Name: Jatan Shah
Position: Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Technology Officer
Overtime: Shah has an engineering background and pursued management education over the course of his career. A father of two, he has always been attracted to innovation and technology. He has a passion for special needs education and recently received a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), with an emphasis on autism. In his spare time, he enjoys all things music, including playing the guitar.
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
JATAN SHAH: I am the chief operating and technology officer for QSC, and I oversee product strategy and development, operations, finance, and IT functions, working closely with our executive team on business strategy development and execution.v
SCN: How long have you been in this position?
JS: I joined QSC as the chief financial officer in 2010. Since then, I have taken on various roles, including interim responsibilities in sales and business expansion efforts in emerging markets including China and India. In 2018, I assumed the role of chief technology officer and chief operating officer.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
JS: I started my career in the building systems sector, specifically in the HVAC industry, working for Carrier Corp. [part of UTC, a Fortune 100 company]. From there, I transitioned to management consulting at McKinsey & Company, where I consulted and worked closely with more than 25 companies over a period of five years. The combination of my work in the building systems industry and my consulting experience prepared me for the ambiguity, complexity, and large transformational challenges in our audio, video, and control (AV&C) business. It has also given me the foundation to help lead and guide our business growth and development.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
JS: We are focused on recovery efforts through COVID-19, while continuing to realize QSC’s long-term technology aspirations as a leading technology solutions provider in the AV industry. Whether it’s offering industry-first technologies, developing international strategies to increase our footprint, or entering new markets, our goal is to help our customers deliver exceptional experiences.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?
JS: As a company, our decisions are based on a long-term perspective, and while COVID-19 makes it necessary to manage a short-term crisis, we have not lost focus on our vision. Our commitment is, and will always be, about meeting the needs of our customers, partners, and employees. QSC has a history of thriving through tough situations, and I believe that we will thrive through this crisis.
SCN: Where do you see the pro audio market heading?
JS: I see overall global market growth being driven by an increased societal and professional need to connect, engage, and collaborate, and by the continued advancement in network infrastructures, wireless technologies, and artificial intelligence.
The impact of COVID-19 has propelled a rapid adoption of videoconferencing and collaboration. It’s safe to say that capabilities relating to videoconferencing and collaboration have become table stakes. However, the ways in which employees work have drastically changed—and will continue to change, especially as more companies get back into the office environment. With that, we’ll see a large change in workspace planning and a shift toward more flexible spaces. We’ll also see more opportunity and growth in sectors beyond corporate, such as education with distance learning and healthcare with telemedicine.
In terms of infrastructure, IT administrators have seen an unprecedented increase in audio, video, and data traffic through their networks. Additionally, as more companies adopt unified communication platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, these administrators are searching for the right infrastructure solution that will allow them to deploy their UC platform of choice into every space, including those challenging spaces like large boardrooms, divisible rooms, all-hands spaces, and training rooms. These rooms were complex before the COVID-19 pandemic (additional microphones, vocal reinforcement, room combining, etc.), but layering in the additional requirements from COVID-19 will require a robust infrastructure tool like Q-SYS to bind the tricky nuances of these rooms together in a way that remains fully accessible and manageable by the IT administrator.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from QSC?
JS: Our efforts will focus on strengthening and developing the Q-SYS Ecosystem and its capabilities. It was architected to deliver audio, video, and control capabilities in one native solution, while maintaining the bedrock design principles of software-based scalability, flexibility, and capability. With a software-based approach, we have been able to continually offer new features to accommodate our customers’ growing and ever-changing requirements. It has also allowed us to partner with some leading-edge companies to bolster integration capabilities, including our recent announcement about joining the Microsoft Teams Device Certification Program. This agreement will help empower effective meetings and collaboration with Microsoft Teams Rooms in larger, more complex room types.
Our engagement with our partners and the technology community is a critical part of the Q-SYS Ecosystem. We are continually looking to develop long-term relationships with the community to not only proliferate Q-SYS, but to foster the community and develop additional ways for Q-SYS to easily integrate with virtually any third-party peripheral on the market without external control processors.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
JS: Our differentiation in the pro AV market is our integrated technology and our software-based approach to audio, video, and control. We believe it’s important for systems contractors to take full advantage of our award-winning free training programs, including a full portfolio of remote training options, to enhance their knowledge of QSC technology and our unique approach to simplified integration. We also highly encourage systems integrators to reach our knowledgeable sales teams, who are always happy and willing to walk systems integrators through our ecosystem.
In addition, as our industry moves to the next phase, we see a real value in systems integrators taking advantage of managed service capabilities and adding that to their portfolio of services. This is where they will start to generate more consistent revenue while offering more lifetime value to their customers.