If I could suggest just one thing for 2011, it would be to make sure your staff understands how video traffic works on the network and the business opportunities this could bring you. I carefully considered this suggestion over a couple others such as MNEC, BIM, managed services and the business model transitions to support the change we are seeing.
But, here’s why I chose this: I have studied all the research from leading manufacturers, consultants, leading integration firms and people a lot smarter than me. I’ve also evaluated how video conferencing, physical security, digital signage, life safety and the other network-enabled systems have migrated to digital video. This led me to believe that we will see explosive growth in the demand for these applications that will require us to become experts in infrastructure and, most important, how the additional demands of all the video technologies will effect the reliability of the network.
If all you know is just A/V, or just security, or just fire/life safety or just structured cabling … then you will soon be on an island. Further, if all you know is a specific manufacturer’s codec, a specific encoder, a proprietary solution, or specific configuration … you will still be on an island. In the next few years, we will see a huge demand for interoperability of dissimilar brands and maybe even the convergence of products intended for different applications.
Here’s where the buck needs to stop. Take video conferencing for example; is the codec part of the A/V system or part of the network? I can assure you that the increasing influence of the IT department won’t allow our industry to point fingers any longer and, honestly, we need to take ownership of that situation.
So if I were you, I would make it a priority to strengthen your company’s business savvy sales skills, project management and technical knowledge in video. Can you be ready in 2011 to integrate an entire suite of video-over-the-network solutions? You may want to take some time to assess any gaps you have. I see huge opportunity on the horizon…
For more information, NSCA corporate members can download the 2010 Q3 Market Intelligence Briefing™, Audio & Video Teleconferencing/Telepresence Market.