Andrew Low,

There was a very warm and fuzzy feeling on the floor of ISE this year, as several manufacturers announced compatibly with third-party hardware and software. These announcements highlight the strong partnership programs that have been formed to establish integrated compatibility across video conferencing technology platforms. Companies like QSC and Biamp highlighted compatibility with Shure Microflex Advance conferencing microphones on their stands. Shure has also worked with Biamp, Cisco, Crestron, Polycom, Symetrix, QSC, Yamaha, Audinate, Chief and others to improve compatibility with their conferencing products.

In short, manufacturers of AV equipment are working together more than ever before to provide systems integrators with the tools to develop fully-digital audio solutions that meet their client's needs, reduce set up time and simplify the installation process. With this increased interoperability comes better quality conferencing sound and user-friendly systems.

Shure's Senior Category Director for Networked Systems Chad Wiggins ensures that a strong focus in product development is not just how products work, but how they work together: "The goal of our partnership program is to enhance the 'Five Cs' -- connectivity, control, customization, confidence, and convenience – for our customers. Our success in the marketplace depends more than ever on how easy it is to use Shure products with other brands and other types of products. That's why it's critical that we continue to form partnerships with other significant companies in the AV industry."

The partnership programs announced by Shure range in scope from developing information for system integrators, such as configuration and setup guides that ensure optimum performance, to embedded plug-ins that provide native control and audio integration. Shure's Microflex Advance and Microflex Wireless have been tested and are compatible with popular downstream equipment in order to streamline the workflow involved in using the completed system.

Biamp executive vice president of marketing Graeme Harrison confirms that the two companies are committed to streamlining product interoperability: "Both companies value customer feedback and leverage it in future product development. Adding Shure microphone-specific software blocks to Tesira's cutting-edge software made sense; it allows system designers to easily incorporate the power of Shure mics with the power of Tesira. Other developments in this launch will bring this capability to the whole range of Tesira processors, and we will add additional functionality in future releases."

QSC also announced an expanded level of integration between Shure Microflex Advance and Microflex Wireless microphones with its entire Q-SYS DSP Platform. Product Manager for Installed Systems at QSC Martin Barbour notes that the aim is to offer truly unified, AV solutions: "By decoupling control integration from the audio transport mechanism, we offer the integrator the ability to choose the most appropriate audio transport method for their application while ensuring best-in-class performance from microphone through to loudspeaker, including all processing and amplification in between."

As ISE grows in size every year, these partnership announcements are evidence that while visitors use the show ISE to connect with clients and find new business, behind the scenes the manufactures of AV equipment are sharing technology resources to ensure that the their integration needs can be simplified with purpose-built solutions that deliver truly collaborative video meetings.

Andrew Low

Andrew is Systems Marketing Manager for the UK. When not focussing on installed audio, he can be found in the basements of London pubs playing his guitar, badly. A London resident for ten years, Andrew took the leap across the pond after studying at the School of Audio Engineering’s NYC campus. He still struggles to understand the local “language”.