By Corey Moss
The AV/IT convergence. For years, and I’ve been in the industry almost since the start of the it, the / conversation has been ever-present. Every publication, every trade show, in many industry organization discussions it’s been stated. Panels are put together with the slash term, yet the arrival at the answer to “has it happened” is never, as far as I’ve been concerned, well defined. The industry talks about audio and video running on the network followed up by we’ve arrived at AV/IT convergence.
With that in mind, I continue.
First, this has nothing to do with music, and everything to do with a shake up. Everyone likes to talk about changing the game, this one may have just rocked it to the core.
The core – you’ll see why that has a lot to do with this particular discussion.
Two years ago, when the conversation was heating up at InfoComm 2015, I was told by a good friend in the industry to speak with someone, a person who I had heard about but never met in person. That person is TJ Adams, the Director of Installed Systems Product Management at QSC. At the time he was QSC’s Install DSP Product Manager, and we talked about a solution which I described as “What QSC is Doing to Disrupt the Industry.” And I’ll take a disruption conversation over game-changing any day.
That solution was the Core 110f, software-based DSP, described by TJ as a computer – an Intel computer at that. Not a box – we agreed we were not having a box conversation, and the “it’s not about the box” mantra was created at that very moment between us (and others who were present). TJ stated that IT people think of more than just the network, as in “I just got audio from here to there,” and the notion of can one integrate a software layer with other systems that IT cares about. He also stated that this was an IT platform – IT, not AV/IT.
It still remains as one of the best trade show discussion I’ve had – and I’ve had many. ‘Re-think’ was the concept and TJ even said that the industry needs to become “IT nerds” – I know a good amount of those tech and IT nerds now, and TJ who spoke the gospel is certainly one among them. He talked about us “old guys” and I chuckled a bit. Sure we’re vets (some much longer than myself), and there are those of us who really do know our stuff – stuff of the now that is.
For me, this conversation taking place at InfoComm 2015 was the real birth of AV and IT convergence, and not just a surface scratch at all. Now others who claimed to be on the crest of AV and IT convergence at the time were mistaken, some bordering on fully uninformed. I know because I would ask them to describe that convergence as it had to do with them and their solution when I saw it at the booth (I even did this last year), marketing materials, what have you. Nine times out of ten it was either a semi-logical or even a fumbling answer – it may have been a blank stare at times as well. They may have possibly been thinking to themselves “wait, I was supposed to actually explain this? I thought everyone understands this and we just market it as such.”
TJ Adams was prepared, with the full knowledge to back it up – and he never once said game-changing or any other horrible market buzz term. He talked software and its relation to the IT world. Here in 2017 – that discussion needs to happen, and happen big. QSC was ready then, and they just did it again.
IT that is.
Now there are those companies that are presenting more IT market facing solutions, cloud, software and more. I’ve seen them and look forward to seeing more. What I am referring to here though is what took place at ISE 2017, a product launch that was certainly ground-breaking (ok I’ll use that buzz term here).
There were interviews done with TJ at the QSC stand that I watched (unfortunately I was not able to attend) and I focused in on every bit of the discussion in each interview. I studied the solution he was discussing right in the video, almost like a remote lunch n’ learn from back in the good old days of commercial integration sales where a particular product was passed around the room, all of the video, audio, USB, etc. I/O’s to see. We talked about it, made comments to the presenter and more. We preferred the man or woman in the trenches, not “the suit” (unless he or she lived in the trenches too and just “cleaned up” for the meeting) – we were not suits and we always appreciated seeing the person who knew all of the ins and outs.
You know – the ones who could actually answer the tough questions, not say “let me look that up and get back to you” – we had no time for them. I absolutely had no time – if you were going to present it, know it, or don’t. Sure, bring the person who does know it if necessary, that’s fine if you can actually lead the conversation. I’ve seen way too many presentations go awry with someone who had little idea of what they were talking about – just saying game-changing this, magic that. Uh uh.
Look at the IT world, they’re not suits either, and they live their lives in the trenches from the administrator all the way up to the CIO. So maybe the CIO does wear a suit but trust me – it’s mainly because of the professional look. He or she wants to talk the talk in the trenches, and trust me I’ve been there – in the trenches.
Part two is here.
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, The Edge of AV, EdTech Focus and The Show Corner all 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.