Technology Integrator November 2013 issue
This year was just as energizing as my first in 1991. I’m unsure if it was the return to Denver. Or, that many attendees believed business is finally improving. But, everyone was positive and confident. As you’ve heard the numbers were up across the board. It felt good.
The consumer electronics industry boasts a large number of small businesses and start-ups. With a seemingly endless supply of ideas and the unwavering passion to pursue them, many CEA members match the profile of a “serial” entrepreneur.
Technology Integrator: How has this last year been for you?
Making the case for an extremely expensive consumer electronics purchase to clients of extreme wealth has become more problematic of late – especially after clients do their web research and see how much they can get these days in functionality and product performance for very little expenditure. What sorts of ways are you schooling integrators in circumventing client objections to the high-ticket CE products your companies sell?
In recent columns, I argued that home integration specialists should abandon the product and feature-centric approach to selling (which defined the old glory days of A/V retailing), and adopt a consumer-centric focus more in keeping with the realities of the services we now provide. To do this, we’ll need to address the confusion and even defensiveness that consumers often bring to the task of purchasing home entertainment and automation systems.
In the technology integration business, Power Over Ethernet (PoE) technology is becoming much more common as the types of devices that support it are increasingly more pervasive. It has evolved over time from a limited technology typically found in wireless access points to one that is now a key component of a growing number of products in the field. In fact, PoE technology can now be found in many new control processors, automation products and IP cameras.
Our featured interview is with Jimmy Smith, Senior Project Manager at Wireless Connections of Joplin, MO and Jay Juarez, Install/Service Manager at Bjorn’s Audio/Video of San Antonio, TX.
Before Fortress became Fortress, it was a manufacturer of steel shelves and lockers. Founded by Nicholas Kessler in the 1930’s, Fortress went from manufacturing steel shelves to ammunition boxes during WWII. When the war ended production went back to desks and files. Then in 1959 Fortress incorporated in the state of California and has been manufacturing furniture ever since for over 5 decades.
Integrators occupy a special niche in the world of consumer electronics. Our playing field is full of small independent entrepreneurs who love the freedom and self expression they enjoy running their businesses on their own terms. Our business model and corporate culture are quite different from what you find at large retail operations like Best Buy.
In every type of industry, professionals proudly display the credentials that set them apart from their peers. Doctors, professors, accountants, architects, computer technicians, and auto mechanics all have credentials that prove they have mastered a body of knowledge and have made the effort to quantify this accomplishment in the form of a professional credential.
Just in time for our Luxury Issue, more proof on where our market is headed. In a new survey by the American Affluence Research Center of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households that account for almost half of all consumer spending; the number in assessing current business conditions is now 40 points above the Fall 2012 index
This is the highest reading for this index since Fall 2007 and indicates good potential for increased spending by affluent and luxury consumers.
In today’s ever changing world of business for residential and commercial integrators, client network access/security and your company’s own information resources (along with just about anything else including the kitchen sink!) have become sought after targets by hackers – let’s face it, with social media tracking your client’s every move and multiple database breaches and government agency snooping, you and your clients should naturally be concerned about IT security.