Adam Forziati, senior web editor for both MyTech Decisions and Commercial Integrator, traveled to the final Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam along with his colleague Arlen Schweiger from sister site and residential tech-focused brand, CE Pro. Together, they bring you some of the emerging trends, interesting booths, and overall ISE 2020 highlights they noticed while combing the show floor.
Adam’s end user solutions highlights: open standards, rebranding the industry
The idea that AV equipment should be nearly fully interoperable was incredibly present on the ISE 2020 show floor this year. Almost half of the booths I visited evangelized the concept of “open standards” and “interoperability.”
Every AV manufacturer wants you to use their solutions. But it was refreshing to see companies admitting that, while they’d like you to buy their whole suite or product ecosystem, they also understand that AV clients demand flexibility.
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If your client already has a solution that fits part of their needs, you can still choose what you think is a better solution for adjacent problems and remain confident the systems will operate together seamlessly.
I think interoperability and open standards will continue to gain traction in 2020 and beyond.
Here are just some of the booths which stressed interoperability:
Something a bit more conceptual rather than product-focused: this idea that integration companies need a rebrand was nowehere more present than at the AVI-SPL booth.
For anyone that doesn’t know, AVI-SPL is the largest integrator and one of two firms which became the first billion-dollar integration companies in the last week or so.
When I spoke with some folks at AVI-SPL, they were telling me about how they’ve started to focus more on how they’re positioning themselves to new customers. This firm is known for collaboration solutions, and that’s what they used to call themselves: a collaboration company.
But now, they’re distancing themselves from that term and instead they’re going for things like “digital workplace services” and “workplace technology” and I think that’s really smart.
When a billion-dollar integrator starts to turn the ship around on their branding, I think every other firm should at least consider why they’re doing that.
The primary reason here is that we’re coming now to a critical point where AV services are so closely tied to IT that savvy companies like AVI-SPL are trying to stay relevant to an audience that doesn’t really search for things like “Unified Communications” or collaboration solutions anymore.