The seeds of Stem were planted by the realization that there was something missing in the audio conferencing industry. We started by taking a look at the technology people use in their day-to-day life and how they use it. We found that the simplicity and intuitiveness of consumer devices was not present in audio products for the B2B world.
We determined that a complete solution needs to be:
- Scalable– meaning that a solution is capable of being easily expanded or upgraded on-demand to meet rapidly changing needs.
- Reliable– something you can count on based on consistently good quality and performance time and time again
- Controllable– able to regulate or guide the system through an easily accessible platform.
- Intuitive– able to be easily learned and understood.
- Simple– easy to use and operate without difficulty.
- Flexible– able to be easily modified to adapt to new environments, circumstances, or conditions.
We asked. You answered.
Instead of gathering a group of engineers together to decide what the next best speakerphone is, we decided to go on a global tour and ask the people what they feel is missing. After surveying thousands of everyday users, IT professionals, consultants, designers, and architects, we identified six challenges common to almost every individual we met with:
#1 Designing a room
The first pain we discovered was that it was very difficult and time-consuming to spec an environment properly. Typically, to determine the audio endpoints for an environment you would have to guess or go back and forth with someone to try and estimate how many products you think you would need.
#2 Difficulty of Installation
After receiving all the products that you think will get the job done comes the frustrating installation process full of hours of wiring, programming, and headaches.
#3 Testing a Room
Once everything is plugged in, programmed, and powered on, then you have to walk around the room to test the audio or if you got lucky and someone was free, you could phone a friend to test the audio from the far-end. Everybody has a different opinion on what a “good” room sounds like so making sure the room sounded objectively “good” was a feat in itself.
#4 Lack of Customization
Another hindrance was the lack of customization. Typical conferencing equipment is configured for one environment and one purpose. Most often you find various audio conferencing equipment in the room where the set up is made up of many different parts, like a Frankenstein fix, rather than being able to have matching solutions in every room.
After getting every room running it is up to the IT professionals who have to deal with managing and trying to maintain all of those different systems (which is a nightmare). It is extremely difficult to manage and ensure reliability on those crazy installations on a day-to-day basis.
Introducing new technology and trying to train people to actually use it, when you know the likelihood of them actually using it is slim to none, can be frustrating. Even though you put together a great training meeting, usually the more technical training that is involved the less use the technology gets.
Stem Audio – The Conference Room Ecosystem
After hearing what the people had to say, we quickly realized the impossibility of delivering one device that could solve all these problems. That was how the ecosystem was born. Created from identifying individual solutions for each common pain and before we knew it we had an ecosystem in our hands.
Here’s how Stem solved those six challenges:
What did we do with that information?
The building blocks of the ecosystem include Table, Wall, Ceiling, Control, and Hub. Each product is location optimized to create an exceptional audio conferencing experience. The three audio units can be controlled via the Stem Control and communicate to work as one ecosystem through Hub. The flexibility allows you to mix and match units within the same room for a completely customized conferencing experience.
The seeds of our company were planted by the people – all we did was take those seeds and grow them into Stem Audio: The Conference Room Ecosystem.