For too long now, AV has been considered an afterthought, separate from ‘mainstream’ IT solutions. Yet, in the digital age, multimedia content plays an ever-greater role not only in our social lives, but in business, education, public service, and more. It should come as no surprise that the volume of digital content being created is also increasing. All this offers IT distributors a whole range of new opportunities to meet the growing demand for new solutions for consuming all that digital content.
In many ways, the AV solutions of today complement ‘traditional’ IT solutions perfectly. Many AV systems and solutions are designed specifically for easy integration with existing corporate IT infrastructure and computing and storage solutions, and many work with the latest IT principles, such as ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD). Closer integration between IT and AV couldn’t have come at a better time, with the global market for Large Format Displays expected to grow to almost $4.5 billion in 2016*, according to Aberdeen Research.
A world of opportunities
When you look at the range of opportunities for AV distributors, it’s easy to see why the industry is feeling so optimistic. There’s an ever-growing need for all manner of AV products, from screens and interactive whiteboards to projectors and Digital Signage solutions, in transportation hubs, and in retail, leisure and entertainment spaces. In the corporate world, integration of modern AV and IT solutions provide for clear communication with employees and efficient, inspiring collaboration during meetings and brainstorm sessions. The education, medical and public sectors provide a wide range of opportunities, too.
Avoid the same old pitfalls
As with their IT cousins, AV solutions are certainly not ‘one size fits all’. That said, though two customers rarely require the same solution, the fundamentals of a successful sale are the same, as are the potential traps to fall in. Just as you wouldn’t choose a server without considering its intended environment, don’t forget to consider the environment a projector will be used in, including factors such as room and audience size, ambient light levels, types of media, and expected runtime. Also, consider that projection technologies range from LCD, to LED to Laser, with each offering different advantages and suitable for different environments. An experienced AV manufacturer or distributor can help you avoid these pitfalls and choose the perfect solution.
The role of the distributor
Manufacturers are driving the increased prominence of AV, offering versatile, out-of-the-box, plug and play solutions. Distributors can add to the growing success of the industry by offering a range of accessories such as mounting brackets, cables and content management solutions. A knowledgeable and experienced distributor with a wide-ranging product offer can do a lot to ease a reseller’s move into AV and make an AV sale as smooth and rewarding as an IT sale. That combination of technology, expertise and flexibility will be the foundation on which the integration of IT and AV is built.
* Source: Digital Signage: A Path to Customer Loyalty, Brand Awareness and Marketing Performance, a 2010 survey by Aberdeen Research.