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EXECUTIVE Q&A: Growth Operation - AvNetwork.com

EXECUTIVE Q&A: Growth Operation

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NAME: Alan Stoddard
COMPANY: AMX
TITLE: Vice President, Sales
BACKGROUND: Stoddard's broad-ranging experience spans sales, IT, finance, marketing, and product management.
THE CHALLENGE: Like the market, AMX has evolved over the 25 years that it's been in business, and he hopes to help get the word out about how much the company has changed.

SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail?

Alan Stoddard: As vice president of sales for AMX, I oversee the company's residential and commercial sales operations throughout the U.S., as well as our customer service and support organization. I am ultimately responsible for driving AMX's market share and revenue growth in the U.S. while providing the best possible pre- and post-sales support to our dealers, manufacturer representatives, and end users. At the end of the day, my focus is on building relationships with these key stakeholders and on supporting AMX's sales channel by delivering the resources, training, and tools they need to achieve AMX's aggressive growth targets.

SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?

AS: In the short term, I am spending much of my time in the field getting to know my sales team, as well as our dealers and end-users. Longer term, I hope to help build upon the technical skill set of our channel as the market continues its evolution towards converged, network-based solutions. Additionally, I will work with our product development group to ensure AMX continues to design and deliver targeted solutions for our 14 vertical markets, which span business, education, government, and residential, just to name a few.

By offering best-in-breed products, providing world-class support, and simplifying how dealers buy, sell, program, and install our products, AMX has established a reputation as an industry leader committed to helping its customers succeed, and I look forward to working with the AMX sales force and dealer base to grow AMX's business even further.

SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

AS: Challenges are really opportunities, and one large opportunity I see for myself is to help get the word out about how much AMX has changed as an organization over the 25 years that we have been in business. Like the market, we as a company have evolved and will undoubtedly continue to evolve in the future. As this occurs, it is essential to re-educate AMX stakeholders on who we are and what we are about. For example, for the last five years we have been focused on simplifying the human interaction with technology. This includes making it easier to sell and install AMX solutions, as well as use them.

SCN: Where do you see your market heading?

AS: I am really excited to join AMX during this pivotal time of transition as the market moves towards network-centric, standards-based, converged systems. In support of these changes, AMX has accelerated the production of plug-and-play systems based on standard designs, which are significantly easier to configure and therefore much more convenient and cost effective for our dealers and end users. Through our InConcert and Device Discovery Partner Programs, AMX is working with more than 80 manufacturers to simplify the integration and maintenance of control systems by automatically recognizing when components are removed and new devices are added-a very significant value-add.

SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from AMX?
AS: We will build on our recent acquisitions of companies like AutoPatch and Endeleo by continuing to add synergistic product lines to our portfolio that align with our overall strategy of simplifying the control of assets, devices, and content.

While device control has been AMX's longstanding strength, the addition of new product families-such as AutoPatch Matrix Switching, Endeleo Distributed Media, Resource Management Suite (RMS), and Matrix Distributed Audio-has positioned AMX as a leader in asset and content management solutions. Today, AMX is delivering targeted, field-tested, end-to-end solutions that help businesses maximize their investment in people, technology, facilities, and IPR.

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from AMX's offerings?

AS: Our research tells us that most integrators spend 80 percent of their time making technology work, which reduces the amount of time they can spend with their customers discussing their unique needs and goals. From our VisualArchitect programming software and RMS applications to our System Design Libraries, AMX has and will continue to invest significant resources in developing software and marketing tools that enable our dealers to do more in less time. Dealers who take advantage of these resources will reach a whole new level of success, which is a win-win for the entire value chain.

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