The GPA’s take on 2019
2019 Highlights on the AV and ICT Industry
By Chris Isak
The year 2019 was undoubtedly exciting, to say the least. There was a lot of innovation and a lot of curious changes to witness. The overall disruption that we could all feel by following the media rippled through many, if not all, industries, but for this post, we’d like to keep our focus on all things Pro AV and ICT. Thanks for a great year, all!
It’s not easy to stay on top of everything the news media and the analysts share as part of their daily work. The headlines go out there all the time. But what matters and what might impact me personally, or my company in extension to that. We worked on a timeline to show you our highlights that have happened in the vendor landscape.
More than technology
What else did we see in 2019 take shape? When we talk with clients and users of collaboration solutions all around the world, it gets more and more apparent that we are no longer in a numbers game here. Of course, for us professionals, the spec sheets still make sense in the planning and the design phase, but you can’t excite a person for a new box with a high spec than its predecessor. Solutions need to have a “wow”-feeling to them. They need to solve a problem, improve a process, or help us in another way. Even indirect benefits, such as the quality of the workplace, are essential today. Companies want to be flexible, people want to be flexible, and we give them the means to be flexible without compromising the productivity or quality of their work.
Events and conferences
While researching the facts and figures for the timeline infographic above, we could quickly point out that many of the most discussed news was dated around the time of major industry events, expos, and conferences around the world.
For many vendors, the year usually starts with the more consumer-facing product range at the CES in Las Vegas in January. Shortly after, in February, the professional side of things starts at the ISE. If you want to experience the ISE while it is still in Amsterdam, you’ll need to join us in 2020, however. Because after this year, it will move on to Barcelona, where it is held shortly after the MWC. This might mean less travel and longer hotel bookings for all who want to attend both events.
In June is the InfoComm in the US, also held in Las Vegas, and for all those who can’t go, there’s still the InfoComm Asia usually held in May. The GPA teams typically meet up in one way or another on those significant events to sync with each other in person and to get to talk with partners. In October time, there are usually no public industry events happening, and that’s why we then host our own GPA summit in a changing location every year. Making use of modern video collaboration solutions is great for the day-to-day business, but it’s always good to meet people in person from time to time to catch up on a physical level.
Globalization, mergers, and acquisitions
We’ve seen a lot of M&A activity in the past years, and 2019 was no exception to this trend. Similarly, there is a movement towards more globalization in the strategy of large enterprises. Surprisingly enough, small versions of this strategy can also be witnessed in the SMB segment within our customer base, and it makes sense. As a globally operating organization ourselves, we not only support a global strategy but live it. By knowing the pain points of global collaboration, we are in an excellent position to assist our clients in precisely these scenarios. Understanding both the technology aspects but even more importantly, the cultural aspects of working in a globally distributed workforce, we can identify problems and solve them together with our partners in a way that makes sense for all, is sustainable, and can scale easily.
Certifications and guarantee for the quality of service
A trend that we could quickly identify was that more and more manufacturers and solution designers are directly working with their partners to make sure each part of a solution works as if it came from a single company. To achieve this, solution providers such as Cisco, Microsoft, Google, Zoom, and others are testing third-party equipment thoroughly and award the products with certifications. This means for us that we can leverage these certified products without worrying about compatibility issues. This helps us to avoid any points of failure, and we can focus on using the approved technology to guarantee our clients a certain quality of service when delivering projects for AV integrations or ICT solutions in the modern workplace.
Strategy and developing partnerships
Sometimes a partnership starts and ends with such a certification engagement, but it is more and more apparent that the leading companies are not building walls, but bridges. Long-term strategic partnerships are being forged, and the open standards allow the clients to have a much better user experience.
Standards and partnerships are also a big subject for the GPA as such, and while it’s not new to us, it’s still increasingly relevant. It gets clearer that collaboration is not only a means for faster delivery of projects, but it’s priceless for R&D and reducing the TCO in many aspects.
And that leads to Velocity
Taken the certifications and the partnerships into account, the vision becomes more evident, and the GPA Velocity project is taking shape. All around the world, GPA Experience Centers are built to demonstrate the power of the Velocity solution to prospects.
The Velocity room kits are the GPA’s reply to a call for a standard collaboration solution that is yet vendor agnostic. What is also unique about it is the online configurator system that provides you with prices instantly. No matter what version of the Velocity room you want to deploy or in what country around the globe, you get an instant figure to plan with.
How about you?
What was your own experience throughout the year 2019? How did it all go for you? If you’d like to stay up to date with industry news and everything that happens around the GPA, we invite you to follow us on LinkedIn, and if you want to share your 2019 feedback, please leave a comment on our public thread there. Thanks a lot for reading, and we wish you all the best for 2020!
Author: Christopher Isak
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Rachel Lynette French. The timeline infographic was prepared by Ellesse Fehlberg & Raquel Garcia. The photo of the ideation session was taken by Austin Distel.