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Crestron’s Klein Shares Roadmap at NEXT 2020

Randy Klein at Crestron NEXT
(Image credit: Crestron)

If you weren't paying attention to the name that flashed at the beginning of the opening ceremony of Crestron NEXT 2020, on Tuesday, September 14, you would have thought Crestron hired a new guy, a funny guy wearing a shirt reminiscent of Crestron blue. And he was funny, and he was hired, but to introduce people and sessions.

Comedian and actor Jason Salmon introduced Crestron's CEO and president, Randy Klein, who is celebrating 30 years at Crestron.

Related: The Technology Manager's Guide to Conference Rooms

Drawing on its rich history of innovating through challenging times, Klein said, "This pandemic is no exception; these past several months, we have been very busy. In March, literally overnight, we transformed our entire company—thousands of employees around the world—to a remote workplace. Every part of our company, then and now continues to serve our customers almost completely transparent, not a single beat missed."

Addressing the supply chain issue that has become a problem for some manufacturer's products, Klein said, "Our order entry department is very busy too, processing over 1,500 orders per day. Our shelves are full. We have most everything—nearly 100 percent of our products are in stock and ready to ship anywhere in the world within 48 hours."

Perhaps because of a combination of not being able to connect face-to-face due to the pandemic, and the rolling innovation and deployment of new Crestron solutions since March, the Klein tipped his hat to more of the company's roadmap than ever before.

For a company that, on the surface, is widely recognized for its touchpanels, it's got to be a hard pill to swallow to embrace touchless environments. But that he did.

"Now more than ever, our focus is on the future," Klein said. "The use of personal devices is more important than ever, because what do you trust and use more than your own device?"

Klein highlighted some of Crestron's personal device and automated touchless product offerings, which included some that are currently available, some that are being released, and others that are still under development.

"Imagine walking into a room, and through the magic of facial recognition, the room knows who you are, who's going to the meeting, and sets it up automatically,” Klein said. “Imagine taking control with your voice like you've never experienced before.”

Crestron's commitment to creating touch-free environments was clear as Klein passionately shared even more solutions. "Touch-free rooms with wireless presentation and occupancy sensors, personal device integration with rooms, duplicate the room screen on your own personal device, gesture control: wave your hand in front of screen to trigger an action,” he said. “RFID: simply swipe a badge in front of screen and you're ready to begin; anti-microbial coatings on touchpanels and cables; and room-based occupancy alerts to ensure social distancing."

Klein emphasized: "We are in the room, building, and enterprise business."

Embracing the reality of the time we live in, and the likelihood that "work from anywhere" will continue long after the pandemic has ended, Klein articulated what could help define the future work environment. He said, "The new modern workplace will become more of a meeting place, and the home will evolve to become more of a workplace."

Available in June this year, Crestron launched HomeTime, a home unified communications solution.

He reflected on the months since the pandemic changed the world. "We've learned and grown so much. The sense of community that we've developed is incredible. These past few months have forced us to think differently.

"Please always know we are here for you. We are committed to bringing you value and opportunity to help grow your business and address the future needs of our changing world."