I’m sure you’re all pretty sick of hearing about convergence. It’s been the buzzword from InfoComm, NSCA and most of our major publications for, oh, the last decade. IT is coming! Convergence is upon us! Adapt or die! The clarion call has been shouted from rooftops, proclaimed in industry classes and discussed endlessly — in roundtables and keynotes and blog upon blog. To an average integrator, this tintinnabulation has echoed falsely in our everyday work life. Sure, we meet with more IT guys than general facilities guys these days, and yeah, once in a while an IT firm shows up at an AV project pre-bid, but the wholesale takeover of our industry as predicted has simply not come to pass. It’s not that big a deal. Okay, business has slowed some places for integrators, but it’s the economy, right? Things are down all over!
So, another hiatus for AVDawn, but this time, I tell ya, I had a few darned good excuses!In March of this year, after fighting through the brunt of the recession, MrAVDawn and I decided to cut our losses and dissolve the partnership we made two years ago that made us part-owners of a small mom-and-pop AV Integrator. MrAVDawn immediately went to work for a larger integrator in the MidAtlantic region that specializes in government contracts, particularly secure VTC centers. Exciting stuff, as he joined the firm right off the bat as a Senior Design Engineer. He loves the new gig, and the new gig seems to be loving him.
IT takes square-aim at the AV Integration market. Enough’s enough!
So, the other evening, I’m sitting at home relaxing with my husband-slash-business partner when he looks up from his laptop with an outraged mien and exclaims, “You’ve gotta be kidding me!” (or slightly more profane words to that effect). Of course, I ask, “What’s up?” and he directs me to the Dell website, where, amongst an ever-increasing list of AV products and services being sold by this computer giant, we spied the magic word: Crestron. This morning, a tweet from RAVE news pointed out that CDW, another IT monster, is also selling Crestron… direct to end users… at a single-digit markup. To quote Slim Pickins, “What in the wide wide world of sports is a-goin’ on here??”
Is this the end of the VTC world as we know it? *shrug* I feel fine…
Do you feel hear that massive rumbling? It’s the sound of a sudden, major paradigm shift in the A/V world that will have major ramifications for our industry in the months and years to come. Last night, September 30th, 2009, Cisco made an offer of $2.97 billion to purchase Tandberg. The biggest name in IT is now in the process of acquiring one of the biggest names in videoconferencing and, if approved by the Tandberg shareholders, stands to be a game-changing event for our industry. The gradual AV/IT Convergence of the past 5-10 years just exploded forward in a single explosive move. There is a lot to discuss and ponder if this deal goes through.