SYMCO Panel: Q&A with JPMorgan's Richard Wilkins

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Convergence, what have you done for me lately? 


A lot, evidently, but quantifying it is the hard part. And from what I hear on the AV streets, even with all this fancy new IP-based everything, those IT people are still a challenge to contend with on the client side.

So let’s get together and talk about it. Or “tawk” about it, in the local parlance, at the SYMCO Regional Technology Showcases in Boston, MA, and New York, NY, on October 14 and 16, respectively. But first, let's catch up with one of the panelists who will be joining me on the User Panel Discussion.

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Richard Wilkins

Meet Richard Wilkins, VP of Multimedia Implementation at JPMorgan Chase & Co:

Kirsten Nelson: Some technologists are born, others are made. When did you know you were a tech-head?


Richard Wilkins: I knew I was a tech-head when I was 15 and started taking apart my electrical music equipment to either fix or modify it.

What was the most surprising u-turn or detour you've seen occur in the technology landscape so far in your career?

For me, the most amazing things I have seen are the evolution of smart phone technology, and how quickly these devices are integrating into the business communication landscape.

What is most misunderstood about IT?

I believe the most misunderstood thing about IT is that IT is [not] creative.

Why is FaceTime so much easier than videoconferencing? How do you explain that to users?

The interface for the iPhone is far more intuitive than most UI’s developed for videoconferencing. The way the phone GUI “moves” and the extended time the average person uses the phone engrains how it operates into the user's mind. I believe that is why many GUI’s are attempting to move toward a similar UI experience. Anything that does not operate in a similar fashion can confuse the user and dissuade them from utilizing the technology. I also think the end user experience expectation is lower with a smart phone than a telepresence or videoconference room. When an end user sees the flat panel, the touch panel, and their HD camera image, they expect a far better experience than their hand held device, and most times the actual experience falls short of the expectation.

How do I explain this to users? Carefully, and with all the information I can provide succinctly.

What's the most common request you get from your users?

Videoconferencing, installed tomorrow! The users expectation on actual deployment of the technology and all that is involved is at times very unrealistic.

Free association: What do you think of when you hear "AV"?

Misunderstood and over simplified.

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