Investing in AV

Investing In AV
Ed Grabscheid

Quick Bio

Name: Ed Grabscheid

Position: Chief Financial Officer

Company: Atlona

SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?

ED GRABSCHEID: I was recently promoted to chief financial officer (CFO) at Atlona after spending more than three years as the company’s vice president, finance and administration. As CFO, I am part of the Atlona Executive Management Team and oversee all aspects of our finance organization. My main responsibilities are to drive the execution of our investment strategy, oversee financial reporting functions, and lead the oversight of our human resource and legal teams.

SCN: How long have you been at this position?

EG: I have been with Atlona for nearly four years, with the CFO promotion taking effect in August. My experience in finance ranges from very large multinational companies like Cisco to early stage start-ups—I have more than two decades of corporate finance experience, including leadership positions with several top Silicon Valley tech companies.

SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?

EG: I have had the good fortune of being exposed to several different finance roles and industries throughout my career. I have managed the finance and administration organizations for semiconductor manufacturing companies to SaaS-based software companies. I have experience working with early stage start-ups where I built out the reporting functions through the transition from a private company to a successful IPO. Additionally, I spent three years living in Tokyo as the head of finance managing and supporting the APAC region. All of these work experiences have provided me with the tools that are needed to be an effective CFO.

SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?

EG: Over the next several months, I will focus my efforts on identifying growth opportunities in strategic markets, and expanding our sales team into these territories. For the long term, I will continue to reinvest in the development of next-generation products that drive topline growth and profitability.

SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

EG: This is a very dynamic industry, and we believe we have a strong understanding of the AV market. This requires us to constantly make investments in product development and venture into new solution segments. Through these calculated investments, Atlona has experienced quite a bit of success over the past several years.

Even with all of this investment, we are not guaranteed continued long-term success. I see my greatest challenge as being able to navigate our strategic investments within a very competitive industry, and remain a leader in the development and introduction of next-generation products.

SCN: Where do you see the financial sector of the AV market heading?

EG: We have seen significant investment into network infrastructure over the past several years. End users want to have the flexibility of AV integration. AV-over-IP products offer a cost-effective solution that has the capability to integrate into existing networks. This technology is still in the early stages of adoption; however, we are seeing the market rapidly shifting towards AV-over-IP solution-based projects.

SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Atlona?

EG: At Atlona, we continuously work at enhancing our product portfolio. Our strategic focus has been within several key solution segments: AV-over-IP, control and management, and BYOD collaboration. Atlona will introduce additional innovative features and capabilities to our OmniStream AV-over-IP product line, including Ultra High Definition with Dolby Vision HDR support over 1Gbps networks. We also plan to announce more capabilities to our all-IP AV control system, Velocity, which will help customers better understand AV system utilization and usage through advanced analytic features and remote monitoring.

Currently, circuit-based AV distribution remains the go-to approach for the AV market. Atlona will announce new products that overcome HDMI 2.0 high bandwidth video distribution challenges over long distance lines.

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?

EG: Having the right product is only half of what is required for a successful deployment in today’s AV projects. The tools that the system integrators work with define the difference between a successful execution and one that is cumbersome. Atlona offers holistic management tools that enable our customers to deploy complicated systems with minimal risk and effort.

Our Atlona Management System (AMS) enables fast and easy AV-over-IP, as well as circuit-based solution installations. Additionally, our Velocity control system offers an innovative approach to AV control that normally would involve hours of system programming and a substantial financial commitment. These Atlona products and services enable system integrators to more efficiently deploy AV projects which ultimately result in higher satisfaction rates and more profitability.

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.