During Microsoft Ignite 2022, video conferencing device vendor DTEN announced it was pursuing Microsoft Teams Certification for some of its devices (see the press release). In another press release fielded after Ignite, DTEN provided additional product information.
DTEN Product Announcements
The new DTEN D7X series products will run Microsoft Teams or Zoom (“and more” per the press release), will be available in Android and Windows variants, and will come in 55” and 75” sizes.
In addition to supporting Microsoft Teams and Zoom, DTEN will add several other coveted features, including:
- A more responsive touch screen compared to previous generations
- A 4K camera with a 129-degree Field of View
- Single USB-C cable BYOD support, touchback control, laptop power, and HDMI content ingest (wired content input)
- Sound quality improvements via a 15-mic array that has been re-aimed and optimized
- An HDMI output to support a second display
- Additional USB ports for “additional devices”
Teams-support aside, we’re pleased to see DTEN take its touch, video, and audio performance up a notch. We also like the single-cable BYOD support as this simplifies the workflow for meeting room users.
Why is DTEN’s Future Support for Microsoft Teams Such a Big Deal?
Many vendors already offer Teams-certified devices, so why is this announcement so interesting? Great question.
Because since its inception, DTEN’s claim to fame has been its tight relationship with Zoom and its line of cost-effective, Zoom-only, mostly touch-capable, meeting room and personal video conferencing solutions.
Yes – the name DTEN was synonymous with Zoom. Zoom’s founder and CEO Eric Yuan is apparently a friend of DTEN’s founder Wei Liu, and Zoom has even invested in DTEN.
This announcement makes DTEN the second video conferencing device company to deviate from its all-Zoom stance. The first to make the shift was Neat, a video device company that started out as a Zoom only play, but in 2021 announced its intention to also support Microsoft teams. As of March 2022, Neat offers both Zoom- and Microsoft Teams-certified solutions (see Neat’s blog).
Recon Research Comments and Opinions
Let’s start here. We were not surprised by any of these announcements (first Neat, then Cisco, and most recently DTEN).
Today’s reality is that that many (most) enterprises use more than one UC or video conferencing platform. Even companies that have “standardized” on one platform (Cisco, Google, Teams, Zoom, etc.) need to communicate with clients, prospects, partners, and others on other platforms.
Given this, it makes perfect sense for customers to choose meeting room devices that support multiple calling platforms. And in response, it makes sense for the original single-platform vendors (e.g., Cisco, DTEN, and Neat) to join the ranks of the multi-platform vendors (e.g., Logitech, Poly, Yealink, etc.).
So, who wins and who loses from this DTEN’s announcement?
- DTEN wins because it will be able to compete against other vendors in Microsoft Teams-centric accounts.
- Other Microsoft Teams video device vendors lose because they will soon have to compete against yet another vendor for Teams deals.
- End-user customers win because they now have a portfolio of additional devices to choose from for their Microsoft Teams Rooms.
- Microsoft wins because the universe of Teams-capable meeting room devices, and especially touch-display solutions, has expanded.
- Zoom loses because DTEN was the last Zoom-only device vendor on the market.
The takeaway here is that customers prefer meeting room solutions that offer them platform flexibility, and those customers are expressing their opinions with their purchase orders.
To be clear – DTEN’s decision to become a multi-platform vendor was the right one. Our only real question is … what took you so long?