When Alan Taylor, CTS®, joined UK systems integrator avsnet in early 2015, one of the first things on his mind was to get the company’s 50 or so technical and service staff CTS-certified. Taylor landed the job as Senior Project Manager partly on his qualifications. He already had his AVIXA AV Technologist and CTS certifications, and was working toward his CTS-D when he interviewed for the position. At that time, no one at avsnet had an AVIXA certification and so his résumé certainly stood out.
"I was more certified than everyone else here and I'd been to every InfoComm show for the last six years," says Taylor. "It definitely made the interview process easier for me."
With his foot in the door, it wasn't hard to convince his new employer to commit to getting the ball rolling on training and certifying its staff to AVIXA standards. "When you approach potential clients or go for preproject interviews and can say you have CTS-trained staff, they immediately see it as a seal," and you’re more likely to win the bid, he says.
Since its foundation in 2005, avsnet has grown to encompass visual collaboration and unified communications with a wide range of impressive private and public sector clients across the healthcare, finance, government, education, retail, manufacturing and media markets. A large proportion of its service staff works onsite, and Taylor has devised a way to utilize some of their inevitable downtime for studying, and then rotate out staff who have less time to study, to give everyone a chance to take AVIXA courses and tests.
"Some of our longer-term clients, especially some of our big banking clients, are still using analog technology. They feel like if it's not broke, don't fix it. But they’re getting left behind by changes in the market," says Taylor. "I need my guys to get up to speed on the new technologies so they can then push that toward these clients to move them into the 21st century and, in turn, increase their potential revenues."
Taylor is immensely energized by new technology and the type of client that wants to go the extra mile, many of which he finds in the aerospace and healthcare industries. In 2014 he managed a "show-stopping" £2.5-million 3D holographic aircraft engine engineering project, and with avsnet is currently working with the British National Health Service and leading U.K. hospitals on technology refreshes that include videoconferencing, AV backup and control systems for remote assistance during surgical procedures.
"I'm constantly looking at ways to move technology forward, and trying to establish things that other people haven’t thought about or done," says Taylor. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy a challenge. What I love about this industry, is once one job is done there’s something new and different. We're always trying to further that and get just one more pixel. That's the thing that gets me going. And the satisfaction of a client that says 'I didn't know it was possible to do that'."