New Yamaha Division Responds To Commercial Market Growth

Buena Park, CA - Seeing much potential in the North American commercial audio and systems integration markets, Yamaha Corporation Japan has formed a company devoted solely to their development. Known as Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS), the new company will be led by Yoshi Doi, president, and Larry Italia, who has been appointed vice president and general manager of the venture. Doi also retains his role as president of Yamaha Corporation of America.

While Yamaha has already had tremendous impact on the North American systems integration market with its consoles, DSP products and loudspeakers, this move will place new emphasis on the unique practices of the installation business. Citing the obvious differences between this and the MI model which provided the basis for Yamaha's forays into new markets, Italia noted that the first step in tapping the promise of the commercial audio business is navigating the complex distribution, service and training programs required to bolster dealer relationships. "Under the new subsidiary company we are investing heavily to improve on all the things we've been doing in each of these areas," Italia said. "To do so is one of the main reasons to form the new company."

Official YCAS operations begin with the start of Yamaha's fiscal year on April 1, 2006. As a broad-based manufacturer, YCAS will divide its dealers into categories which include installation contracting, pro recording/post, and broadcast and touring sound/rental. "Due to our major market share in large-format consoles, touring and rental are key for us, but our most significant growth has been in installation contracting, and we are focusing there in particular," Italia reported.

YCAS will also be responsible for commercial audio sales in Canada, and Yamaha commercial audio staff in Canada will remain in place, reporting to the company's new headquarters in Buena Park, CA. Construction on the new YCAS facility on Yamaha's corporate campus is expected to be completed this summer, but because the company's training center is the top priority, classes may be offered as soon as next month.

YCAS will provide dedicated commercial audio technical and customer service departments, an on-site research and development and product training center, and systems engineering facilities along with test and measurement labs for speakers, including the Nexo product line which YCAS will continue to distribute in the U.S. and Canada. A significant expansion of staff, marketing resources, warehouse facilities, inventory control, operational capabilities and customer service will be realized at the new corporate headquarters in order to focus on all commercial audio market segments.

YCAS' relationship with Nexo is indicative of the "complete package" approach commonly offered in systems integration. "It shows that we intend to be a full-line supplier to the industry," Italia said. "If we see some area we need to cover that may be outside our core competencies, or where it makes more sense financially to do so, we will acquire, invest in, or become a distributor for a third-party company."

YCAS made another distribution announcement last month. The company is now exclusive distribuor of the AVY 16-ES from AuviTran, an expansion card compatible with Nexo products. The 16 channel In/Out AVY16-ES is compatible with a wide range of Yamaha digital mixers (PM1D, PM5D, M7CL, DM and 0 Series) and DSP engines (DME24N/64N), and provides a simple solution to link Yamaha digital mixing consoles with NEXO network processing systems.

"The increased presence of network-compatible products has given the contractor, system designer and sound reinforcement vendor more options to create seamless networked audio systems," stated Marc Lopez, product manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio. "Since our position is to support, rather than limit, those choices, Yamaha will continue to provide solutions for both the popular CobraNet and growing EtherSound platforms in the U.S."

Kirsten Nelson is a freelance content producer who translates the expertise and passion of technologists into the vernacular of an audience curious about their creations. Nelson has written about audio and video technology in all its permutations for almost 20 years; she was the editor of SCN for 17 years. Her experience in the commercial AV and acoustics design and integration market has also led her to develop presentation programs and events for AVIXA and SCN, deliver keynote speeches, and moderate and participate in panel discussions. In addition to technology, she also writes about motorcycles—she is a MotoGP super fan.