Engaged and Educated

Datapath’s Darin Crosby on Continually Connecting with Customers and Employees

Quick Bio

Name: Darin Crosby
Position: Global VP of Sales
Company: Datapath

SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
Darin Crosby:
I’m Datapath’s global vice president of sales. My primary mission is to develop an engaged, educated, and motivated global sales force capable of connecting customer problems with our solutions.

SCN: How long have you been at this position?
I have been in this position for just over two years.

SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
I have been in senior sales management for broadcast and AV technology companies for over 20 years—including joining smaller companies and building out teams to help the companies reach their next growth stage. The fit with Datapath has been “hand in glove”—it’s exactly where I want to be.

SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
The short term is easy: further accelerate Datapath’s growth by completing the development of our global sales and support infrastructure—that is, successfully breaking into new geographies, as well as expanding our field engineering depth across key AV verticals like command and control, security, signage, medical, etc. So, more of the same, you might say. I’ve certainly earned my air miles in this role, and I love it.

Longer term, I see myself taking on more of an advisory role within the broader AV and broadcast industries. I love the industry as much today as I ever have, so certainly wouldn’t dream of moving on. Joining the boards of some hungry start-ups might be a very rewarding next step.

SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
Without question, our greatest challenge is finding and cultivating great people. Being successful as a high-tech vendor requires speed of execution along with a great strategy—we always have more ideas than we have people to develop them.

Ensuring your people are in the right roles as they progress throughout their careers is another ongoing challenge. As new starters gain experience and skills, they want new challenges, and as an organization, if we don’t provide the challenges and opportunities they seek, they’ll be tempted to look for them elsewhere. Our job as managers is to be sure we can set a path and a future that remains exciting for the team.

SCN: Where do you see the AV market heading?
Wow…which angle should I touch on to answer this one? Certainly IP-centric technologies are being adopted and replacing AV-specific technologies in numerous areas. Think AV over IP, SMPTE-2110, SDVoE, etc. This trend will only accelerate year over year. 10Gb switches and interfaces have plummeted in price, are well understood by IT departments, and are easy to deploy—and you can fit a lot of video down a 10Gb pipe!

We’re also seeing the emergence of truly useful, full-featured collaboration and application-sharing tools, such as our Quant package, that are finally bringing the long-promised dream of effective collaboration to market. I think we will soon witness a revolution in how employees, whether they are across a campus or across the world, work with each other day in and day out. Maybe this year will indeed be the peak in my air miles accumulation!

SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Datapath?
Well, I suppose I set myself up for this question with the last answer: we are putting significant R&D investment into the AV-over-IP space. It’s a whole new way of moving signals around—whether they are 4K video feeds, IP cameras, or 8K desktops—easily and affordably distributing a vastly growing number of sources of all types onto critical control walls, as well as easily sending them, on the fly, to an executive board room or to a colleague across the country. It’s all come together: the video processing, the network, the software tools, the interconnect protocols. We’re very excited about where we, as a company and as an industry, are heading over the next few years!

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
Education and training stand out for us—both on our solutions/roadmaps and on IP-related tech in general. An IP-savvy contractor will ease the sale for the customer and increase his confidence that the solution being chosen will work as advertised. It also offers a great revenue stream for the system design and installation. Datapath is keen to work with systems contractors that offer advanced professional services to ease the installation, both pre- and post-sale.

A corollary to this is for integrators to stay ahead of the technology trends. The end users often have little time or ability to research the state of the industry, and they look to us, as vendors and contractors, to bring them options, educate them on the pros and cons of each, and ensure they are making the right decisions based on needs and budgets. At the same time, these partners feed us with a wealth of information on real-world needs and problems, which refills the engineering roadmap once again. Win-win-win!

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, 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, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.