Rediscovering the clarity of audio


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John Comacchio, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Teknion

Having been a teenager in an era when tablets were stone, screens kept the bugs out of the house, a keyboard was a Moog Synthesizer, Zoom was a half-hour educational television program on PBS, and the telephone was so cherished that it had its own little table in the hallway, life was all about a highly engaging conversation--yes, the spoken word.

Then, after centuries of talk, communication began to evolve. We witnessed the rise of emailing, texting, social messaging, group chat and video conferencing. Through these communication platforms, we found a digital way to utilize the four main types of communication that we use on a daily basis: verbal, nonverbal, written, and visual. In short order we not only became adept at this, we also became dependent on it.

During the past year, communication technologies have played a crucial role in keeping all of us connected and functioning in a time of pandemic lockdowns and self-isolation. Group chat and social messaging distracted us, emails that didn’t need answers consumed our time, video calls kept us tethered to our computer screen--and somehow always obligated to do just one more...just one more!





I will be the first to admit that my productivity and ability to get things done on any given day is fully reliant on all of these communication platforms being close at hand and readily available; but, I do still feel deep respect and admiration for audio. Audio communication is any form of transmission that is based on hearing. In many of our daily interactions, there is not much to be gained by adding video when all you need to do is talk to someone.

So, contemplate making that last meeting a group audio call instead of video. Answer a colleague’s text or email with a phone call. Make your morning one-on-one meeting an audio walking meeting, getting you both off the screen and outside.

Consider this--sometimes you might even be able to focus better if you are not trying to look ten people in the eye at once!



SAP AG - Teknion Case Study

John Comacchio

Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Teknion


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