Google Cloud made a couple of recent moves that make it clear that the IT giant intends to play a bigger role in your meeting rooms. It even has a buzz term — it wants to help you create “frictionless meetings.”
When Google exhibited at the recent InfoComm 2018, a trade show focusing in large part of corporate AV technology including meeting room solutions, it sought to demonstrate its goal of creating the perfect meeting experience.
Google staffers call this concept “frictionless meetings,” but it’s the same idea of the proverbial CEO walking in to their board room, pushing a button and launching the meeting where they share some big news or receive an important update from a key client.
As part of a pre-InfoComm 2018 announcement, Google announced a partnership with Pexip that allows teams to join meetings on Google Meet from their preferred equipment “in the coming weeks.”
This marks Google’s first official foray into the AV space through the collaboration channel, but isn’t likely to be the last.
Google’s Foray into Meeting Rooms
One challenge for Google if it wants to establish more presence in meeting rooms is that the AV integration channel that designs and installs solutions for corporate customers might be skeptical about working with such a large partner.
“It’s easy to be turned off by [working with a company that’s the size of Google], and we understand that,” says Scott Johnston, director of product management for Google Cloud.
“[Being at InfoComm 2018 was] about showing we’re a very approachable company. We continued a lot of conversations we started at ISE and Enterprise Connect.”
Anders Lokke of Pexip is excited to be working with Google and expects the pairing to be a huge benefit for his company and the company as a whole.
“It allows us to speak to a large group of customers we didn’t have access to in the past,” he says. “AV and IT aren’t doing different things anymore and AV is really driving workplace collaboration. This is for the greater good. It’s all about making things easier for our customers.”
Rany Ng, director of product management for G Suite, believes Google’s presence in the collaboration space will help them reach customers who might not have otherwise turned to them too.
“We believe in openness,” she says.
Johnston knows some company leaders are looking to technology for nothing more than to make the experience “manageable,” so there are different expectations depending on who the client happens to be.
“Users are asking for integrated solutions,” says Johnston.
“They’re asking why it can’t be as easy at work as it is at home. That’s not going to happen without AV and IT working together.”