The Asia-Pacific Market: Positioning Your AV Company for Success
By David Keene
Top AV companies are leveraging AV/IT integration to meet demand, moving customers to more AV/IP, and leveraging AVIXA membership and resources to position themselves for success in a fast-growing but rapidly changing market.
The AV markets in Asia have been booming in recent years. That robust growth is not only poised to continue, APAC will lead the world in AV market size by 2014. Is your AV integration company, or AV design firm, poised to take advantage of that growth, and turn growth into profitability? Best Practices have now emerged among the best AV integration companies that want to position themselves for improved profitability in a fast-changing AV and IT landscape.
What's Behind the Boom?
Recent market research from AVIXA tells the story: while the historically larger market in the Americas for professional audiovisual solutions and services will grow to more than $112 billion in 2024, from $89 billion in 2019, AVIXA forecasters expect the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market to surpass the Americas, reaching $90.6 billion in 2019 and $127.6 billion in 2024.1
How do you position your company for success, and more profitability, in fast-growing markets where shear growth and increased demand for services mean your competitors – strong and weak competitors alike – are confusing customers with many options? How do you stand out in a crowded field of providers? The most successful AV integration companies are discovering Best Practices around more IT-centric solutions, better AV/IP solutions, and better collaboration solutions that are now integrated with Cloud platforms to which many enterprises are migrating. And a key best practice – the “secret weapon” of the best AV companies in the region – is membership in AVIXA, the leading Association in the ASIA/APAC region and internationally – dedicated to advancing the AV integration business. These companies have found that leveraging AVIXA’s resources for training, certification, standards, and business intelligence allows their AV companies to succeed in a tough, competitive landscape with new pressures from the IT side and an influx of new technologies.
In the Midst of Growth – a more daunting, and more competitive AV and AV/IT landscape
APAC’s rise to the top spot as the largest region for pro-AV revenues is the culmination of several trends. APAC’s growth is driven in part by the region’s demand for security, surveillance, and life safety solutions, which in turn fuels growth in the streaming media, storage, and distribution (SMSD) product segment. SMSD is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5 percent in the Asia-Pacific region from 2019 through 2024.
“The hike in the revised forecasts reflects strong economies and demand for new products and services,” said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. “The growth in pro-AV revenue is actually outpacing expectations for global GDP growth.”
Adding to the boom: more AV/IP solutions, more soft-codec based collaboration and videoconferencing solutions that are easier for the end user customer to use, and more outdoor pixel mapping/projection and other experiential, live event-based AV.
Even as the demand for quality AV and AV/IT infrastructure increases, a new, tougher and more competitive landscape coupled with higher expectations for how AV integrates with IT systems now defines the markets in the APAC region. What’s driving the higher expectations, and the increased pressure?
We are now seeing larger project implementations. And new technologies – AV/IP, more OT-integrated Unified Communication, BYOD where corporate meeting attendees bring their own devices, AR/VR/MR (augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality) , pixel mapping, and large palette LED, and more – are evolving quickly. How do you adapt to those trends and new technologies? One key is training and retraining, focused on AV industry certification – and keeping up with new product developments and trends by attending AV industry trade shows and conferences such as those produced by AVIXA.
Best Practices for training, certification, and industry recognition
How does training and certification, including AVIXA’s CTS, fit into the market? CTS stands for Certified Technology Specialist (CTS®) certifications from AVIXA – CTS General, CTS-D (Design) and/or CTS-I (Installation). Top AV Design Consultants – and other professional contractors who engage AV professionals – increasingly require that the systems integrators bidding on their jobs employ AV professionals who hold the CTS credential. Others give preference to AV companies that employ CTS-certified technicians.
Jeffrey Lim is managing director at PAVE System Pte Ltd. PAVE Systems is based in Singapore, and is also very active in the AV markets in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. PAVE Systems is an AVIXA Bronze member company. Lim sees “a more IT-centric world” today, and that drives a lot of what the company is focusing on.
“In the early stages of AV/IT convergence,” said Lim, “we were putting AV on the network, and the high bandwidth requirement often scared the IT people. And in the early days, compression was not that good, so quite a bit of our projects were still on separate networks, AV separate from IT. But I’d say that last year, and this year, 75% of the systems we’re doing are now AV/IP. That trend is strong, especially for 1Gb, that’s more readily deployable. For example, we recently did an upgrade of Singapore Pools off-site betting centre to AVoIP with Crestron NVX.”
So it’s not surprising that at PAVE Systems, CTS credentials are important. PAVE’s Sales Director, Sales Manager, and System Manager have CTS certification from AVIXA.
“When AVIXA officially started offering CTS, we jumped on board.”
Pave Systems Pte Ltd.
“When AVIXA officially started offering CTS, we jumped on board,” said Jeffrey Lim. “Even as over time IT grows in importance, CTS is very useful to our company. And AV design consultants, that spec the equipment into many AV systems and also often choose the AV integrator for the job– especially the more high end, complex ones – do recognize the value of CTS when they select the integrator. Those consultants that drive most of larger jobs recognize CTS as a benchmark for quality control.”
Matthew Deayton, Global Business Development Director at Vega, the Hong Kong-based AV integrator, also sees huge benefits deriving from AVIXA membership and AVIXA resources including training and certifications.
“Vega has an enterprise bronze membership with AVIXA,” commented Deayton. “As an international organization representing the audio-visual industry, being a certified member of AVIXA plus having a large pool of staff members with individual certifications, and being awarded as an APEX company – well, this gives us leverage over other system integrators when it comes to working with multi-national companies in the region.”
