Commercial Integrator 2023 - 30

INTEGRATORS
Inside AVI Systems
" The result is that the AV person gets KPIs
that look and sound like everybody else's
KPIs in the CIO's stack. "
For example, the company's new MTR
Pro Advanced Service allows organizations
using Microsoft Teams to incorporate
support for Teams Rooms that closely
aligns with other forms of IT support. Those
service offerings came as a result of AVI
Systems shifting its mindset from offering
a project - or a series of projects - to becoming
more of an enterprise partner. The
natural progression into being a partner,
rather than a technology vendor selling a
product, means that AVI Systems must take
on and solve these enterprise problems.
Long-Term Relationships
Versus One-Time Sales
The strategy of helping the world's largest
companies build out their AV technologies
across their international locations requires a
different mindset from many other tech companies,
which sometimes have aggressive
salespeople offering products rather than
relationships. Hotchkiss spoke about the
mindset that makes a vendor a true partner
versus just another technology vendor sending
sales pitches via email in a mad dash to
close the sale and pad top-line revenue. True
partners, he said, display an understanding
of the customer's business and value that
long-term relationship. According to Hotchkiss,
that kind of vendor propels the customer
forward and doesn't just take orders.
" I want people that 'get us,' " Hotchkiss
says. " They get the long-term relationship.
They understand us; they value us; and they
don't just want that one-time sale. " If the
vendor doesn't follow those best practices,
then end users and IT professionals will
have to deal with that less-optimal solution
for years to come.
AVI Systems lives out that relationshipdriven
mentality. In fact, it defines a core
principle of the business: to help various
organizations build out their conferencing-
and-collaboration spaces and to help
them think about new ways to engage with
their own customers. One way that AVI
Systems does that is by building experience
centers for customers. These are interactive,
sleek-looking AV installations designed for
one purpose: to tell the brand's story with a
variety of digital and visual tools.
30
Commercial Integrator JUNE 2023
However, AVI Systems' partnership
mentality is best exemplified by how the
company responded to the pandemic
when the news of lockdowns first broke in
March 2020.
According to Sousa, other company
representatives and he were at a customer
show in San Diego when they were notified
that California would be under lockdown.As
the pandemic set in, it became clear that AVI
Systems and other AV integrators had an immense
opportunity to help the world solve
this unique problem. Sousa and the executive
team pulled together their technology
practice leaders to deliver a clear message:
Come up with solutions and hyper-prototype
them in 48 hours. " I'm giving you
24 hours to imagine what your customers
are going to ask for seven days from now, "
Sousa says, recalling his mandate.
to launch new " executive broadcast " offerings,
which enable townhall-style meetings
that can be controlled remotely.
Similarly, AVI Systems' new Velocity
Signature offering, built around the Microsoft
Teams Rooms platform, is a next-gen
version of an early pandemic solutions that,
now, is designed to support hybrid work.
How Culture Contributes
to AVI Systems' Growth
Within an industry plagued by workforcedevelopment
issues, AVI Systems seems
to have plenty of staff. That, Stoebner says,
is due, in part, to the fact that AVI Systems
is 100% employee owned. " Every person
within the business becomes an equity stakeholder, "
Stoebner says. " That doesn't exist
in tech that often, and it definitely doesn't
exist in AV. I think we have a stronger brand.
Because of that, we're a [stickier] employer. "
The company's employee base is
AVI Systems' new Velocity Signature
offering, built around the Microsoft
Teams Rooms platform, is a nextgeneration
version of one of those
early pandemic solutions that is now
designed to support hybrid work.
Those requirements were an enterprise
cloud collaboration platform and a way
to communicate to an entire workforce,
regardless of team members' location. The
team then brought five specific offers to the
table, and sales had those solutions out to
customers in 10 days.
As the pandemic worsened continued in
the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, AVI
Systems' NFL customers needed a solution
that allowed team executives to watch film
on college athletes and talk among themselves. " We
delivered a solution for them
where they video call over Zoom and watch
broadcast-quality video and shuttle the
video back and forth on a separate video
stream, " Sousa says. " And that's how they
put together their strategies. " Since then,
the company has iterated on that solution
illustrative of the AV industry, with employees
coming to AVI Systems from several
different avenues. In fact, employees at the
National Sales Meeting were overheard
talking about how they got into the industry:
One was a music engineer; another
came from IT; another was an electrician.
Diversity - something that has been
a topic of conversation in the industry for
a long time - is an important part of AVI
Systems' culture. Stoebner, Sousa and the
rest of the company acknowledge that
the AV industry doesn't always look like
its customers do. Recognizing that, the
company has been elevating more women
to professional positions. Because of this,
AVI Systems' gender diversity well outpaces
the industry as a whole. " We're trying to
get that alignment right, " Stoebner says.
By coupling those cultural elements with its
desire to solve the world's communication
problems by building solutions that support
conferencing platforms, AVI Systems is
positioning itself for long-term success. The
company has the tools to keep AV relevant
well beyond the hybrid-work experiment.
Summing things up, Stoebner declares
that the AVI Systems brand is strong. " We
think we've built a foundation that will
grow beyond industry growth rates...and
we solve a lot of the problems that the
pandemic and isolation presented, " he
concludes. CI
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Commercial Integrator 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator 2023

Commercial Integrator 2023 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator 2023 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator 2023 - 1
Commercial Integrator 2023 - 2
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