This month I traveled to London for an event organized by AV Magazine. A group of leading AV consultants met for a round table discussion at the Grosvenor house hotel on park lane and because we were an event sponsor, we had an opportunity to sit in on the debate.
And an interesting one it was.The discussion on IT and AV convergence hit the bull’s eye, especially against the backdrop of the launch of uniCOS, our flagship multimedia conference system. The answer to the question on how this merger affects the consultant’s role gave us some valuable insights.
But not only is the consultant affected by this change in the audiovisual landscape. Times are gone that being an audio specialist was sufficient to successfully install a microphone system in a conference room. And admitted, audio skills are still required: audio waves still travel through air and the way they behave hasn’t changed. Acoustically they can still make or break an install.
Although audio has gone digital years ago, it’s only recent that audio and data have started sharing the same cable, the same infrastructure. The general acceptance of digital audio networking protocols like DANTE has brought audio to the world of switchers and routers, until then only an IT person’s playground.
Visa versa, IT managers are now confronted with the new world of audio. Rightfully so they have concerns about overall system management, security and accountability. Most probably there’s a healthy mix of fear for the unknown and an experience based reserve.
We can only guess what the future will bring. It’s very likely, if not certain, that the IT and AV convergence will continue and that the two worlds will eventually fully merge.
For us as a manufacturer the challenge is two-fold. Obviously we must keep up with trends and technological evolutions in the development of our products. But on the other hand we must not forget the consultants, integrators and audio specialist that are going through this evolution. By addressing network security and reducing overall system complexity, we strive to alleviate at least some of the pressure on those concerned.
After all don’t we all prefer plain and simple?