Evolution, not revolution, was very much the message we took away from ISE 2023. As the AV industry faces gathering economic headwinds, there is much to be optimistic about. The shift to virtualised offerings is gathering pace, and the barriers to interoperability are getting lower.
They say that necessity is the mother of all inventions, and this has undoubtedly been the case for the AV sector over the past two years. However, as things settle back into the new normal and enterprises transition towards digitalising their IT and AV estates, the AV industry has shifted from invention to evolution.
However, this transformation has highlighted the gap between expectations created by the enterprise's new vision and AV technology adoption and the reality of what can be delivered. In part, this is due to supply/logistic chain challenges. It is also partly due to the gap between the expectation of innovation and the reality facing enterprises when updating AV real estate.
This has many implications for the connectivity and services part of the AV sector. Smaller vendors are taking advantage of larger vendors' difficulties and winning potential deals they might not have been considered for previously. At the same time, smaller vendors are proving they can be more flexible in how they provide support and are also turning to software, especially cloud solutions, to help support clients.
It's not just smaller vendors that are jumping on the software bandwagon. Software overall, cloud-native platforms, and hosted cloud-based solutions were hot topics on the ISE show floor. Vendors were talking about transitioning to prioritising software tools as a strategically important attribute for the product/service offering. At the same time, vendors like XYTE and Level3AV are moving to bring AV into the digitalised cloud world and expand enterprises' ability to monitor, manage, and have visibility of devices.
Interoperability was also another recurring theme at ISE 2023. Enterprises are no longer look for a walled-garden approach when working with vendors and integrators. Enterprises want to buy solutions and be able to work with the best in class across different areas. This is driving manufacturers to consider re-designing solutions and to consider strategic partnerships.
Managed Service providers are growing vertically across industries, which pushes them to make horizontal technology stack acquisitions to expand their capabilities for end-to-end coverage. More focus was on software and platforms, enabling actionable intelligence automation via an application for the meeting rooms and scheduling software. Software and Cloud-enabled services are emerging as a market.
Convergence between the AV and IoT industry continues to grow, alongside mindset change towards outcome-based services, where the as-a-service model can have an incredible monetising opportunity. Growth in as-a-service portfolios coincides with the growth of remote monitoring and management capabilities. When these reach a significant scale, we expect additional value over simple cost savings for AV clients to emerge, and monetisation opportunities for AV vendors will become visible.
As the sector transitions from its traditional point-to-point/walled garden approach, new revenue opportunities are arising around software, control, and management of AV devices. We live in interesting times in the AV industry.
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