Gaurab Majumdar Gaurab Majumdar, Regional Director, India and Middle East, AVIXA

Over the past decades, the IT sector has been through several transformations that are evident in the ways technology is applied and the supporting infrastructure. A prominent example of these advancements is the convergence of audiovisual (AV) and information technology (IT).

Whether it is in business, government, healthcare, or schools, more IT departments now find themselves building infrastructures that cater to an expanding number of AV devices on the network. Many teams are also inheriting new responsibilities that concern AV experiences.

Zooming in on the enterprise sector, what forces are driving the convergence of AV and IT? How do these integrations fit into India’s future growth? How can its IT community better prepare for its increasing responsibility with AV solutions?

Let us start by looking at the factors that bring AV and IT together in enterprise applications.

It is all About the User Experience

Today’s enterprises have high expectations for their communications systems. For a video conference involving offsite colleagues, they expect the system to connect correctly upon a button’s touch. Callers’ faces are projected onscreen with great fidelity and every spoken word amplified in the room with crisp intelligibility. Control presets linked to the room booking system trigger the preferred sound and brightness levels. Most important of all, they expect the system to work like magic with no glitch, every time.

This very system simplicity, performance, and reliability are the fundamental drivers pushing the demand for enterprise AV–IT integration. Enterprises have no appetite for the AV mishaps and inflexibility common with legacy systems. AV–IT integration streamlines users’ interactions and in addition, enables a user-centric approach to system improvement and expansion.

By putting AV devices on the network, systems managers can build feedback data generation into the configuration, such as usage pattern and failure reports. Equipped with these invaluable insights, managers can continuously assess how the organizational needs are being met and approach future project design with confidence.

India’s Opportunity to Leapfrog Network AV Adoption

India is shaping up to be one of the fastest growing markets for enterprise network AV.

The Indian economy grew by 7 percent in 2016 and has an estimated yearly growth of over 7 percent through 2019. The government’s USD 15 billion Smart Cities mission aims to create 100 smart cities over the next decade. This means brand new buildings are breaking ground every week across the country, from government buildings and convention centers to hotels. Many of these projects are designed from the onset to feature integrated enterprise communications.

If these trends continue, the number of new integrated AV environments in India may outpace those in the United States of America and Europe, where the driver is mostly equipment retrofits. Taking heed of how India has skipped fixed broadband to jump directly to mobile, it will be exciting to see if India’s digital leapfrogging will carry over to network AV.

Fueling India’s Digital Transformation Journey

India’s market demand for integrated AV communications is indisputable. However, whether these drivers will translate into a vibrant and sustainable new sector depends on several critical factors: a knowledgeable workforce, adoption of standards, and cross-sector collaboration between AV and IT experts.

The Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA), is the Global Trade Association established in 1939 representing the professional AV and information communications technology (ICT) Industries worldwide and a trusted resource for the larger AV community creating integrated experiences. In anticipation of the rapid growth in India’s pro-AV market, which is expected to reach USD8.4 billion by 2022, AVIXA has made India a key region of focus, regularly bringing its education program to major cities to train professionals on AV topics. AVIXA has also published numerous standards as guides to ensure AV–IT solutions are designed to be scalable and easily replicated across different venues.

Also, through industry roundtables and conferences like InfoComm India, AVIXA welcomes the IT community to network and exchange knowledge with AV professionals. Closer collaboration with AV experts will be essential in delivering consistently high video and sound quality with designs optimized for each room.

As tens of thousands of integrated enterprise spaces come online in India in the next decades, a key step is to equip the industry with the right tools to create solutions that deliver the desired business outcomes. We look forward to working with the IT community to shape this future.

Article originally published on Communications Today in March 2018