The New AV Identity – Our Perspective from ISE 2023
Control Concepts’ Client Success Manager, Brittany DiCesare, shares her insights from ISE 2023
Control Concepts just got back from Integrated Systems Europe, ISE, for the first time since ISE 2020 in Amsterdam. Steve Greenblatt and I took to the show floor all four days and came away with a few significant takeaways.
Before I get into those, let me set the stage a little. This is the first time I’ve attended ISE as an attendee. In 2020, I had the pleasure of working ISE as a staff member of AVIXA. (In fact, that show is where I met Steve Greenblatt for the first time, so it has a special significance for me!)
The 2020 show was also the beginning of the pandemic and had lower attendance numbers due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus. So, although I’ve been at ISE in the past, my perspective for 2023 was like that of a first-time attendee!
Before I dive into our takeaways, I’d also like to note that our purpose for attending tradeshows is different from many others. While many attend tradeshows to see the latest and greatest technology, Control Concepts attends for the opportunity to meet with exhibitors and attendees and discuss their needs, our expertise, and learn how we provide added value to the industry. We utilize the four days of the tradeshow to have as many business conversations as possible; therefore, my takeaways are a bit unique and won’t be focused on the coolest products we saw.
Well, now that I’ve set the stage, let’s dive in.
One of the major themes we heard in our conversations at ISE 2023 was interoperability. Many manufacturers have come out on the other side of the pandemic realizing it’s better to be included in as many opportunities as possible rather than pushing their audience to a single-brand solution.
So, what does this mean for our industry? Manufacturers are placing greater importance on investing in their API (application programming interface) to work seamlessly with other products across the industry. Having an API is a great starting point for interoperability; however, integrators and programmers are looking for solutions that involve expedited in-field programming. They need predeveloped middleware solutions for various control platforms that are proven and supported to instill confidence in their clients that their product will be flexible, easy, and reliable to implement – think modules, drivers, and plugins. Going beyond an API and investing in quality middleware that serves as building blocks for programming is definitely going to catch the eyes of the programmer community!
Okay, that’s great, but who do we even reach out to for API integration and middleware development?
I’m so glad you asked! Let me introduce you to a new identity entering the AV industry… AV Software Developers. I know you’ve heard of AV programmers, but the AV software developer is different. AV programmers focus on programming projects for installed AV systems. AV programmers utilize the building blocks provided by the control system platforms to create custom solutions that provide a user experience. Whether through coding or configuration, AV programmers are delivering the control system glue that defines the operation of an AV system. AV software developers are different. These are the specialists who focus on writing complex code that lays the foundation for others to build upon. Whether through middleware solutions that leverage products’ APIs or solving some of the challenges commonly faced by AV programmers, an AV software developer creates reusable code that other programmers use to complete their projects more effectively and efficiently allowing them to truly focus on the specific needs of the client.
While the AV software developer identity may just be surfacing, it is not a new role or offering for Control Concepts. Just like when we started in 1997 as a pioneer of the independent programming world, we have been blazing this new trail to add value and fill needs in a new area of AV programming. We have focused on the AV software development niche for more than 10 years and have become fully dedicated to serving in this capacity as a result of the pandemic. It is encouraging and rewarding to see more manufacturers turn to AV software developers because they recognize the unique value that companies like Control Concepts offer to the industry. I think our industry is going to see the need for AV software developers grow as the need for interoperability intensifies.
ISE 2023 gave us a great glimpse into what 2023 will look like for our industry. I can’t wait to see how this develops as we approach InfoComm 2023, CEDIA Expo, and Commercial Integrator Expo. And I look forward to seeing all our #avtweeps!
If the changes that I experienced in the three years between ISE2020 and ISE2023 are any indication of where things are headed, I am confident that I made the right choice in joining Control Concepts to lead the charge in developing manufacturer relationships that will result in increased inter-operability, greater confidence and outcomes that can be achieved through API integration, and most importantly support for programmers and integrators who benefit from the ease of control and programming.
After more than 25 years, Control Concepts has proven itself as the AV industry’s premier programming company and now software developer and I’m excited to be at the forefront of this movement. Those who know us should agree that we know a thing or two about what is important to programmers because programming is in our genes. Our mission is to help raise the bar in the industry and look out for our fellow programmers by communicating their needs to manufacturers whose products they control and program. I have the privilege of developing relationships and building partnerships with manufacturers and control system platforms to educate them on the possibilities of growing the impact and adoption of their products. In doing so, we develop modules, drivers, plugins, and utilities that are the building blocks for thousands of systems within the industry.
I’d love to talk more about this and our new identity. Feel free to reach out to me at BrittanyD@controlconcepts.net to further the conversation!
About Control Concepts
Founded in 1997, Control Concepts is a leader in the software integration of manufacturers’ products with AV control system platforms through the development of plugins, drivers, modules, middleware, and accompanying support. The value provided by these offerings eases the effort for integrators and programmers seeking to control devices with robust APIs and provides simplified compatibility for third-party manufacturers’ devices.
Control Concepts also provides consultation for system standardization, software application development, and specialty services for AV systems.
For more information on plugin development or how Control Concepts helps manufacturers, contact Brittany DiCesare, Client Success Manager, BrittanyD@controlconcepts.net