Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 61

C llab rati n
TODAY and TOMORROW
ended up asking some of my
industry peers the following
questions:
Is there a market for
commercial AV in the WFH
world?
Do you use any commercial
AV gear in your personal
home office?
My Take
I'll start with my opinion: Yes.
I do still see some opportunities
for commercial AV in
WFH environments. You still
find corporate leaders who
prefer hardware endpoints
for video collaboration,
for example. For many, it's
about the user experience.
They know how to operate
the endpoint in their office,
and they prefer to keep that
same experience at home
because, in most cases,
technology is simply a tool
that they use rather than a
focus of their job. Reliability,
simplicity and consistency
rule in that world. A desktop
hardware endpoint doesn't
require driver updates,
doesn't spit out error
messages about a camera
or microphone being in use
by another application, and
doesn't result in a mess of
USB cables connected to
the laptop dock.
Speaking for myself, I have
far too much equipment at
home, but most of it isn't
commercial. I do have a Cisco
hardware endpoint, a Blackmagic
Design switcher and
some pro-level microphones,
but most of my day-to-day
streaming and collaboration
gear is Elgato - I think I have
almost every product they
make - and Logitech. That
being said, one of my " goes
everywhere with me always "
devices for both home and
the road is a Poly Sync 20.
And, when I need some
privacy, I have a Poly Voyager
Focus 2 UC. Both of those
devices ride the line between
consumer and commercial, in
my opinion.
My final thought builds on
that last sentence: The manufacturers
and integrators
who will find the most success
in the WFH market are
those who create solutions
that can exist in both worlds.
As for our industry peers,
what follows is a collection
of the thoughts they shared
with me.
Jose Mozota, CTS-I, PhD
President, Freman Solutions Inc.
Mike Slamer, CTS
Executive AV Engineer,
Warner Bros. Discovery
I am an AV professional, but my WFH setup
is made up of residential equipment available
in box stores or ecommerce websites.
I have a Logitech C920 1080p webcam, a
pair of Harman Kardon CN-04N567-48220 powered speakers, a
Blue Microphones snowball USB microphone that I alternate
with the mic in the webcam, and two ASUS MG28UQ monitors.
But that's just me. So, is there opportunity for commercial
communication solutions in the WFH market? I believe there
are two different scenarios:
1) If companies supply with a package of gear for employees
who work from home, then commercial suppliers have an
opportunity to sell those kits. Usually, companies will buy from
the channels that they're accustomed to doing business with.
2) Sometimes, the worker gets an allowance to purchase
their WFH gear. However, commercial equipment is not readily
available through the channels that residential customers
have access to, nor are they always aware of the different
options. After all, most of the online reviews and articles focus
on residential solutions that people can easily get.
One last thought: Commercial equipment is built to run 24/7
reliably; accordingly, the cost tends to be higher than for residential
equipment, which is not used under those conditions.
In conclusion, I believe that commercial AV technologies
and practitioners will have a hard time breaking into the WFH
market, unless the first scenario prevails.
commercialintegrator.com
In response to the question, " Is there a
market for commercial AV in the workfrom-home
world? " , I would say, simply
put, no. In my opinion, commercial AV has already missed
golden opportunities over the past two years to be in front of
consumers. First, there is a lack of advertising and promotions.
Some of the biggest names of our industry are absolutely
nowhere to be found outside of specific, technology-related
magazines, trade shows and industry blogs. No
cross-promotion means people aren't seeing the gear anywhere,
such as on Instagram Reels or TikTok, where cameras,
lights, etc. could be showcased. No TV commercials - not
even smaller touches like subway advertisements or " watch
this ad before the movie " - on your flight.
Commercial AV manufacturers or industry trade associations
like AVIXA could have put out an ad that highlighted how
AV has kept the world connected and moving forward during
the pandemic. Marketing can make a big difference. Zoom
used to be " commercial AV; " now, that company is a verb.
What's more, I think commercial AV is too insular...too
" techy. " The perception is that, because it's specialized, a specialized
skill set is required to operate/maintain those systems.
Consumer education and showcasing ease of use must be top
priorities. As much plug-and-play as possible is a start, as are
in-depth support guides for hardware.
SEPTEMBER 2022 Commercial Integrator
61
http://www.commercialintegrator.com

Commercial Integrator September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator September 2022

Commercial Integrator September 2022 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 1
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 2
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 3
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 4
Commercial Integrator September 2022 - 5
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Commercial Integrator September 2022 - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/commercialintegrator/december_2022
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