Commercial Integrator 2023 - 73

C llab rati n
TODAY and TOMORROW
some difficulties in the
convergence of AV and IT.
In particular, he says, IT
departments sometimes
struggle with AV because
they don't deal with it every
day. The reverse, of course,
can also be true. " Our industry
needs more training in
IT and its role in the AV ecosystem, "
he acknowledges.
Walker values work
culture highly, and he seeks
to balance virtual and inperson
gatherings to keep
it positive. " We were virtual
before it was cool, " he jokes.
Walker insists that cameras
stay on for virtual meetings
so that everyone can see
their coworkers' reactions.
From his perspective,
without that feedback and
engagement, people can
start to lose touch. Thus,
he is always searching for
" magnets " to keep the whole
team bonded. To achieve
this, Walker often plans
" field trips " centered on topics
that his group is curious
about, and he finishes them
with a great dinner or a
relaxing hangout.
Walker describes himself
as personally optimistic but
professionally pessimistic.
He recognizes two threats
in our industry that we need
to keep an eye on - namely,
commoditization and AI/
ChatGPT. In Walker's opinion,
when AV technology
becomes commoditized, it
can hurt many AV providers.
However, commoditization
can also help AV providers
who learn how to meet
customer needs, offer more
services or use new technologies
to make unique
solutions.
Walker thinks that AI/
ChatGPT poses a serious
threat to the field of AV
systems. He argues, for example,
that this technology
can create code and systems
in a matter of minutes
- or even seconds. This
can undermine the expertise
and skills that integrators,
consultants and others
in the AV industry sell. Thus,
Walker suggests regulation
of AI and imposing limitations
on its use.
Walker learned from the
pandemic that work/life
balance is essential and
that people should not
be expected always to be
" on. " Instead, he says, they
should find a way to achieve
excellence in both their
professional life and their
personal life. Speaking poetically,
he says, " You can still
climb the hill and recognize
humanity at the same time. "
Outside the world of AV,
Walker loves spending time
with his wife, Betsy, and
their three grown sons. He
lives in Isle of Palms, S.C.
Connect with Walker via
LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/
scott-walker-49849014.
their broadcast experience,
and began tapping into
their network of contacts
(e.g., Merrill Lynch) to provide
AV services.
And they did, in fact,
30 years of experience in
broadcast media and AV
systems integration. In fact,
Collins was a pioneering
associate of Diversified
Systems back in 1993, when
it had only eight employees.
He rose through the ranks
of sales and operations,
eventually becoming the
president and COO of the
company. Collins departed
last year, having contributed
to Diversified's growth into
a global company with more
than 2,200 employees and
a presence in international
markets such as the U.K.,
the United Arab Emirates,
India, Canada and Japan.
Collins is an expert in
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Kevin Collins
Kevin Collins is an extraordinary
leader in the AV
industry, boasting a legacy
of achievements that surpasses
what most people
could accomplish in several
lifetimes. He has more than
creating teams from ground
zero. When he joined
Diversified, it was a leader
in broadcast integration.
However, the growth rate
of Diversified's broadcast
business had slowed. Sensing
a shift, Collins and Fred
D'Alessandro ventured into
AV. Then, Collins started
recruiting employees, such
as Steve Athaide, when a
local AV integrator went out
of business. Together, they
leveraged their engineering
and project-management
strengths, cultivated from
impress Merrill Lynch with
their project...but they lost
money for Diversified. As
Collins explains, it was
about " ...learning what we
did not know. " They took it
as a learning opportunity
and improved their processes
as a result, coming to
thrive in an AV integration
business that they learned
was distinct from broadcast.
From the Merrill Lynch
project onwards, Diversified
has taken on remarkable
projects year after year.
These comprise the Madison
Square Garden (MSG)
transformation, Yankee
Stadium and the United Nations.
According to Collins,
with a team of engineers
by profession, Diversified
continually looked for
gaps in existing solutions
and brought in experts to
identify the skills needed to
maintain their expertise and
fill those gaps.
" Being agile ensures
stability, " Collins says. He
always looked for ways to
evolve Diversified and stay
relevant in the ever-changing
world of technology,
such as embracing the
digital revolution and the
convergence of AV and
IT. However, to achieve
Diversified's large-scale
vision, Collins admits that
the company required
assistance. " If a business
isn't growing, it's shrinking, "
he states. In 2015, Divercommercialintegrator.com
JUNE
2023 Commercial Integrator 73
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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
Commercial Integrator 2023 - 3
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