CyberSpace : A Good Time to Expand into Commercial Projects
Here are the basics you’ll need to succeedFebruary 2012 By Caleb Yaryan, Chief Technology Officer, Certified Cyber Solutions
I find it ironic that if someone had asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I could never have told them the job that I am in now. None of the technology that my company is based on existed when I was a child. As I watch my two-year-old son playing with my iPad, the same thought occurs to me. I have previously written an article about the rapid growth of technology in general and how that relates to our industry, but I find myself looking more and more at the commercial AV market and how it is a glimpse into the near future of the residential integration industry.
I recently took part in a content development workshop with InfoComm International focused networking in AV systems. Every time I do something with InfoComm I come away impressed with their overall professionalism and approach to the market. Commercial AV integration is a big business and it is one that the residential market needs to learn from and take advantage of.
People Are Your Most Valuable Asset
Technology that is hot today will be replaced by something better tomorrow, but the team of people you have to install and support these technologies will hopefully be around for a long time and are a key factor in being able to work on larger-scale commercial projects. You need to make sure these people are properly trained. Training is a process, not a one-time event.
Many companies do a good job of training new people as they come in but then never go back and properly train their existing staff on new technologies. I taught a network monitoring class at this past CEDIA EXPO and was overwhelmed with the eagerness of the audience to learn about this new area. It is cheaper in the long term to invest in your team than to bring in outsiders to obtain specific skill sets. This might not always be possible or plausible, but in general is a good practice.
Economies of Scale
Sometimes I think we over-emphasis the word "custom" in our names. Many people have made good livings making highly customized systems, but the reality is that most systems are similar and only vary by the scale of the project. The commercial AV/IT market understands this and is at the core of their mindset. Many AV installs in the commercial world are just an order of magnitude larger than typical residential installs—the network itself is often six figures plus. This might sound daunting, but the secret is these are just highly scalable, well-documented systems. Repeatable and scalable systems that can be integrated with other systems easily is the key to your success if you enter the commercial market.
If you focus on your people, scalability and IT integration, you are putting yourselves in the best place for a prosperous future and an entry into the commercial AV marketplace.