Name: John Murphy
Position: Global Chief Marketing Officer
SCN: How long have you been working as Global COO at AVI-SPL and how has your background prepared you for your role?
John Murphy: I joined in June of 2017. My background was incredibly helpful in advance of my transition into the professional audiovisual industry. I spent about 16 years at Johnson Controls, and was responsible for the global building controls business. While the technology scope was different, both AVI-SPL and Johnson Controls have similar models, which made for a smooth transition. Immediately prior to AVI-SPL, I worked with enterprise clients, and at least once a week, I would have a discussion with a client who was wrestling with some workplace collaboration problem; they always wanted to know how to connect offices around the world so their global workplaces could collaborate efficiently. The benefit of this conundrum is that I’ve seen the collaboration problems we’re solving for our clients through the eyes of our client.
SCN: One of the components of AVI-SPL’s vision statement is to create meaningful experiences. How are you doing that both internally and externally?
JM: Our staff is geographically diverse, but our people have a firm understanding of our core values, our expectations of excellence, and we’re all here to deliver superior experiences for our customers. We have outstanding regional leadership who cascade the culture and core values across the board—events, like our Sales Acceleration Summit in March, ensure everyone is aligned and moving forward with the same mission directive.
In terms of customers, whether it’s one office or a hundred offices around the world across different verticals, there’s actually a lot of commonality when it comes to what they’re looking for. They want the assurance of working with a partner who has listened intently to what their needs are. The implication for us is having really proficient sales and design engineers in our organization who work with our customers consistently across offices.
Having excellent products based on the end user’s needs is also important. We want to make sure we have the most compelling solution portfolio, whether it’s an integration project or the services that we offer after the install is done.
Those are the three key ingredients in the recipe for success that we talk about: great products, great people, and a product/service delivery engine that is consistent and efficient, and focused on delivering great client outcomes.
SCN: Another one of AVI-SPL’s focuses is unparalleled support. What does that mean to you?
JM: It’s being able to ask the right questions to get to the heart of what the customer is trying to accomplish, what business outcome they’re expecting, and then bringing them the right AVI-SPL solutions and services. It’s a journey and it’s different for everybody.
You can’t lead with technology. You need to uncover the problem. However, to have that conversation is pretty foreign to our industry at this point, but it’s not foreign to our employees. We provide continuous reinforcement to help them evolve and ensure they’re asking the right kinds of questions.
We’re leveraging training to continue to develop the way that we go about our day. We have a program called Sales Foundations; it focuses on the sales motions they need to do every day to be better at accomplishing those new initiatives. We need to have tremendous insights into the performance of the equipment of the systems that we design, install, and maintain.
SCN: They say getting to the top is easy but staying there is hard. What are some non-classified things AVI-SPL does to stay at the top of SCN’s Top 50 integrators list?
JM: We have a never-satisfied kind of culture—we are always focused on continuous improvement and getting better. As we’ve all seen in this industry, customers’ needs today will be dramatically different than they will be in a year from now.
When we wake up every morning, we get excited about solving our customers’ needs for today. But what really excites us is being an incredible partner and resource for our clients so they can understand the art of the possible and be a part of the process of moving innovation forward. Our work is never finished. We’re always focused on trying to get better and stronger.
SCN: AVI-SPL’s preferred partner program is really important to you. How do you ensure continual engagement with manufacturers?
JM: As a leader in this industry, we naturally get a lot of attention from manufacturers. We want our manufacturers to view us as a fantastic partner to help them understand the needs of the marketplace. We’re providing them access to direct feedback from end customers about the performance of their equipment, and we hope they can then use those insights to help form product development strategies for future generations of technologies. It’s a win-win for both our preferred partners and us—we all gain tremendous business intelligence when it comes to continual improvement.
Then we need to make sure we have a very flexible and responsive supply chain so that we can replace those items when needed—even before they have problems, just when we anticipate they could have an issue. When an item does have some kind of performance problem, we need to ensure we have great responsiveness from our partners to get that item replaced. It’s really that simple.