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Revolutionizing Meeting Spaces: Craig Durr Discusses Jabra’s Latest Innovations with Olly Henderson

Revolutionizing Meeting Spaces: Craig Durr Discusses Jabra's Latest Innovations with Olly Henderson

On this episode of Futurum Live! From ISE 2024, The Futurum Group’s Craig Durr talks with Olly Henderson, Head of Portfolio and Commercialization at Jabra, about the launch of Jabra+ for next-generation meeting room and video device management, trends in hybrid working, and the introduction of AI-powered features in Jabra’s PanaCast video solutions to enhance productivity and collaboration in the workplace.

Their discussion covers:

  • The unveiling of Jabra+, a unified platform that simplifies the management of Jabra’s PanaCast video solutions and caters to the needs of IT administrators by providing a secure, intuitive, and comprehensive device management experience.
  • Insights into the evolving landscape of hybrid working, highlighting the increased reliance on video conferencing and the challenges it presents for IT managers, as well as the growing demand for technologies that facilitate productive and inclusive meetings.
  • The introduction of new AI-driven features in Jabra’s PanaCast 50, including Intelligent Meeting Space and Microsoft Intelligent Speaker, designed to enhance meeting efficiency and ensure a focused and distraction-free environment.
  • The immediate availability of these innovative features and their live demonstration at Jabra’s booth at ISE, emphasizing their potential to improve collaboration and productivity in the hybrid workplace significantly.

You can view the video of their conversation here, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel while you’re there.

Listen to the audio below:

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Transcript:

Craig Durr: Hey everybody, this is Craig Durr, Practice Lead for the Workplace Collaboration Practice at The Futurum Group. And we’re here live at ISE 2024, and I’m excited to have a guest with me, Olly Henderson from Jabra. Olly is the Head of Portfolio and Commercialization. Olly, how are you doing?

Olly Henderson: Great. Great to see you again. I think last time was Boston.

Craig Durr: That’s right. Now we were together in Boston, but now I’m excited to see you here because you have some new information to share.

Olly Henderson: I know, I do. We’ve got some exciting new things happening at Jabra. It’s a new role for me, so that’s always great. New capacity. But no, I think what the next year, especially in 2024 holds is something… Even though we’re not releasing a whole boatload of new hardware, the crown jewel of everything for us is Jabra Plus. So it’s our new management platform.

Craig Durr: So this is Jabra Plus for admins, right?

Olly Henderson: Yeah.

Craig Durr: So tell me about this.

Olly Henderson: Okay, so it’s not like this is our first ever management platform. We’ve obviously, like the rest of our story come from an audio side where we used to have Jabra Express, but we realized that was more device focused. We needed and listened to our customers, something that looked after the rooms and looked after video. So that’s where Jabra Plus comes into play. And we’ve identified, again through significant research and interviews with our client, base that it’s actually the IT admins that need that support the most. So stage one for us is Jabra Plus for admins where you’ll be able to put your video devices into rooms. And then stage two, moving onto that is Jabra Plus for personal devices where the headsets and everything will be able to migrate onto the Jabra Plus platform from that point, first it’s admins, then it’s personal devices.

Craig Durr: Perfect. It’s great. To me this sounds like you are really listening to the market. Now, this is not the first time. I mean, I think Jabra’s got this rich history of listening to the market and understand what’s taking place. And you and I had these great conversations in the past about hybrid work, all the challenges, all the opportunities. Share with me some of the trends that you and Jabra are seeing around hybrid work.

Olly Henderson: Absolutely, Craig. I think one of the things that excited me the most about Jabra, the opportunity when I joined, was how strong that audio portfolio is in the market. We knew we had to grow in video, but we’ve got unbelievable headsets, unbelievable speakerphones, so the Speak2 series. And then the world moved into this hybrid way of working. So it looks like we’ve got something that can help everybody out. And we’ve seen that over 80% of meetings are actually virtual meetings and hybrid meetings. So we can cater for all of those users that have sat in the office that aren’t in a meeting room or all those users that are remote and working from home with great audio on the headsets and Speaks and our P 20 personal camera. And then we can also complete that by what is available in the meeting room space.

Craig Durr: That’s incredible. This stat that you have about 80% of these meetings, at least one person being remote and combine that with a meeting room experience, a group experience now. So this must create some great opportunities for you to solve some challenges at our day.

