Video Conference Insight News
Our lead story is the Technical Review by Craig Brown of the very affordable LifeSize Express High Definition videoconferencing system. His conclusion - This is definitely a superb piece of kit when you compare price versus performance.
LifeSize Communications is beginning to move quickly from the direct sales model to the distribution model with announcements for the American and Australian markets to follow that for the UK market. We talk to Barry Cross, MD of Review
Video its distributor in the UK. We conclude that High Definition products could win over 30% of the UK market in 2008 and over 60% in 2009 with the affordable LifeSize products becoming the main force that drives that market transition.
Other equipment stories are: TANDBERG has been named recipient of the Frost & Sullivan 2008 Global Video Conferencing Company of the Year Award; Aethra’s High Definition Vega X7 video communication system is now available in a Rack-mountable format, hence suitable for a DIY Telepresence; Aethra goes for a floral design with it’s new EVA series of professional audio conferencing table-top phone; Skype estimates that 25% of its calls from 246 million members use video, which is now using On2’s TrueMotion VP7 video compression.
The user application stories are: The World’s largest videoconference in 2007 - Megaconference IX - took place for 12 hours on 8 November 2007; a new Telemedicine Service called RigNet Medical has been launched for oil and gas companies operating offshore; The mainly rural population of the southern part of News South Wales, Australia has a new video network for mental health patients; Regus offers Executives in the Automotive Industry a Global Office Network; In Nigeria, Satellite Nigcomsat-1 is being used to conduct a telemedicine program at nine sites; with VC, students at University of Wyoming can complete their BA Education degree while residing and practice teaching in their home communities; Sun is building a virtual world for its employees that will recreate the real-life interactions of an office but without real coffee!; then lots of news in brief.
The list of events includes Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2008 at the Amsterdam RAI in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from 29 to 31 January 2008.
Proposed Abolition of Statutory Employment Dispute Resolution Procedures
Last month, the DTI began a period of consultation with a view to abolishing the statutory employment dispute resolution procedures, which were only introduced in October 2004.
The introduction of the Statutory Dismissal Procedure and Statutory Grievance Procedure, by the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004, brought about a substantial change in employment law. The procedures were aimed at encouraging employers and employees to attempt to resolve their employment disputes internally, rather than in the forum of the Employment Tribunals.
It was hoped that, by requiring employers and employees to follow what was intended to be a simple three-step procedure, more disputes would be resolved without the need for the intervention of a tribunal and that we would therefore see a reduction in the overall numbers of claims being presented in the Employment Tribunals.
The reality has been somewhat different. Rather than seeing a drop in the number of claims, tribunals have been caught up in technical arguments about the interpretation of the procedures, their applicability and whether or not the parties have complied with them.
Growth in the AV Industry
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A new study by Acclaro Growth Partners has determined audiovisual products and services comprise a $25 billion industry in North America. The AV Industry Market Definition and Strategy Study, conducted on behalf of InfoComm International, forecasts 11 percent growth in the audiovisual industry over the next two years.
The growth of digital signage, videoconferencing, and command and control facilities has resulted in a 30 percent growth in demand for AV services over the past three years. The boom in construction and building renovations is the leading driver of demand for audiovisual products and services, as AV is now considered an integral part of designing and outfitting buildings. Sixty percent of AV goods and services are purchased as part of a new construction or major renovation projects.
"The past several years has marked a period of unprecedented growth for the audiovisual industry," said Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D., Executive Director, InfoComm International, the trade association representing the audiovisual industry. "This decade has seen an insatiable demand for control systems, projectors, displays, videoconferencing systems, digital signage, sound reinforcement and more. As AV products started operating over IP networks, the industry has changed focus from box sales to integration of complete interoperating systems. Even as the price of AV technology dropped, revenues have increased due to the critical importance of collaboration and communication in business and beyond."
