Haivision CMO Peter Maag Brings Business Acumen to the Digital Signage Model
NAME: Peter Maag
TITLE: Chief Marketing Officer
OBJECTIVE: From dreams of Formula 1 engineering came Maag’s interest in the cross-section of design and technology.
SCN: At what point did you realize that you were destined for a career in technology?
Peter Maag: I really wanted to design F1 racecars. But, I was dragged into C programming for computer graphics as my first job at Matrox. They realized pretty quickly that I couldn’t program, and moved me to product management after a few months. The rest is history. Bringing together encoding, IP video, and digital signage, Haivision actually builds directly on my experiences in computer graphics, video, and telecom networking.
Maag notes that Haivision is unique in being able to address the diverse media needs of an organization. Its digital signage product, CoolSign, pictured here in use at Purdue University, is supported by Furnace, an IP video distribution platform.
SCN: What one element of your MBA training would be most beneficial for AV business owners to apply every day?
PM: Understanding your markets is critical. Pick your high-value comfort zones and focus. Haivision has succeeded through market segmentation and understanding. If you can’t communicate high-value propositions in the language of your audience, you are done. The worst business plan reads, “If I only get two percent of the market, we’ll be rich.” You need to focus and excel. If you get dragged around outside of your focus area, you are done.
SCN: Where do you see digital signage going in the next five years?
PM: Digital signage—what is that? I feel it is one element of the way organizations speak to their employees and customers. Such communication isn’t limited to screens on walls or in kiosks. Convergence of media across all platforms will be the battle cry. Companies that will succeed recognize this and establish cross-platform media fundamentals.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge for AV integrators seeking to grow their business with digital signage?
PM: Integrators need a reliable supplier that is focused on reducing the mundane challenges that affect most deployments. They need to seek consistency and have clear demarcations on where to focus on adding value. To achieve repeatable signage victories, an integrator needs to source a consistent platform and put forward a clear content plan for their clients to execute.
Kirsten Nelson is editor of SCN.