Corporate AV calls for simpler spaces
Corporate life is changing, and the proAV industry needs to be aware of these changes and how to react to them.
Corporate AV is the lifeblood of the proAV world. Every single person reading this will have worked on a project for a corporate customer at some point or another. In fact, a healthy proportion of you will have worked on nothing else. And it has been this way for decades. What has changed is the way people work. Corporate real estate is expensive, so companies are looking at different ways they can squeeze every bit of efficiency out of a building. That includes hot desking, huddle rooms, informal breakout spaces instead of meetings rooms, and software-led video conferencing instead of hard codec systems in dedicated rooms. All of these changes involve technology in some way, or in some cases are completely technology-driven. So although the way we all work is changing, it is not greatly affecting the need (or desire) for AV technology to make our working lives that bit quicker, simpler or easier.
Corporate projects were traditionally one-off affairs for integrators and consultants, but thanks to globalisation and the push for standardisation, they are becoming far more common.
The growth of global integration groups such as the GPA (Global Presence Alliance) and the PSNI Global Alliance has reflected the globalised world we live in, where they are able to pass global projects from one member to another.
Integrators and consultants are expected to do more for less, which can often mean the price of every piece of equipment is heavily scrutinized, down to the last nut and bolt.
Things are changing in the workplace, and integrators and consultants have to reflect that. People are now looking for simplicity and large volumes of spaces, 2-3 years ago it was much more complex, more tailored solutions which were specific to that room requirement. They are now looking more standardised, simple to use, one touch to start spaces.
Part of this changing corporate word is the move away from large, formal meeting room spaces, to smaller huddle rooms and breakout spaces. This is because the nature of meetings is changing. The bulk of our work is around huddle spaces, soft codec driven video experiences, easy to use, intuitive spaces that take the hassle away from the user, where we don’t need room control, we can wirelessly connect or use a cable to present or take a video call. We can get in, get up (and present) and get out.
This does create a problem for the AV world however. It’s not so much of an AV market for installers in breakout spaces, it will be a screen and people using USB conferencing devices. Most people wont even link the video, the video part becomes superfluous. So if huddle rooms hold less AV won’t this hurt everyone’s bottom line in the AV sector? Not necessarily. It’s just a different model, we do more rooms, so job values actually go up. Huddle rooms open up service opportunities too. There are more spaces to manage, there are more things that can go down, so there are more SLAs, with AV now sitting on the corporate network there are more devices to manage. There are more spaces to schedule and book, so its driving demand for things like on-site technicians or a hosted video cloud service. It’s also driving demand for workspace management.