Large-format interactive conferencing displays are gaining momentum as a product category with offerings such as the Microsoft Surface Hub and Cisco Spark Board. Now, a startup in the category, Avocor, is looking to make its mark with a highly configurable solution and the help of a channel heavyweight.
This week, Avocor announced World Wide Technology as its first major IT solution provider partnership. WWT, No. 8 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, is a Gold Certified Partner of both Cisco and Microsoft and already sells the Cisco Spark Board and Microsoft Surface Hub.
However, some customers have been requesting a solution with additional functionality and features, said Brandon Echele, global practice lead for video and conferencing at St. Louis-based WWT. Avocor's collaboration display solutions are well-suited to serving those needs, Echele said.
Avocor's displays offer versatility because they run a full version of Windows 10 and are capable of working with any major unified communications or video conferencing software, according to Avocor and WWT executives. The displays are also built to work with any external hardware such as microphones and cameras, the executives told CRN.
Avocor's solutions can serve as the "Swiss Army knife of the meeting room," said Dana Corey, vice president of sales at Avocor, which is based in the U.K. and has its U.S. headquarters in Wilsonville, Oregon.
"There's never going to be a standard [in collaboration displays], where you're focusing on a single vendor and getting rid of the others," WWT's Echele told CRN. Avocor offers a "vendor agnostic" approach, he said, which resonates with customers that aren't a perfect fit for solutions such as the Surface Hub, Spark Board and Prysm video wall.
WWT saw a need for a product that was focused on the Windows ecosystem, but was flexible enough to work with any existing platforms that enterprises are using, Echele said.
"We weren't necessarily going out looking for someone else to take on, but Avocor was compelling enough based on customer feedback," he said.
Avocor offers its collaboration displays in three sizes – 65-inch, 75-inch and 84-inch – in either HD or 4K resolutions. Pricing ranges between $5,000 and $13,000 for a unit, and there is no annual maintenance fee, though customers have the option of licensing Avocor's Quicklaunch meetings software.