Interest in large screens and high-definition televisions is creating increased growth in the display market. HDTVs are growing more than twice as quickly as the overall display market. Improvements in picture quality have also increased interest and sales in high definition videoconferencing products and services. The demand for videoconference equipment and services is expected to increase by an additional 20 percent between 2007 and 2009.
Digital signage has grown explosively over the past few years, with industry experts estimating a growth rate of 10 percent per month. More than one million digital signs are expected to be found in North America by 2009. The financial services, government, education, retail, healthcare and transportation sectors are implementing digital signage to deliver information, live and on-demand video and more to key audiences. Over the next three years, corporate officials estimate that 45% of corporate AV budgets will be spent on digital signage and videoconferencing goods and services.
Contracts for service and maintenance of audiovisual systems are also growing. Three years ago most AV integrators did not offer these services, or they offered basic maintenance contracts that would be considered extended warranties. But as the complexity of AV systems has grown, end-users have expressed a growing need for service contracts. "Interest in ongoing maintenance of audiovisual systems reflects that in government, education and the business, AV has been elevated from technology that is nice to have to technology that is mission-critical," said Lemke.
The government, corporate and education markets are the three largest consumers of audiovisual products and services. The growing need for communication and collaboration in these environments is fueling a reliance on AV. Growth in demand for rental and staging activities over the last three years has been a direct result of a positive economy. Corporations are hosting more events and they have become larger in scale, with very high production values. Approximately $2.75 billion was spent on rental and staging services in 2006, representing nearly one quarter of all funds spent on AV services.
The only market that appears to be approaching its saturation point is the house of worship market, due to reduced construction in this sector. Most existing mega-churches have already invested in high-end audiovisual equipment.
The findings of The AV Industry Market Definition and Strategy Study were released at InfoComm 07, the world's largest professional audiovisual exposition and tradeshow. The study can be purchased at www.infocomm.org.
About InfoComm International
InfoComm International is the international trade association of the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. Established in 1939, InfoComm has 4,200 members, including manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, independent consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, end-users and multimedia professionals from more than 70 countries. InfoComm International is the leading resource for AV market research and news. Its training and education programs, along with its separately administered Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) and corporately administered Certified Audiovisual Solutions Provider (CAVSP) company credentials, set a standard of excellence for AV professionals. InfoComm International is the founder of InfoComm, the largest annual conference and exhibition for AV buyers and sellers worldwide. InfoComm also co-sponsors the Integrated Systems shows in Europe and Russia and the InfoComm Asia shows incorporating Integrated Systems China and Asia. Additional information is available at www.infocomm.org.
About Acclaro Growth Partners
Acclaro Growth Partners is a premier strategic research and business consulting firm that assists proAV manufacturers and service providers with primary research-based market intelligence, market growth and profitability strategies, as well as short and long range strategic and implementation planning. Acclaro provides ground truth, actionable market intelligence and strategy reports that help businesses and industries plan their sales and marketing efforts.
ANSI accredited CTS creds
InfoComm has announced that ANSI has accredited its Certified Technology Specialist and Certified Technology Specialist - Installation credentials under ISO/IEC 17024.
Randal A. Lemke, Executive Director of InfoComm International
About 15 months ago, InfoComm announced its intention to apply for American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/International Organization for Standardization (ISO)17024 personnel accreditation for the Certified Technology Specialist program. At the time of this announcement, InfoComm’s Board of Governors had been working for several years to chart a strategy for improving quality in the audiovisual industry. They explored outside accreditation of the CTS program with consultants, and grappled with how to ensure that the test accurately assessed the knowledge needed by today’s AV professional.
An independent certification committee was formed, and AMX Corporation’s Spencer Bullins, CTS, was selected as chair. Nearly 100 industry volunteers helped develop new exam questions that reflect the current demands of the AV industry. Certification consultants challenged InfoComm to reinvent its education and certification programs to become separate entities, requiring the reworking of curricula and marketing materials. ANSI accreditation requires an exam development and maintenance process that assures the highest level of exam validity, security and impartiality. A new exam management system and delivery process was developed using multiple committees of volunteer subject matter experts, following the internationally accepted ANSI guidelines for accreditation under the ISO/IEC 17024 standard. Comprehensive candidate handbooks including job task analysis charts were developed and made public to help guide individuals through the application and renewal processes.
