InfoComm Roundtable: What's Your Disaster Plan?

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Although it may be receding in the memory of the public at large, Hurricane Sandy is still front and center in the minds of many business owners, especially those in the North East. Many who were affected are still struggling to get their feet back on the ground, and those that weren’t are anxious to ensure that the next time disaster strikes, they’re prepared.

It was with this backdrop, and with the threat a potentially crippling blizzard looming, that InfoComm’s New York Roundtable convened on Thursday, February 7, with a special presentation on disaster preparedness and recovery by James Bowman, president and CEO of SBS Group.

The event, sponsored by Cisco, Aurora, Digital Projection, Kramer, Chief, Media Vision, Mediasite, and FSR was well attended by a wide range of integrators and manufacturers. The data that Bowman presented to the group served as a wakeup call. Noting that disasters can come in many forms—not just hurricanes—he divulged that 66 percent of businesses still do not have a disaster recovery plan. The average business loses $48,000 per hour during down time, only ten percent of companies without disaster recovery plans survive, and 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster.

After an in-depth presentation on what disaster preparedness and recovery looks like, the floor was opened up to a roundtable discussion, allowing the industry insiders in attendance to discuss the state of the pro AV industry and the greatest challenges it currently faces.

The main concerns that arose during this discussion were shrinking margins, attracting young people to careers in AV, educating the end-user, the rising cost of certifications (notably, InfoComm has lowered the cost of certifications), and a fear of where the jobs in the industry will be five years down the road.

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