The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s a time-honoured phrase that has renewed relevance in a tech-powered world.
And that’s because modularity – the modern embodiment of the phrase – has the power to connect inter-dependent entities in a way which is literally transformational.
Moreover, the phrase is a timely metaphor for the way in which global society appears to have bonded in the fight against the pandemic.
Strength in solidarity; better together.
And that’s ironic as, physically, nowhere is modularity more at play in the workplace than in the area of conferencing – the technology which, arguably above all others, has helped get us through the last two years.
Not that long ago, conferencing was reserved for a select few higher-ups.
Back then, the only room that was conference call-equipped was the boardroom.
Today, jumping on a call – whether pure audio OR video – is ubiquitous; and it’s only going to become more so going forward.
That means conferencing capability needs to expand.
And THAT means choosing kit that comes with modularity as standard.
“When the pandemic struck, some organisations purchased conferencing equipment in a panic and now find themselves with a system which cannot be expanded very easily,” says Torbjorn Karlsson, Product Manager at Swedish-based global audio and video collaboration endpoints giant Konftel, who invented the first conference phone more than 30 years ago.
“Now video conferencing is the new norm, those organisations have a much bigger need for equipment and many will have to start from scratch.
“In that case – and because that need is only going to increase further – it is absolutely critical that they purchase modular kit that can be easily added to over time.
“They might need additional devices or additional cabling or in-room wiring.
“They need to start with what they need now, knowing that when they buy more, all of the component elements will fit together and work as one larger system.”
Karlsson recommends a three tier ‘basic, medium, premium’ approach.
In short, start as small as your situation demands and grow your system as your needs mature.
“A customer might start at the basic level with just one camera in one meeting room,” he says.
“But our modularity vision goes much further as we recognise the importance of adding extension cabling or equipping more rooms, along with device management, diagnostics and analytics functionality
“We believe that all of expansion – whether hardware OR software – needs to be modular and possess the same DNA.
“And it all needs to simply connect together and work in the same way.”
Many organisations will benefit from a review of their physical office space and a re-design or adaptation to accommodate the new need for conferencing capability.
Konftel’s clever room guide (available here) is designed to help organisations understand how to fully embrace conferencing and how to reconfigure rooms and/or communal workspace to suit.
And – still with modularity in mind – the aesthetics of Konftel’s entire award-winning and affordable OmniSound plug ‘n play range is inspired by the same elegant design dynamic.
That means it all looks good together as well as working well together.
“We put a lot of energy into the design,” says Karlsson.
“It’s important that there is an aesthetic connection between all of our products as well as just a functional one.”
Similarly, the build quality of all cables and connecting components is of a uniformly high standard; underpinning that modular philosophy.
Finally, a degree of customisation is also part of the offering.
“’Do you want one screen? Two screens? How many cameras do you want? How many connection ports do you need? These are future customer considerations of the modularity puzzle,” says Karlsson.
“Whatever the requirements , we understand the need to help them confidently and cost-effectively grow their system going forward.”