A 10-Point Diagnostic
At the InfoComm Manufacturer's Forum in June, it only took two audience questions to realize that the audience wasn't receiving what the manufacturers were saying with 100 percent signal transfer. In fact, the ?impedance mismatch? was rather dramatic.
At the InfoComm Manufacturer's Forum in June, it only took two audience questions to realize that the audience wasn't receiving what the manufacturers were saying with 100 percent signal transfer. In fact, the “impedance mismatch” was rather dramatic. Panel members described an AV world of tomorrow beyond 1080p, with ultimate content servers, software-based codecs, and VoIP. Audience members fired back with questions such as “What does value-add mean?” and “What's the future for box sales?”
Think you're ready for the pro AV world of tomorrow? In the spirit of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, here's a 10-point self-check diagnostic. You might not be ready if:
- You don't know the difference between a LAN and a MAN.
- You think “value-add” means higher prices.
- You derive a majority of your profits from box sales.
- You think “AV” means little “a,” big “V” — or vice versa.
- You capitalize both letters but still segregate them with a backslash (A/V).
- You think networking is only something you do at a cocktail party.
- You're offended when the IT guy refers to the cool products you install as “appliances.”
- You consider yourself part of the pro audio, video, or AV business, rather than the “communications” business.
- You spend more time looking in equipment racks than at the future of pro AV.
- You have no interest in adding “fancy letters” after your name.
I realize there's an inherently different perspective between a high-level CEO of a manufacturing company and a systems integrator who sells and uses its products. But if we're going to survive as an industry, we have to move beyond our roots as technicians, and develop a more entrepreneurial approach to our businesses. We need to think and act strategically, stay on top of today's technologies while learning about tomorrow's, and elevate our knowledge of worlds beyond AV.
The successful companies will be those that look at the communications needs of their customers and prepare themselves to address them. If you failed the diagnostic here, take these steps to start closing the gap between your level of operation today, and where you need to be:
- Identify your vulnerabilities, and turn them into strengths.
- Look outside the industry to organizations like BICSI and Global Knowledge for training in IT and networking technologies.
- Take advantage of the many educational opportunities provided by NSCA and ICIA, and train as many staff members as possible.