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AV Consultants round table. The game is on.

Nigel Miller debates the challenges of AV at a Consultants round table

Nigel Miller, MD of Cordless Consultants joined 15 other guests at a round table chaired by Clive Couldwell of AV Magazine.

Participants discussed the key challenges they currently face with regards to AV and the constantly changing skillsets that they need.

Exciting times, but shifting sands…

It seems that the very nature of the pace in change in technology invariably brings challenge and the AV industry is no different.

Nigel commented: “The risk of (AV consultants) becoming devalued is quite significant, and that’s a challenge for any consultant because you have to constantly re-invent. What was once AV isn’t AV anymore – it’s AV and smart systems which are in turn merging with intelligent BMS systems, and that’s a very wide skill-set. It’s also a massive role interfacing with a whole range of systems, technologies, packages and people on a project. This is very challenging.”

A multidisciplinary approach…

Nigel believes many elements of IT (desktop, devices, software), have historically been about the user experience, but concedes:“it’s shifting across to AV, whether it’s a camera that tells the concierge someone has arrived; IPTV piped around a building or digital signage. If that’s starting to integrate with building controls, the FM side and the IT communications, that’s a hell of a big role for the AV consultant. It’s a cataclysmic shift.”

Engagement is critical to success.

Speaking about the key players with regards to an AV project, Nigel explains: “Who we deal with as consultants during AV projects varies enormously, depending on the client. At the C-suite level it could be the COO or CFO.” It also depends on how the company is structured as to where the responsibility for AV resides.

Regardless, employing the right range of experience is imperative. In addition to technical specialists, the more forward thinking organisations will also engage both change management and workplace skills to embed lasting change and benefit through the use of technology.

On the pace of change, Nigel says: “The AV industry is moving at breakneck speed and many consultants are struggling to keep up. Further behind still are some clients who may still be in the world where AV is just a screen on the wall. We have a disconnect between what the technology can deliver, what the benefits are, and the understanding of the client. Consultants have to bridge that gap.” 

The panel concluded that the AV industry needs to raise it status and profile. Cordless is very happy to be supporting the work of the AV User Group in this field.

Nigel notes the limited accreditation and standards bodies that currently exist for AV. “IT has been steeped in this, and as far as the many in IT are concerned, AV people are home-grown, coming out of the residential market,” he adds.

So it would seem that change is well and truly afoot in the AV industry and you know what they say about change and opportunity.

The AV game is on, so it would seem.

What are your views?

Read the full round table discussion here and say

Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:20:15 +0100 GMT

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