The question on every integrator’s mind is how to be securely profitable while ensuring they’re utilizing time and labor—their costliest resources—as effectively and efficiently as possible.
The Pro AV industry has a long heritage of ideating and building novel experiences that can take months to design, specify, install, and deploy. While there's still a place for those applications, the industry and its user base have matured. AV has become mainstream, with most installations focused on enabling essential daily functions, such as conferencing, audio playback, and presentation.
In the past, almost every AV installation was an experience inspired and developed by an integrator who invested significant time and labor to plan and customize the solutions they’d use. For example, where there used to be one behemoth boardroom to outfit as a corporate showpiece, there are now hundreds of small meeting environments, each requiring scalable and easy-to-install AV solutions to meet an explosion of demand in the conferencing space. To that end, streamlined, dependable AV solutions are essential and productizing the experience has become increasingly important—the best AV solution is one that can be installed quickly and will function intuitively.
In everyday applications of AV, whether it be in the corporate office, classroom, or even large venues and entertainment facilities, the values of standardization, familiarity, and dependable functionality are paramount. That point is underscored by the emergence of UC, where large platforms such as Zoom, Google, and Microsoft have embraced the idea that familiarity of experience trumps any other feature. These tech giants are in the business of meeting user expectations and assuring confidence through standardization, along with certifications to ensure compatibility and interoperability with third-party solutions. The most distinguishing feature reflected in their products is in creating an easy-to-use experience, so that whenever a user walks into a room, they can get to work without any interruption.
From the AV manufacturing perspective, if standardization is the benchmark, then it needs to be a simple task for integrators to make their profit. They need vendors who can supply products that cover the entirety of the solution and intuitively integrate. In a huddle room, for example, the conferencing system should be engineered with the integration experience in mind, delivering one that is simple, fast, and incredibly reliable.
When Biamp was acquired 2017, we did so with the goal of becoming a full line provider for our customers. Since then, we’ve built a comprehensive solutions portfolio packaged and ready to go for integrators. In addition, many of our products now include Biamp Launch—the automated deployment and tuning technology found in our Parlé, Devio, and TesiraFORTÉ X product families. Biamp Launch ensures that once a device is plugged in, the setup and tuning process is as simple as pushing a single button.
Biamp has taken this approach toward simplifying the install a step further with our bundling options. After all, the time spent specifying products is just as much a part of the integration experience as the physical installation. Now, integrators don’t have to speculate on which of the thousands of products available from Biamp work together. These modular bundles make it easy to specify, buy, install, and set up. Easy means fast, and fast equals more profit. And because the integrator can purchase from one vendor, there’s no hassle and no question where to go for support.
Biamp has invested in bringing solutions to market that reflect this trend and reduce the time-consuming and costly complexities associated with installation. We have systematically developed and introduced entirely new families of products, such as Parlé audio and videoconferencing bars, Vidi professional-grade conferencing cameras, and Impera and Apprimo control systems to create complete solutions for our customers—integrators and end users alike— so they can meet the challenge of global deployment head on.
All signs point to a continuation of mass AV as opposed to customized AV. We’re beginning to see technology deployed so broadly that it has become a table stakes expectation for almost every room in every company or organization. This is great news for the industry. The volume will continue to increase.
While the margins on each job will get a little more snug because there’s going to be more commoditization, it’s going to be offset by integrators having these repeatable and dependable solutions at their disposal. We’re going to see a mix of a high volume set of baseline business, with a frosting of the really cool installations that everybody uses as their show pieces. As a vendor, we will continue to develop and produce complete, turnkey solutions to cover those daily AV applications, while also providing the tools integrators require for complex, showpiece projects.
One of the exciting aspects of the AV industry is that it covers so many different applications. In the past, integrators needed to be magicians who, at every installation, pulled a rabbit out of their hat to achieve a one-of-a-kind AV experience. Integrators excel at delivering that value add, and while that's still an incredible asset in many arenas, it’s not necessary for every AV installation. Today, it pays to deploy that level of tailored technology more judiciously. Often, with the mainstream use of AV, repeatability, and simplicity—not novelty—is the answer. And now, it’s easier and more profitable to perform magic.