Control Concepts’ Highlights from InfoComm 2022
The camaraderie of the AV community and the crucial need for software solutions that can ease clients’ needs for working systems.
The most talked-about way to describe InfoComm22 was “a family reunion.” Most involved would agree that the highlight of their InfoComm22 experience was the opportunity to reunite with business associates, colleagues, clients, and friends in-person while celebrating all the AV industry has to offer.
The Control Concepts team could not agree more as we could not only get together with those who are important to us but also bond and build relationships with connections that we had established and maintained online, including those with our team members.
For most, the excitement of these real-life connections overshadows the reality of extended delivery dates, the absence of product announcements, and the challenge of needing to significantly change the traditional way of doing business in the AV world to continue to solve clients’ needs and remain relevant.
Lost amongst some of the elation of human connection and angst about the impact of product shortages was an opportunity that not everyone could identify or appreciate. The opportunity that truly resonated with the Control Concepts team was the noticeable shift in conversation to the power of software.
One thing that is for sure is that software is not on backorder, nor is its availability impacted by supply chain challenges or manufacturing delays. As a result, there is no better time to appreciate the power that software can bring to the AV industry.
In some cases, software will be a substitute for hardware-centric solutions like conferencing and audio/video transport. In other cases, software will provide the glue that connects devices, allowing for greater integration possibilities.
For Control Concepts, a specialized AV software development company, the shift toward a software-focused approach for AV systems and an emphasis on the value of control and API integration is a breath of fresh air and validates the pivot we have been embracing for many years. It was only as few as five years ago when manufacturers boosted their “No Programming Required” solutions, alluding to the pending extinction of AV programmers. While it is important to note that software configurable AV systems are here to stay and the appetite for one-off, custom programmed AV systems is diminishing, there is an increased focus on the value that software and AV software developers can bring to the industry.
The dependency on hardware and single-brand manufacturer solutions is currently causing many clients, technology managers, integrators, and consultants to rethink their approach to AV solutions. The current reality is the need to piece together solutions, whether best in class or best available. Thus, greater consideration will be provided for reliable, flexible, easy-to-control and integrate products.
While more and more products tout a fully-featured, open API, those that offer modules/drivers/plugins for a variety of control systems are truly demonstrating their commitment to their versatility and desire to be easy to integrate with any platform while being effortless to control for programmers of all levels. On the flip side, control system platforms with robust module/driver/plugin libraries illustrate their desire to readily integrate with a multitude of products, providing confidence that integrators will achieve predictable outcomes even when working with new products with which they are less familiar.
It is widely known that one of the greatest aspects of the AV industry is the people who make up the community. Another that may be often understated is the perseverance and resourcefulness of those AV enthusiasts who always find ways to overcome challenges, satisfy client needs, and create new and innovative solutions.
The custom integration AV industry has always been dedicated to making disparate products work together. Although the product shortage is a major challenge for most in our industry, those who look adversity in the eye and creatively seek other solutions can turn a problem into an opportunity. We have already seen software and cloud-based solutions become viable alternatives for many business applications, entertainment options, and communications tools. As the AV industry turns more to software to help reshape AV solutions and provide the much needed relief to the challenges of hardware shortages, it will be an uncomfortable change for some. However, it is crucial to trust and understand that software solutions are what will make this industry sustainable into the future. Those who embrace it will be rewarded.
To learn more about the impact of software on the AV industry and Control Concepts’ mission to help others succeed and achieve their goals through the value of AV software solutions, including API integration, middleware offerings, and application development; please sign up for our mailing list.