“Most of our target clients look for certifications and accreditations as well as international experience,” continued Deayton. “As the prime recognised international trade organisation for the AV and IT industry, the training and certifications AVIXA provides gives us the necessary foundations and core competencies our staff need to work effectively with our clients. This gives us the necessary differentiation over our competitors in terms of credibility and reliability. In Hong Kong and other markets, having the AVIXA Apex designation and having our staff trained through the CTS programmes demonstrates to our client our commitment to the professional development of our staff.”
Not surprisingly, Vega has been the recipient of the following standards/awards from AVIXA:
- 2011: Vega became the first AV/IT company in Hong Kong to be awarded as Certified Audio Visual Solutions Provider (CAVSP)
- 2014: Vega was recognized as the first AV/IT company in Hong Kong to be awarded as AV Provider of Excellence (APEX).
- 2014-2019: APEX company status. APEx – the AVIXA-administered AV Provider of Excellence program – is a recognition credential earned by integration companies and AV design consulting firms that have demonstrated excellence in training their teams, world-class service to customers, and the upholding of industry standards. The prestigious APEx designation is for AVIXA members only – one of the many benefits of membership. AVIXA allows companies of all sizes to pursue these kinds of quality initiatives, and to access association resources.
The Importance of CTS from AVIXA
AVIXA’s Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certifications – CTS General, CTS-D (Design), and CTS-I (Installation) – are ANSI accredited under the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission. Indeed, AVIXA has administered the CTS program, for 30 years, and it’s recognized worldwide as the leading AV professional credential.
CTS certification offers you: the ability to sell you and your company’s work more effectively to clients; evidence of technical proficiency and professionalism to AV Design Consultants, and to customers; increasing value, recognition and marketability of the CTS credential in the marketplace; and demonstration of your adherence to a strict code of ethics and conduct.
More AVIXA Resources for Business Intelligence, and Standards
The creation and publication of AV industry Standards is also key to AVIXA’s activity, with standards around Audiovisual Systems Performance Verification, Recommended Practices for Security in Networked AV Systems, Audiovisual Systems Energy Management, and many more technical standards. With AVIXA membership your company will have full access to those Standards and gain market benefit from them. As the APAC markets – and all global AV markets – work to ensure high quality AV systems with consistent, measurable performance, tapping into this resource will keep your company both performing well, and recognized and rewarded when it comes to bidding on jobs.
To gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of industry trends, you need the best business intelligence. Your most valuable partner in BI is AVIXA, with their market intelligence. AVIXA works with leading global research firms to collect, analyze, and report on emerging markets, current and future product sales, end-user buying habits, and the macro-trends impacting the pro-AV industry. This is a crucial benefit of AVIXA membership, that will help you to determine which of the growing markets are profitable, learn how revenue models are changing, indentify emerging trends and technologies, understand your overall market position – and much more.
Best Practices are Now More Defined for APAC
Best practices have now emerged among the best AV integration companies in the APAC market that need to position themselves for growth and improved profitability in a changing AV and IT landscape. The most successful AV integration companies are discovering Best Practices around more IT-centric solutions, better AV/IP solutions, and better collaboration solutions that are now integrated with Cloud platforms to which many enterprises are migrating. And a key best practice is membership in AVIXA, the leading Association in the ASIA/APAC region and internationally – dedicated to advancing the AV integration business. Membership in AVIXA will ensure that you have access to career- and company-building tools that help you leverage Certifications, Standards, Business Intelligence, and more, to give you the competitive edge you need to succeed in a rapidly changing market.
According to Fintan Mckiernan, Chief Executive Officer – South East Asia, at Ideal Systems, with headquarters in Hong Kong but also with offices in all the important countries of the Asia-Pacific region, “AVIXA membership helps our customers to know we uphold our quality and work standards to international levels. This is very important in the AV world… It also provides us with a datum from which to benchmark our engineering skills in different countries, this is very important for Ideal as we roll out our AV services across the group, as we are located in 11 countries and have 14 offices. Asia is very siloed, and a dramatically different business environment to the US or Europe, there is not cookie cutter business models here, we see vast differences in business operations and culture between India, China, Japan and Indonesia, however with our commitment to AVIXA, we have some normalisation across our teams.”
1 The growth is reflected in updated forecasts now available in AVIXA’s 2019 AV Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA) Americas Summary. The IOTA series of reports are produced by AVIXA in conjunction with IHS Markit, a noted insights and intelligence firm. The combined methodological approach makes IOTA the most comprehensive and representative report on the total pro-AV channel on the market today. To learn more about the IOTA report, visit www.avixa.org/IOTA.
InfoComm Southeast Asia
27–29 May 2020
Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) Hall 100 & 101, Thailand
Technology is racing ahead. Rather than play catch-up, you need to be at the front of the race when it comes to the latest in Professional AudioVisual (pro-AV) and Integrated Experience Technologies. InfoComm Southeast Asia, to take place at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) Hall 100 & 101, Thailand, 27 - 29 May 2020 is the place to learn about, access and adopt these technologies. It can streamline your business operations, boost workplace efficiency and help you wow your customers.
According to Fintan Mckiernan, at Ideal Systems, “probably the biggest help for my region of South East Asia has been the launch of the InfoComm Southeast Asia show in Bangkok. There was a lack of a focused AV show in the region and this has helped greatly to provide a comprehensive show platform for the region. I think this show will grow in importance over the coming years and will be the key go-to show.”
InfoComm Asia is operated by InfoComm Asia Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based subsidiary of AVIXA responsible for trade shows in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions, including InfoComm India, InfoComm Southeast Asia, Beijing InfoComm China and Chengdu InfoComm China. Each show includes an exhibition showcasing the world’s most cutting-edge and in-demand technologies, and a conference Summit that presents extensive learning opportunities for pro-AV integrators, consultants and end users. For information on attending InfoComm SouthEast Asia, visit: http://www.infocomm-sea.com/en/why-visit.php.