Cyberspace: The False Dichotomy of Residential vs. Commercial Integration
The A/V integration market is commonly broken down into two major categories—Residential and Commercial. This dichotomy helps people understand and appreciate the different topics and concerns that are appropriate for a given integration firm or individual project. It is not uncommon for an integrator to be asked what percentage of their business is residential and what percentage is commercial. This is the way we have traditionally broken down our businesses in our own minds. Well, I believe this is becoming a false dichotomy.
When you take a look at the current A/V market, it becomes very difficult to determine which market a given product or technology is primarily targeted for. And manufacturers, as their products can serve both markets, are more and more interested in those integrators who can achieve crossover sales. As you walk through the CEDIA EXPO/InfoComm/CES trade shows this coming year, I believe this trend will become even more obvious. Here are a few key technology areas where the lines are blurred and will continue to blur over time. They also represent sales opportunities, without having to change your internal processes to a large degree.
This is one of the most obvious examples; from the largest corporation to the smallest house, energy is one of the highest variable expenses that hits the monthly budget sheet. I am still amazed that there is not an easy way for an individual or an organization to monitor and control their energy usage. There are a couple of companies out there that are offering this type of service, and I believe this to be a huge area of growth opportunity within the residential channel. Focusing on a very tangible benefit, we can offer our customers real-time energy-usage monitoring and potential cost savings.
The advantage to the integrator is that the technology in both the residential and the commercial environments is nearly identical, as are the associated problems and upside solutions. This means that you can reach both sides of the aisle by embracing this technology—remember, every company is a potential client. Don't be fooled by Google leaving this space; there is great opportunity to be had here.