By Corey Moss

ISE 2017 saw many great things, from the record-breaking attendance to a show that received overall accolades. Katye McGregor Bennett and I had a terrific conversation with Mike Blackman, Managing Director at Integrated Systems Events on ‘The AV Life’ Episode 16, where we discussed numerous things about ISE – including the Closing Keynote presented by Daniel Lamarre, President & CEO at Cirque Du Soleil, one component of the show that Blackman was extremely proud of in terms of a perfect person to deliver a message to the global AV industry. His presentation focused on unlocking creativity, exploring how creative thinking and innovative technological development is needed to drive forward live event production. It certainly translates as a message to the global AV industry as well.

I happened to read the most recent Systems Integration Asia (Issue 120: March 1, 2017) with Editorial Director Thomas Richard’s statement about Mr. Lamarre’s speech. Richard specified that Lamarre admitted that he is not a technology person, but highlighted that technology will change entertainment, and that it has already done so for some of Cirque’s theatrical productions. Richard referred to the Cirque show “O” and a multi-million dollar risk taken by producing a show around a water and dry stage background. The technology was available, and the risk was taken – to great success where “O” is Cirque Du Soleil’s most successful show in the world.

Watch this short video of ‘O” and note the complexities (and challenges) of this particular production.

Richard added that Lamarre’s main message to the AV industry was to make a breakthrough in technology, we need to take risks.

Risks.

Business owners, those who look to move ahead to new levels, take risks regularly whether taking on emerging and trending technologies in their businesses, partnering with companies and entities in and outside the industry, moving into new territories across the country and the world – they continuously search for ways to grow and evolve. Those who have truly embraced the notion that we as an industry can continue to move in directions that are in flow with the greater technology world around us will thrive.

I will however never forget a conversation I had with a CEO of an integration company in DC Metro almost two years ago, where I discussed with him the potential of implementing certain technologies like cloud videoconferencing for sales and even internal usage. The utter fear in his eyes when even thinking of how to move away from the hardware that has defined the commercial integrator world (which I worked in as a sales person for over 15 years) for the longest time was unimaginable – along with the fear of telling his sales people they would have to sell it. Risk wasn’t even a thought, the cold comfort of “the usual” defined him, and his business. I left shaking my head not even caring whether his company met the bottom line or not.

I do know of business owners and executives – integrators and manufacturers, commercial and residential – that have taken these risks and continue to advance greatly. I applaud them as they breathe greater life into the industry on a regular basis. Just like I’m sure Daniel Lamarre did for those who attended his ISE Closing Keynote.

I had a conversation with a good friend in the industry just the other day (who works for a major manufacturer greatly leveraging IoT technology for one) about IoT and how the AV naysayers continue to pound away at the “drawbacks” and bring discussion stoppers as well – yet they refuse to view the overall picture in terms of how the enterprise is grasping at the opportunity to bring the IoT conversation within. It’s real, and it’s defined very well for the enterprise, along with the consumer.

Take a look at ZDNet The five industries leading the IoT revolution – manufacturing, transportation, utilities, healthcare, consumer electronics and cars.

Proof.

Need more? This just in:

HARMAN and VMware Partner to Accelerate IoT Adoption for Enterprises Through Convergence of IT and Operational Technology.

The Internet of Things is here today and companies globally are already investing in, and seeing ROI from IoT. IDC predicts that the worldwide Internet of Things market spend will grow to $1.29 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6% and the installed base of IoT endpoints will grow from 12.1 billion at the end of 2015 to more than 30 billion in 2020 (Doc # US42082716). As companies race to implement IoT strategies, they will require complete solutions that focus on specific market segment requirements. IT and operational teams will also have to address massive scaling and management requirements to deliver maximum value and the best possible experience.

A statement from the vice president and head of business development, GTM strategy and marketing for IoT at VMware:

“While businesses look to adopt IoT into their organizations and offerings, the efficient management and security that IT brings is necessary for IoT to reach enterprise grade and scale,” said Mimi Spier, vice president and head of business development, GTM strategy and marketing for IoT at VMware. “Through our collaboration with HARMAN, we are working to bridge the gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), helping companies across many industries maximize the full potential of IoT through seamless integration with their IT infrastructure.”

Wake up call – IoT as a technology trending in the AV world is real, it’s here, and yes – there are certain challenges to it. Virtual reality may well be the next frontier, as virtual reality pioneer Nonny de la Peña will join the InfoComm 2017 TIDE conference as a keynote speaker.

In short, the rewards outweigh the fear tenfold. Go ahead and listen to the experts who discuss change and the challenges that need to be met to advance overall as an industry, along with the emerging technologies and trends that will make a difference – you will move ahead. For those who preach the danger and fear of change and challenge on their tours of the country – you will continue to live in fear (like that CEO) listening to them…

Risks – we need to meet them head on, embrace them and not run from or fear them.

In conclusion, we should be paying attention to those professionals like Daniel Lamarre who thrive on challenge (and work tirelessly to bring it all together), and less those who have little valid information to give, yet do throw up warnings and roadblocks at every given juncture.

We need to be an industry of true advancement, and not fear. Fearless – like the theatrical masterpiece “O”.

(Note: Our discussion with Mike Blackman on The AV Life).

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With almost 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent Tech – online publications (Convergent Tech Blog and Convergent AV) and consulting. Corey writes for the publications and hosts/produces podcasts – ‘Convergent Tech Blog Discussion’ (on Convergent Tech Blog) and ‘The AV Life’ and ‘The Edge of AV’, both on Convergent AV. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers.

Find out more about Corey on LinkedIn and Twitter.