In a recent email, Randel E. Lemke, Executive Director of InfoComm International wrote: "What does this mean to you? If you are one of the more than 9,500 CTS holders, this is great news. This milestone is international recognition of the CTS as a valid and meaningful designation. Those who specify AV can now be assured that with ANSI’s independent verification of the InfoComm’s policies and procedures, the CTS credential meets the highest professional standards of examination development and administration. Each and every CTS certification is backed by the ANSI guarantee of program excellence unequaled in this industry."
Boardroom gender consultations
FRC launches consultation on boardroom gender diversity 06/05/2011
Email your thoughts to email@example.com
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) consultation into boardroom gender policies in the corporate environment comes after Lord Davies published his report into female representation in UK boardrooms.
A period of consultation will run until July 29th and will seek the recommendations of key issues surrounding the Code and when the changes should be brought in.
Responding to the document, Matthew Fell, director for Competitive Markets at the Confederation of British Industry, said: "We have been calling for action to get more women on boards, and believe that encouraging companies to report on their progress is the best way to achieve this."
He urged the FRC to implement changes to the Code as soon as possible, adding: "With this issue under the spotlight in Brussels, the UK government must mount a strong case for a 'comply or explain' approach to reporting, rather than imposed quotas, to promote diversity."
WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY
Are more women breaking the engineering glass
A number of female engineering role models have the spotlight shone on them recently, showing other women that they too can have a successful career in the sector.
Just last month Shetland celebrated having its first female engineer to receive a full qualification in 20 years. Kristina Henderson from Lerwick has been awarded an apprenticeship in engineering maintenance while working at Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK Ltd. Aged 21, she reached her goal through Train Shetland, in which over a third of apprentices work in the engineering sector.
Ms Henderson spent three-and-a-half years undertaking practical work at the seafood company and studying at the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway after asking her employer if she could be taken on as an apprentice.
Speaking to the Shetland Times, she said: "I always knew that I wanted a practical, hands-on job. Both my father and uncle were engineers and it was a career I was keen to pursue. However, getting accepted on a scheme proved extremely difficult as it is so popular."
The engineer added: "I love the work and the variety [of the role]. I can be doing anything from repairing the processing equipment to doing fabrication in the workshop. I would definitely recommend an engineering apprenticeship."
Opportunities across industries
Another company seeking to encourage more women to enter the engineering profession is General Motors. It hosted a web chat with its female engineers working on the Chevvy Volt electric car to discuss the issue. The chief engineer of the Volt and plug-in hybrid propulsion systems is female engineer Pam Fletcher, while Teri Quigley is the Plant Director of General Motors in Detroit.
Trust Law reported on the event which saw Ms Quigley say to the female technicians: "We all encourage you to continue your formal education for an engineering degree."
Meanwhile, Sarah Buck, Director of BSW Consulting, recently offered advice to the next generation of engineers. She told ThisisExeter.co.uk that people entering the civil engineering industry should set clear targets and ensure that they have a good work-life balance.
Ms Buck, who was awarded with an Atkins Inspire 'Woman of the Year' accolade, said: "Raising children teaches you more management skills than any course."
What does the future hold?
Naming her ambitions for the future, Ms Buck said that she hoped to encourage more girls to think of a career in construction.
This could become a reality after the March Budget announced the creation of 50,000 additional apprenticeship places over the next four years, as well as 100,000 work experience roles. The budget also included the development of 24 university technical colleges which aim to create further opportunities for men and women alike to enter highly skilled roles.
Interested in hiring more female technologists into your organisation? Get in touch with womenintechnology's recruitment services team.