We are no longer a cottage industryIn more than 25 years as a manufacturer’s representative in the AV industry, I have seen our market go from slide machines, to more complex display with control, to the present hybrid AV/IT systems our customers are currently demanding. Those systems may begin as an AV project, but often demand some voice/data/network capabilities. We are now playing in a much larger world, no longer a cottage industry, and we cannot act like it.
How can an integrator stay relevant in this new landscape?
- Utilize training. From manufacturers and their representatives to stay up with the latest products, and how they integrate into the larger ecosystem they will live – including networks, UC, cloud connections and videoconferencing. Your manufacturer’s representative can train you on multiple synergistic lines of equipment, often on the cutting edge of new technology. Certify your people. Variations of CTS are important, and videoconferencing and control companies offer a range of certifications. The AV/IT courses at Infocomm this year are a perfect example, from basic networking and networked AV systems courses to a tough 3 day training and certification for network pro’s.
- Verify your business. The new ANSI/INFOCOMM 10-2013, Audiovisual Systems Performance Verification provides what InfoComm calls a comprehensive, systematic, and practical approach to verifying performance of AV systems.
- Inform yourself. When you begin to address a customer’s needs, are you aware of how they are using Collaboration? Unified Communications? Videoconferencing? Cloud backup and storage? Streaming video? Talk to your rep, ask what they know. All these items impact what customers want from their AV systems, and how future AV will be designed. Some of the things we do every day will be obsolete in a few years, others we have never heard of will be our core business.
We at the Enright Company can actually help there. We are well trained in not only our products and their function, but in the market trends and systems with which they co-exist. Among the products we carry are items that handle UC, voice/video, network and cloud streaming, wireless and networked collaboration, cloud based videoconferencing, and much more. We are always happy to spend some time discussing how these technologies will integrate into your future business.