Name: Michael Lisi
Position: National Distribution Manager
Overtime: When he unplugs from work, Lisi enjoys spending time with his family, remodeling his house, and participating in church activities.
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
MICHAEL LISI: As the national distribution manager for WolfVision, I am a key contributor in the development and execution of our overall channel sales and marketing strategy in the United States. This includes identifying target markets and key applications for our solutions, supporting the engagement and development of our reseller partners, managing our U.S. distribution partners, and coordinating our outbound marketing activities.
SCN: How long have you been in this position?
ML: I first began working with WolfVision in 2013 as an independent manufacturer sales rep, and then joined the company as a direct hire in 2017. I began serving in a management role within the company in 2018.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
ML: I’m fascinated by how my past experiences have benefitted me in later roles. I continually apply my education in journalism, mass communications, and public relations when crafting communications, creating marketing materials, and planning events. I constantly draw on the networking and IT knowledge that I gained while working with an IT distributor when speaking with customers about AV over IP (AVoIP), the Internet of Things (IoT), and how various technologies can interconnect.
I vividly remember the experience of working as an account executive with an AV systems contractor. It is a complex role that you have to experience to understand, but I’m able to better serve our integration partners by having been there.
I was also greatly helped during my time as an independent manufacturer sales rep. It was in that role that I learned how to integrate cutting-edge AV/IT technology into practical solutions and how to build custom channel strategies around unique products.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
ML: Right now, WolfVision’s solutions are uniquely positioned to solve many of the biggest technology challenges facing corporate, legal, and education institutions. As many organizations struggle to see their way through the COVID-19 pandemic, my short-term goal is to let these organizations know how WolfVision can help. If they are ready to start bringing people back to the office, classroom, and courtroom, we can help them include those who are still remote via webconferencing, recording, and streaming. If they want to keep people safe by minimizing the spread of germs, we can help them create touch-free meeting spaces where users use their personal devices to control the meeting environment. If they want to maximize the use of their available space while encouraging social distancing, we can help them flexibly stream content to overflow spaces while turning people’s personal devices into remote viewing monitors.
Long-term, I look forward to supporting the burgeoning expansion of WolfVision’s U.S. operations—including the addition of new sales, marketing, and technical resources and the rolling out of new channel programs that are focused on 100 percent customer satisfaction.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?
ML: Like all technology manufacturers, our continual challenge is to make sure we stay relevant. The world is moving fast, and disruptive change is always just around the corner. Technical innovations are constantly shifting the way we do things while making old business models obsolete.
We can now add society-altering pandemics to the list of catalysts for change. We have industries colliding, software replacing the need for hardware, and massive companies entering and exiting various marketplaces with little to no advance notice. It truly presents a gantlet of threats for the modern manufacturer that presses us to watch closely in every direction.
SCN: Where do you see the pro AV market heading?
ML: I believe we are seeing a shift in what our customers value, and we need to respond accordingly. In the past, much of our value resided in our ability to design and install complex audiovisual systems that were too technical for the average person to understand or install without in-depth training.
At that time, organizations were willing to pay a premium for function. Today, however, function is assumed. Highly capable processors and computers, like WolfVision’s Cynap, are simplifying system design while user-friendly software configuration tools are replacing the need for custom programming.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from WolfVision?
ML: As the creators of the world’s first all-in-one networked-AV appliance, we have seen that organizations are looking to leverage easy-to-deploy and easy-to-scale AV-as-an-endpoint solutions whenever possible. Following this trend, you can expect new products from WolfVision that will be even more capable, interoperable, and intuitive than the solutions we’ve delivered to date.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
ML: The secret is simply to be open-minded. If they ask their customers to describe their ideal AV system, most of them will probably describe one of our Cynap solutions without realizing it. Some likely elements include a high-quality solution that gives them the functionality they need and a user experience that their people like; something that is easy to deploy and scale, preferably without large equipment racks and custom programming; a solution that can leverage existing investments, be flexibly configured for different scenarios, work seamlessly with their favorite software solutions, and be easy to troubleshoot (both in-person and remotely); a reliable, secure, network-manageable solution that requires minimal maintenance—overall, a solution that works well and doesn’t create problems for anybody. Oh, and it must be affordable. Ultimately, if the customer doesn’t respond by saying, “My ideal system is the one you’ve been selling me,” it sounds like there is room for improvement, and we should talk.