NSCA hosted its 2021 Pivot to Profit (P2P) conference in September, but the business transformation conversations continue. The articles in the Pivot to Profit+ section of the Q3 2021 edition of our quarterly trade journal, Integrate, keep the discussions going. This column by P2P sponsor Shure discusses optimizing Microsoft Teams audio.
Shure’s IntelliMix Room® software-based DSP for AV conferencing and collaboration with Crestron helps integrators optimize Microsoft Teams audio.
By Shure (sponsored content)
Clear communication is key for effective meetings. Without it, productivity can dip and opportunities can be missed.
Most contemporary meeting rooms require numerous microphones, which can be a huge audio challenge for AV teams.
This is when having digital signal processing (DSP) software becomes crucial. DSP polishes and refines raw microphone signals and combines them into a balanced, harmonious mix. The DSP can be a standalone hardware appliance or part of an application that runs on a PC, but it should be dedicated to audio rather than part of the same processing that deals with video, call management, etc.
A good audio DSP will automatically select the right microphone for each talker, adjust levels, remove echo and noise, and improve interactivity for more natural communication. Furthermore, virtualizing the per-channel DSP needed to integrate in-room audio systems with collaboration platforms is a game-changer. It makes it possible for businesses to easily scale their meetings and conference rooms. Because it’s software based, deployment is easier and firmware management is more efficient. The result is a more consistent user experience across all rooms in the enterprise.
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Shure’s IntelliMix Room is the world’s first software-based DSP for AV conferencing to achieve official certification for Microsoft Teams when installed on the Crestron UC-C100-T Flex Video Conference System Integrator Kit. Now users can deploy end-to-end certified solutions for Teams systems without the need for a separate DSP device. This is key because DSP is valuable in ensuring that meeting room audio sounds intelligible and natural for all meeting participants.
Shure’s collaboration with Crestron helped enable IntelliMix Room software to achieve this industry-first certification. Crestron has been a Microsoft partner for more than 15 years, and AV integrators rely on the UC-C100-T Crestron Flex Integrator Kit to bring Microsoft Teams Rooms into custom spaces. The Crestron Flex series provides users with the essential components needed to build a fully customized videoconferencing space, whether for a company-wide annual meeting in the auditorium, sharing content in the boardroom, or connecting stakeholders around the world.
Paul Gunia, director of technology partnerships at Shure, is understandably proud of the teams behind the technology itself and the journey to accreditation. “This is the first piece of software certified in a Microsoft Teams Room Bundle. Up until now, it has all been USB-based connectivity. When we first showed this to the team at Microsoft, they didn’t have a certification to fit it under. It was too different.”
“This certification wasn’t given lightly, as he explains: “We had to demonstrate the performance of our software. We had to prove the resiliency of the audio and that our CPU load was minimal. We couldn’t interfere with other programs or Microsoft’s own roadmap for future features. A third-party lab tested its performance before Microsoft itself used IntelliMix Room in its own conference rooms. Our case was rock solid as we demonstrated the reliability and robustness of the IntelliMix DSP technology. This certification complements our Microflex®Ecosystem mics, and loudspeakers were already certified for Microsoft Teams. We are now thrilled that, with the addition of our DSP software, the whole end-to-end audio signal chain is Microsoft Teams certified. This is hugely important for Shure.”
Gunia explains that, while the Shure hardware has been installed along with Crestron gear for decades, Shure’s latest certification for IntelliMix Room on Crestron’s UC-C100-T opens a whole new set of use cases for system integrators to take to their customers. “We have a laser focus on ensuring consistent audio quality in every room to meet mid- to large-size room videoconferencing needs and have built our solutions on this. With no DSP hardware required, installs are simpler and faster while meeting spaces are kept free of the clutter associated with traditional AV racks.”
This is truly game changing,” he adds. “It’s an innovation in our industry supported by the combined powerhouse of Shure, Crestron, and, of course, Microsoft Teams. Software-based audio is the future of videoconferencing, whether you are deploying it in one room or hundreds. And IntelliMix Room is leading the way to that future.”
Available through several licensing options, IntelliMix Room software offers flexibility as a long-term investment over the lifecycle of multiple meeting spaces. It can be more cost-effective than the leading hardware-based audio DSPs.
NSCA chooses its Pivot to Profit sponsors carefully. They not only provide solutions worthy of consideration by our integrator members, but also are well positioned to lead business transformation conversations. Click here to learn more about Shure.