Olly Henderson: Absolutely. And we see it as part of delivering our value to our end customers. What can we give them a unique experience? And the way that we see that manifesting itself is even though we love working so closely with Microsoft and Zoom as our partners and we have features with those guys in the clouds, we’ve also got some excellent Edge AI features that stem from the devices, and those come together to make better experiences in the meeting room. And the two I think that are top of mind, which you can see on the booth here at ISE, are Intelligent Speaker and Intelligent Meeting Space.

Craig Durr: That’s fantastic. And you’re right, because the Panacast 50 has so much processing power built into the hardware. But let’s dive into these features. Tell me about Intelligent Meeting Space.

Olly Henderson: So Intelligent Meeting Space is another one where customers asked, we delivered, okay? So a common pain point as we’re standing in front of a glass window now regular and all offices around the world, architects love using glass. However, it’s not that technology friendly. It makes things difficult. So when we’ve got an intelligent viewing mode going on, if it was set up to track all the people in the room and someone walks past the room, Craig, the camera will start to track past the person that comes out of the room. We can now define a specific area in the meeting room that stops the intelligent camera working at that periphery. So only as intelligent within the predefined area. Someone walks past the meeting room, the camera’s not going to track and pick it up.

Craig Durr: That’s fantastic. So that is going to help with those new modern hybrid work environments, open office spaces, these new collaborative spaces. But now also tell me about Intelligence Speaker. This sounds interesting.

Olly Henderson: Yeah, Intelligent Speaker is something we’re really excited about. We’ve been working very closely with Microsoft to deliver some real experience from our device that’s utilized in the Microsoft Cloud. What is it? Currently, as it stands, you see six people. When you are sitting remote in a meeting room and you don’t know who’s Craig, who’s Olly, any of the above. So Intelligent Speaker actually allows the meeting minutes to be taken collectively by recognizing my voice and recognizing your voice. And we can see what Craig added to the meeting, what points Olly added to the meeting. And now with Co-Pilot and the Smart Write-up and a remap of the meeting, we get clear, deliverable action points and plans where we can take those action points and move them forward.

Craig Durr: So that’s pretty incredible. You now have identity in these group situations. Well, how do you enable that? What is the process for that?

Olly Henderson: So that’s a great question and something that we get asked a lot about from our customers. It’s a dual stage process. So firstly the organization, company X has to sign up and agree to the Microsoft terms and conditions, okay? And then as an individual you would have to sign up to it as well. And when I say have to sign up for it, I might not want to sign up for it, but you may want to sign up for it. So it’s a dual level, it’s an organizational one and an individual one as well.

Craig Durr: So any type of privacy concerns they’re addressed in that point in time as well too?

Olly Henderson: Exactly. The individual can choose to opt out.

Craig Durr: That’s fantastic. Now both of these are incorporated into the Panacast 50?

Olly Henderson: Yes.

Craig Durr: And this is available obviously in the Microsoft environment?

Olly Henderson: Here and now.

Craig Durr: That’s fantastic. So those features are out and those are available to see right now on the floor, right?

Olly Henderson: Yep. Come down, come to the booth, we can show you around. Anyone that’s in and around the show we’d love to show you those features.

Craig Durr: And if people aren’t here, where would they go find out some more information?

Olly Henderson: They would go to jabra.com. That is our whole website.

Craig Durr: Landing page for everything. That’s fantastic. Hey Olly, this has been an exciting update. I appreciate you sharing.

Olly Henderson: It’s great to see you. Thanks for having me.

Craig Durr: We’re talking about Jabra Plus for admin as well as these new features. I’m excited to go down there and see it.

Olly Henderson: Okay, let’s go.

Craig Durr: Thank you so much.

Olly Henderson: Thanks.

Craig Durr: Hey everyone, this is Craig Durr with The Futurum Group. Thank you again. We’re here live from the showroom floor at ISE 2024. Take care.

Author Information

As a Research Director, Craig focuses on developing research, publications and insights that clarify how the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows enable group collaboration and communication. He provides research and analysis related to market sizing and forecasts, product and service evaluations, market trends, and end-user and buyer expectations. In addition to following the technology, Craig also studies the human elements of work - organizing his findings into the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows – and charting how these variables influence technologies and business strategies.

Prior to joining Wainhouse, now a part of The Futurum Group, Craig brings twenty years of experience in leadership roles related to P&L management, product development, strategic planning, and business development of security, SaaS, and unified communication offerings. Craig's experience includes positions at Poly, Dell, Microsoft, and IBM.

Craig holds a Master of Business Administration from the Texas McCombs School of Business as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tulane University.

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