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Moving at 100 Miles Per Hour

Quick Bio

Mark Ullrich, Xilica

Name: Mark Ullrich

Position: Senior Manager, Application Sales

Company: Xilica Corp.

Overtime: When he's not working in audio , you'll likely find him working with audio in his personal recording studio. Being able to make and record sounds that resemble something Ullrich heard on his favorite records growing up seems to provide him with endless novelty and enjoyment.

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

MARK ULLRICH: I am currently the senior manager of applications sales at Xilica. In this position, I provide application and sales support for dealers, distributors, and systems integrators in the United States, Canada, and select global territories. I also manage sales for Tier 1 Xilica international distributors.

SCN: How long have you been in this position?

MU: I have been with Xilica since March of this year, but I’ve been in the pro AV industry for much longer.

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

MU: I have 20 years of cumulative experience in the pro audio and commercial AV markets. My background includes roles ranging from application and technical product support to international sales and distribution management. I spent 11 years at Symetrix, working my way up from inside sales to senior systems support engineer, and eventually moving into the role of international sales manager. In this position, I was responsible for all sales outside the United States.

Throughout my career, I have amassed technical and marketing expertise specifically with experience ranging across application and technical product support, international sales and distribution management, and cultivating partner relationships.

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

MU: Short-term, our team is working hard to hire exceptional talent, build new strategic alliances, and install new internal operational tools and processes across our Toronto, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and China offices to support long-term initiatives.

Long-term, Xilica is simply focused on aggressive company growth and competitiveness by delivering world-class DSP solutions to the AV/IT market—primarily in enterprise applications like corporate, conferencing, hospitality, retail, and leisure.

SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?

MU: To quote a common phrase, the greatest challenge is paving the road in front of you while driving 100 m.p.h. down it.

There is no question that when working for a young, growing tech company like Xilica, every decision is important, and the effects can be readily felt. There’s a certain sense of fulfilment and excitement that comes with that as well.

SCN: Where do you see the pro AV market heading?

MU: I see the pro AV market converging with IT—not only in technology, product, and solutions, but in business practices, too. Integrators need to be well-versed in the most current and relevant technologies and applications, but they also need to zoom out to recognize how AVoIP has become a process and a way of conducting business. I believe traditional pro AV professionals need to embrace the process, language, and marketing of AV/IT technology in the same way we’re learning to embrace the convergence of the technology itself. 

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

MU: As a company, we are looking forward to hiring new, top-level talent this year; we can’t wait to see the ideas our new team members will bring to the table. We are also forming new alliances with distribution partners and world-class manufacturers, which will only strengthen our global reach and product capabilities. You can also look forward to the introduction of some very exciting new technologies.

The launch of our Xilica Genius training program is also a very significant initiative for Xilica. This is an incentive-driven program thart offers broad AV systems education, certification on Xilica Designer software, attractive discounts, AVIXA CTS RUs, and BICSI CECs over two distinct training levels.

The two training and certification levels include Xilica Certified, which is a base-level certification covering DSP basics, platform knowledge and design functionality, UCI design, third-party control configuration, and product choice. The Xilica Certified program includes 19 on-demand modules that include video-based instruction options, with testing at the conclusion of each section.

The second is Xilica Preferred, which is an advanced program available to holders of Xilica Certified status. This level of recognition addresses more intensive education on Lua scripting, integrated control, SONIA 96 kHz sampling, and complex application design.

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

MU: Systems contractors can leverage Xilica products and services by taking advantage of the modularity of the product line and never wasting money on unused I/Os. They can leverage Xilica as the central control engine that comes built into each DSP including Lua scripting, drag-and-drop programming, Xilica wall panels, and BYOD options.

It’s also important to note that by and large our job in pro AV is to first see the system from the end user’s perspective, define and optimize the experience, and then go back to the shop and toil behind the scenes to figure out how to make that air-wall trigger the DSP’s room-combiner module, and have it push to all the touchscreens.

We have some exceptional products at Xilica that are really well-suited to enterprise applications, utilizing existing IT infrastructure and technologies to deliver an integrated AV ecosystem.

Finally, don’t be afraid to lean on our global in-house application experts—they are more than willing to help you at any stage along the way.

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.