The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly rearranged the scene for standards organizations such as ONVIF to conduct our business as we were used to. Like many others, we’ve made the decision to cancel meetings – such as our quarterly All Committee face-to-face and Developers’ Plugfests, and have seen trade shows postponed and many other events rescheduled. The way we all connect and collaborate has been partially disrupted, as the whole idea of an industry gathering together to innovate and create standards has been challenged.
ONVIF is used to collaborating in the virtual space and in fact most of the work is carried out in frequent meetings arranged over the internet. Collaboration platforms have long since been “cloud based” which allows for progress despite the challenges we currently face.
Despite the continued progress in the virtual space, the face-to-face meetings are an important component for the members of ONVIF to come together, discuss and interact. We are of course affected by the current situation and realize that we need to adapt to the new order and make sure we can continue to contribute standards to the industry.
While it’s easy to become discouraged in times such as these we need to place greater emphasis on making the virtual meetings be as valuable and dynamic as they possibly can. To our advantage is that we all know each other from previous face-to-face meetings which gives us the ability to pick up the nuances in discussions and all work towards the objective of reaching consensus in the sometimes very complex technical discussions that form the base of the development of the specifications.
Having said all that, we’re finding the lack of physical connection is placing a greater emphasis on the importance of it. We are not strangers to working remotely from each other – which is why we rely so heavily on those few times a year we can gather in the same place. In some cases, we meet someone new to ONVIF that we have interacted with over virtual meeting space for some time, but never met face-to-face.
When an industry of competitors comes together in a collaborative environment such as what ONVIF has created, it means positive things for the industry, and this must not be lost during this time of isolation. This is a challenge, but we will get through this and find opportunities to maintain the momentum and make sure we can restore and grow collaboration in the future. We look forward to the day we can see our members and industry partners in person once again. Until then, we’ll stay safe and keep moving forward.