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Product Development: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

7/5/2013
RevoBlog
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As the memories of the largest InfoComm ever begin to fade and the summer heat begins to turn the green of a Texas spring into the muted dusty colors of a spaghetti western, I can't help but wonder what Sergio Leone, the godfather of the spaghetti western, would think of today's wireless microphone systems designed for the conferencing environment. 

Of course, even though Mr. Leone was known for his use of sound design and music, I concede that he may not have given much thought to audio for conferencing environments, and that's okay.  I can live with that, because much like Sergio Leone, we at Revolabs are believers in audio. However, unlike the famous Italian director, we have spent the last eight years making it our goal to help our customers "Hear Every Word".  In the process Revolabs has virtually created the market for high density wireless microphones specifically designed for the conferencing environment, including two generations of products with our Solo and HD platforms.  

As Silvio Dante famously stated on The Sopranos, "You are only as good as your last envelope," and in this instance, we felt it would be wise to take the wiseguy's advice.   After a period of repair and of fully maturing the current product lines, Revolabs has emerged in 2013 as not only a believer in audio, but a leader in audio for unified communications and conferencing applications.  

In the spring, it was revealed that Revolabs had partnered with Cisco to develop Cisco's new conference phone.   At InfoComm 2013 we received awards for our Executive HD MaxSecure product, and . . . (insert drumroll here) . . . we debuted our next generation wireless microphone system, the Executive Elite.   To fatten the envelope even more, we added a new conference phone and desktop audio solution, putting the speaker back into the speakerphone with the FLX UC product line.

Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of travelling with our CTO, Tim Root, visiting consultants and key integrators.  The purpose of these meetings was to go to the source and ask for input on the direction of the new product line, as well as  solicit honest feedback on what they have liked about Revolabs to date, and perhaps more telling, where we have fallen short.  The information we gathered, along with our experiences over the last few years, has had a significant impact on the product that we now call the Executive Elite.  

My initial thought on this experience - Why don't more manufacturers include this step in their product development process?    After all, we are in the communications business and the result of an open dialog with our partners not only results in more relevant product, but in a stronger more meaningful relationship.  

For me, it has been a fun ride at Revolabs this year, and I am proud to be part of an amazing team.  Much like our partners and clients, our team has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Executive Elite, and this brings me back to my original, heat induced musing on that classic surrealistic Italian western.   It occurs to me that many times, in order to get to the good, we must collectively discern what is bad, and look beneath the surface of what we deem ugly.  Attempting to avoid the bad, transcend ugly, in order to obtain the good, requires significant effort and cooperation.  

As the Tanzanian proverb states, many hands make light work.  To put this more bluntly, I close the words of the Angel Eyes character in Mr. Leone's film.   "Two people can dig a lot quicker than one.  Dig."   

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