If 2020 didn’t teach us to plan for the unexpected, then the latter half of 2021 underscored that being able to adapt to a changing environment is key to success and maintaining one’s sanity. January 2022 began with new masks mandates. Thankfully as we head into April mandates are being lifted and companies are bringing more people into the office. The Big Return has begun.
The links to each of the 56 [plus 1] company road map articles is at the end of this article.
As part of our ongoing AVT Thought Leaders Series, we asked AV/IT companies to provide a rare insider's perspective into their roadmap for 2022. Below are a few snapshots.
Paul Krizan, product manager at Atlona cited 2022 as “the year where the AV industry makes very noticeable progress for the IT managers we increasingly serve.” Robin Hamerlinck, senior vice president, CIO at Shure warned that large IT initiatives and projects, however, will be more challenging. “At times in an IT project, progress is more effective when people can meet face to face,” she added. “My teams are missing whiteboards, group testing, and more—not just within IT, but also with our customers, when building solutions.”
Literally everyone in the world has been affected by supply chain issues in one form or another, and the AV industry hasn’t been immune. However, being part of a larger company with diverse brands and product offerings has its benefits. “As part of the Legrand|AV family, Chief can quickly overcome global fulfillment issues, providing integrators with complete AV solutions,” said Kathryn Gaskell, director of product management at Chief. “We are investing in our service delivery to mitigate challenges created by supply chain issues,” added Steve Durkee, director of Product Management at Chief.
Datapath’s CEO, Bjorn Krylander likened the pandemic period to the financial crisis of 2008. “The last two years of turmoil from the pandemic and the supply chain crisis have provided the opportunity to invest in new product development, new processes, and our staff—all to strengthen our customer relationships and thus our market position.”
Zoom punctuated the need for easy-to-use systems. “Post pandemic, collaboration solutions need to make the return to the office more comfortable and streamlined,” said Meghan Kennelly, director of global marketing and communication at Yamaha Unified Communications.
Forward-thinking companies have developed products for the new reality of hybrid. “The virtual studio will also be a focus of the Absen roadmap,” said Feifan Lu, product manager, at Absen. “This will not just be a display, but also a smart device built into your conference ecosystem.”
In the end, businesses only succeed if they listen to the needs of their customers and work at building relationships. “Sony’s B2B organization is working very closely with all of our customers and partners, with a strong emphasis on solving their pain points,” said Rich Ventura, vice president of B2B, Imaging Products and Solutions Professional Division at Sony Electronics.
The pandemic has catapulted the development of collaboration products and solutions that might have taken several more years to come to market. For many companies, a product roadmap drawn up at the end of 2019 has taken some unexpected turns.
56 AV/IT Company Roadmaps 2022