18 “Holes” with Synnex

18 "Holes" with Synnex

AV Pros have taken over Greenville, SC, for the 2018 Synnex Strategic Partner Summit. The Summit, held annually, is a gathering of Synnex employees, partners, and customers mixing business and pleasure. Over the three-day event, attendees learn the about Synnex’s VisualSolv business, best practices for going to market with new technologies, and get to network at the BMW Charity Pro-AM presented by Synnex.

“This is a fun event for our customers, vendor partners, and the Synnex team,” said Sandi Stambaugh, vice president, product management, Synnex. “It’s important for us to come together at events where networking and collaboration are the primary focus—and where we can discuss creative ideas to help propel the industry forward.”

At the Summit, SCN asked a variety of industry experts where they see a “hole” in the industry, and, just like the BMW Charity Pro-AM, we’re going for 18. Here’s what they had to say about upcoming opportunities in the pro AV industry:

Hole 1: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“We need to start talking about AI and how that comes together with the pro AV industry. Machine learning and knowledge-based learning will be the next wave for us.”

—Gary Palenbaum, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Synnex

Hole 2: Talent

“Our industry is struggling with having an available resource when we want to grow. Right now, the average NSCA member has seven open positions, and more people are retiring than coming into the industry. We need to actively recruit young people out of STEM colleges and IT programs, and welcome them into the fold.”

Chuck Wilson, Executive Director, NSCA

Hole 3: Meeting Room Space

“One of the biggest holes is meeting room spaces. If you look at the number in the country and the tech in those rooms, it’s a huge opportunity for the industry to update because the way we work has changed. The total number of possibilities is very large and LG is participating with that space with many solutions. We’ve partnered with companies like Cisco and Zoom. LG has created unique form sizes to fit the meeting space with video and data at the same time—like the LG UH5C and Cisco Room Kit—it’s like hitting the easy button.”

Clark Brown, Vice President of Sales, LG

Synnex's Dave Strickland on Hole 18 at the BMW Charity Pro-AM Presented by Synnex.

Synnex's Dave Strickland on Hole 18 at the BMW Charity Pro-AM Presented by Synnex.

Hole 4: Speed to Market

“We tend to take our time in this industry, whether it’s engineering or movement into new tech. We’re a process-driven industry, and we make things complicated because they’re cool and we can make them do interesting things. But that doesn’t always match what the client wants. Sometimes, we need to make things that are simple, easy to use, and get them on the market quickly.”

—Michael Boettcher, CEO—New Era PA, New Era Technology

Hole 5: Partnerships

“We need to create more sustainable partnerships. We’re encouraging our members to team up with companies like Synnex and the customers they represent.”

Thomas Roberts, Executive Director, PSNI

Hole 6: AV-as-a-Service (AVaaS)

Jeff Irvin, Mike Boettcher, and Jim Scalise.

Jeff Irvin, Mike Boettcher, and Jim Scalise.

“Not a lot of people are grasping the concept of AVaaS, but, once people figure it out, it’s going to be huge. We have to get out of the mindset of traditional thinking in terms of line items.”

Brad T. Kirby, Vice President of Operations, Interactive Solutions

Hole 7: Going Global

“More and more enterprise customers need global support. As the world shrinks, we need to grow our footprint as an industry, and have a more global presence. We also need performance products and partners to rely on.”

Tommy Plumer, Vice President of Sales, Synnex

Hole 8: Selling Styles

“We need people that can capably sell monitoring and service contracts. Most of the integration sales professionals and designers aren’t comfortable with that yet—it’s a different style of selling.”

Mark Gottwig, President, Delta Systems Integration, Inc.

Hole 9: Lack of Standards

“The current lack of standards makes it a challenge for uniformity with employees and training. We need more training so we can produce defined career pathways and train talent up.”

Dale Gayman, President, CCS Presentation Systems—Indiana and Kentucky

Hole 10: Whiteboarding and Software

“There is tremendous potential with software and whiteboarding, and ViewSonic wants to own the whiteboarding space. We created myViewBoard platform, which addresses the gap of casting data—which we do through the internet to get around complex networks. We also introduced a feature called “throw” which allows mobile content to go directly to the whiteboard for better collaboration.

—Jason Websiter, Director of Sales, Education, ViewSonic

Hole 11: Mass Notifications

“We need to make more people aware of mass notification systems and putting displays in public. Right now, if there’s a fire, you see a flashing light. Imagine how much the experience would be improved if everyone was using displays to communicate critical emergency information.”

Doug Crossland, Distribution Sales Manager, Leyard and Planar

Doug Crossland discusses Leyard and Planar solutions during a

Doug Crossland discusses Leyard and Planar solutions during a

Hole 12: Adopting Change

“With technology changing so much, we have an opportunity to approach things in a different fashion. We don’t need to stay old school and do things the way we’ve always done them. Now is the perfect opportunity to change things up a bit.”

—Jim Scalise, General Manager, Avidex

Hole 13: Merging AV and IT

“We need to master the execution of merging AV and IT—they’re two unique industries that have to get bundled together to truly serve our industries well. We need to build, support, and supply complete systems and solutions that work well for both sides of the fence.”

—Kent Cawthorne, Vice President of Sales, Vaddio

Hole 14: Emergency Communications

“With the unfortunate growth of mass shootings, schools are implementing shooter detection systems. It’s a niche market, but it is a growth opportunity for AV. All of these detection systems require security cameras, video monitoring, and command and control centers.”

—Jason Staples, Project Administrator, Fisk Electric

Hole 15: Maximizing ROI

“Right now, there is a hole in the industry in terms of maximizing ROI. When you calculate and measure your ROI, you’re setting yourself up for success. NEC has a team of experts and products that can assist with this.”

Maggie Austin, Account Manager, Channel Sales, NEC Display

CDW's Matt Troka finishing up his round of golf at the BMW Charity Pro-AM presented by Synnex.

CDW's Matt Troka finishing up his round of golf at the BMW Charity Pro-AM presented by Synnex.

Hole 16: Recurring Revenue

“We are quickly moving toward recurring revenue models and I think we’re not really addressing that yet. The shift is coming and we need to prepare ourselves for that.”

—Ned Coleman, President, CEO, Smarter Systems

Hole 17: Professional Sales Education

“We have an opportunity in terms of professional sales. Too often, the people in sales have come up through the technical side of the business, and lack the skills to go wide in an enterprise account. We need more training and education for this side of the business.”

—Jeff Irvin, Principal, Spinitar

Hole 18: Big Data

“We need to start leveraging the data we have. Often companies have a plethora of big data, but don’t know how to use it. The right data needs to be pulled, and then we can leverage it in an individual way.

—Sandi Stambaugh, Vice President, Product Management, Synnex

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (opens in new tab)(SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine (opens in new tab), both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV (opens in new tab), where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage (opens in new tab), an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.

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