Crestron devices with native Zoom videoconferencing continue to provide optimum solutions for companies and campuses
March 13, 2023 - In 2017 — well before the pandemic made Zoom® software one of the most familiar names in videoconferencing tools — Crestron began developing devices that ran the platform natively. In June of that year, Crestron announced that the company would help "simplify the Zoom Room® experience by offering an integrated solution for AV presentation, conferencing, and collaboration with Crestron Mercury® conferencing system."
Jeff Fox, the strategic alliances marketing lead at Zoom, explains that "Zoom's customers were already using — and continue to seek out — hardware solutions from Crestron." The reasons behind that customer need were obvious to Fox. "Crestron is one of the most recognizable names in the communications and AV world: They provide great offerings from an established brand with global availability. Partnering with them was an easy choice."
Zoom Certified Hardware Solutions
The partnership has expanded since, becoming native to more devices for larger spaces. "Zoom is constantly evolving its offerings to meet the changing demands of IT decision makers, facilities managers, and end-users," says Fox. "Crestron works closely with Zoom to support and innovate on those changing demands. It's a perfect strategic alliance that provides amazing solutions."
Among those developments: The 2018 addition of the Crestron TSW Touch Screen line to the partnership, which integrated the entire Crestron ecosystem of control, including DM NVX® AV-over-IP, AV, fully integrated-audio, lighting, and shades with the native Zoom Rooms experience" and, in 2019, the introduction of Crestron Flex devices delivering native Zoom Rooms software.
All of these devices needed to meet certain requirements to become "Zoom approved." "Zoom has a well-established certification and testing program," says Fox. "It covers specific use cases, with unique testing parameters for each area. It involves conforming to exact specifications and testing through third-party labs. Only products that meet these rigid standards receive the Zoom Certified Hardware badge."
Real-World Applications for Crestron and Zoom at USC
The partnership is creating powerful solutions in real-world applications. Joe Way, the director of learning environments for the University of Southern California, has had terrific success deploying Crestron gear with native Zoom software on the USC Campus, as he and his colleague, Adjunct Associate Professor Cara Esposito, explain in the video.
The relationship continues to grow and evolve — driven in part by the pandemic and then by the move to hybrid work and learning models for a great many companies and campuses. "The pandemic grew all interactions over Zoom, especially the need for more at-home and personal Zoom Rooms solutions," Fox explains.
"Crestron has stayed in step with those evolving needs," he adds, further noting that the two companies remain in daily contact: "There is no end to the evolution of communications and collaboration. Zoom and Crestron will continue to work closely together, innovating and doing what we do best: making customers happy and connected."