Jan Werder, head of product management at Guntermann & Drunck, discusses the challenges facing the company’s R&D output, and what the company has in store for IBC 2023.
What impact has the pandemic and its continuing aftereffects had on the company’s approach to R&D and product development?
One of the few things that the pandemic did not change much for us is our approach to R&D and product development. During the pandemic, our main goal was to keep teamwork and cooperation vivid. However, opportunities for remote work have been leveraged, integrated and well-established into our work processes.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing in R&D and product development/deployment in the current landscape?
The major effects of the pandemic we are currently facing are the supply chain crisis and chip shortages. It has caused problems purchasing complementary products which led to some delays in production and challenges in R&D.
When parts and materials became temporarily or even terminally unavailable, we had to find ways to keep things going in R&D. Fortunately, we were able to find solutions in certain redesigns and replacement strategies, but never to the disadvantage of our products. We have met the challenges across departments and found ways to maintain our delivery capability and product quality at our high level.
Where do you see the most opportune areas for innovation in your area of the market, and what tech/solutions will drive that development?
The main areas of our development are features concerning usability, cyber security, and preventive safety in KVM installations. Usability is always key when it comes to our products because ultimately it is the people that affect successful operations.
Cyber security is a continuing topic in R&D as we need to be up-to-date for our customers, enabling them to build rock-solid IT infrastructures with our KVM solutions. To add to this, failsafe solutions with redundancy options will be developed further to make our KVM systems even more reliable. In an almost completely digitised world, fail-safety and reliability of all IT components are key drivers.
What are you working on currently that excites you as a product team, and what can we expect to see at IBC 2023?
We have recently launched new variants to our high-performance VisionXS series that we will be bringing to Amsterdam. These support Power-over-Ethernet, dual head and [USB] Type-C. All high-performance KVM extenders are matrix-compatible and offer resolutions of up to 4K at 60 Hz and a broad range of new features for security and an optimal user experience.
Also, we will be showcasing our PersonalWorkplace-Controller, the product in our portfolio that unites the best of multi-viewing and KVM: displaying, arranging, and operating multiple sources on one monitor. This is a huge benefit to usability, as each controller is able to individually design their own workstation and operate it with just one mouse and one keyboard.