future’ and enable us to show Inmarsat’s solutions in a really stimulating way. We also recognized that when working in a high-tech environment, it would be ex- ceptionally important to com- municate to our customers in a high-tech way.”


They approached IT consul- tants MBA-IT to workshop their requirements and were subse- quently introduced to Oblong’s Mezzanine via a demonstration at the company’s Shoreditch Experience Centre. The project team worked together to ful- ly understand the unique way Inmarsat wanted to utilize the


we believed would offer a best- in-class solution that is unri- valled in the market.” Inmarsat recognised that Mez- zanine’s Infopresence capabil- ities were crucial to providing an immersive, collaborative, responsive, and data-rich en- vironment, in which all partic- ipants and stakeholders, could share


content, contribute to


presentations, better analyse key business data and allow real-time collaborative editing and annotating of documents.


The results The iMPACT! room features a


Inmarsat is the industry leader and pioneer of mobile satel- lite communications, offering s portfolio of global satcom solutions and services to keep businesses, governments and other organisations, connected at all times – on land, at sea or in the air.


Inmarsat required an ad- vanced presentation and


Impact Developer, Jose Pereira of Inmarsat, who outlines the brief; “We were looking for dynamic new technologies to help us showcase Inmarsat in a truly in- novative way, which would help our customers visualize how we can solve their problems. We wanted exciting and engaging technology which would help


technology within the iMPACT! room.


Guy Brandon from MBA-IT commented:


“After learning about the goals for the iMPACT project, it was apparent that Oblong’s Mez- zanine would be an ideal fit. We identified this match and recommended they utilize this disruptive technology, which


display wall of 55” monitors tiled in a 4 x 2 array with two ‘cork board’ displays, to provide an expansive space on which to share ideas and content, from video footage to live data feeds. Also installed in the room is a state-of-the-art projection table which is driven by Mezzanine and enables participants to use the table as an active work space.


Using one of Mezza-


nine’s intuitive gestural wands, users can move content, video and images around any of the screens, zoom in and expand crucial elements in an intuitive way.


Remote participants can view everything that’s happening via the Mezzanine interface, acces- sible from a web browser or iOS app, and add their own content to the discussion. Mezzanine offers a vast array of features for users to share their own data and interact with others’ content. Mezzanine’s interactive and in- tuitive gestural-controlled inter- face supports a more democrat- ic process to advance business conversations and initiatives. With Mezzanine, no single lead- er of a discussion is required, anyone can share data and doc- uments to the Mezzanine digi- tal space, and this can then be viewed, accessed and annotat- ed by all participants. Impact Developer, Jose Pereira comments: “We are excited by the benefits that iMPACT! is bringing to Inmarsat and there is already huge demand within the business from colleagues wanting to use the room.” He concludes; “Powered by Ob- long’s Mezzanine, we’ve de- signed a flexible and scalable collaboration space that will support our requirements well into the future.”


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