Along with our annual Top 50 Systems Integrators feature, we polled a selection of leading firms on industry topics.
SCN: What is the secret to collaborating with other members of the AV community like architects and content creators?
Jeff Irvin, Principal, Spinitar
I don’t believe that offering AIA CEU lunch & learns with architects is the answer. While it is an easier way to get in front of them, I don’t think you get in front of the right people. AIA and IIDA chapters and associations have mixers on a regular basis, and getting to these and networking is the better approach. Regarding content creators, I believe there is a great opportunity if you team up. Leverage them on digital signage projects you’re working on, and they will leverage you on projects they’re working on. They don’t do what we do, nor do we do what they do. Match up!
Rhonda Wingate, Vice President of Visual Collaboration Sales, Carousel Industries
Most large projects involve general contractors, architects, electricians, and sometimes third-party design consultant firms. Carousel’s overall success has been predicated on building strong relationships with these partner groups and providing them the assurance that we can implement the AV components of the project. It is important to foster good relationships with all trade groups, as we are truly working as a team to deliver projects on time and on budget.
Bill Chamberlin, Vice President of Global Sales, Verrex
The 2019 political unrest in Hong Kong was an unforeseen challenge. Prolonged uncertainty over the political climate has impacted overall business within the APAC region. Concerns of investment resulted in delays and/or cancellations of planned Hong Kong audiovisual projects. As a global integrator, Verrex has worked with clients to adjust project priorities to other locations, including Singapore and Tokyo, for their audiovisual investments.
Moose Adams, General Manager – Pacific Northwest, Avidex
The most important part of the process is listening. We have more competition, continuously changing technology, and seemingly less time to do the most important thing we do, which is manage relationships. When we focus on absorbing and using the information we are given to guide and support the process, we all win. The process of guiding a client takes nuance and the willingness to be a partner with consultants and architects alike. What the architect wants to know is if you can execute a design that someone else has created. Building trust in the architectural community can be challenging as integrators are often seen as inflexible.
Dana Barron, CEO, HB Communications
HB looks at strategic partnerships as a critical part of our success, so having understanding and focus lays the groundwork for these healthy relationships. For instance, HB needs a strong global partner network to support our clients all over the world. We are lucky to be a longstanding member of PSNI, which works very hard on behalf of the affiliates developing relationships as well as programs that benefit affiliates and our clients.
John Godbout, Founder and CEO, CCS Presentation Systems
The secret to collaborating with architects and content creators is to show them something they have never seen before: new solutions, cutting-edge equipment, etc. We, as integrators, handle the technical side, while they get the pleasure of looking like heroes to their clients.
Ken Scaturro, President and COO, Yorktel
There is no secret here—it is critical to build trusting relationships with all players in the ecosystem.