By Corey Moss
Let me first admit that my beginnings in the AV industry in commercial integration sales launched off of one single product – the SMART Technologies SMART Board. The SMART Board blazed a path for me and my sales business, as in every K-12 school that I put it in it would lead to more installations (some in every classroom) along with referrals. Colleges and universities in New York and New Jersey became some of my best clients with SMART products as well, leading to even bigger integration jobs – projection, videoconferencing, control, large rack systems, custom integrated technology furniture and more.
In the early 2000’s, a meeting of SMART dealer sales reps was organized at the manufacturer’s New York City showroom. I didn’t attend all manufacturer’s meetings, however I had found out that CEO Nancy Knowlton was going to be there, and in turn I had to be as well to meet her, being the head executive at the company that produced my cornerstone product. I had known a few women executives who had a stake in the AV industry at the time, and I had to meet another that day.
The show room meeting itself did turn out to be very important, and meeting Nancy Knowlton was an absolute necessity in terms of getting to know the person out in front driving the company, as well as the efforts in education. I was always inspired when training K-12 teachers and highed ed professors on how to use the SMART Board, SMART Sympodium (later Podium), the Notebook software and more.
And while selling to education was easy, corporate continued to be a challenge – I kept looking for ways to leverage SMART in the corporate environment, though for the most part to no avail.
Which brings me to the current day, and the story of Nancy Knowlton and Nureva.
I’ve known Nureva ever since its introduction to the AV industry, and the idea of ideation and visual collaboration combined with their very first business product, Nureva Span, brought a whole new dimension to the interactive collaboration conversation on the corporate side – going beyond IWB’s, and in certain cases even interactive display panels. Span was then introduced to the education market as well, where it of course took off.
I remember at InfoComm 2015, after Span was introduced to the AV market, on the very last day before the show ended, I asked one of their people – my good friend Ryan Blomfield – to please give me a quick demo. He happily obliged (it was more than quick as he gave me an excellent in-depth demonstration), and all I could think was this is it, a true difference-maker – and it made my top picks at the show. Each year thereafter, Nureva became a much earlier booth stop and Nancy would greet me upon arriving, last year being very special as she gave a personal tour to my young ‘The AV Life’ Crew member Taylor Meyer who became a part of my press team at the show. For this InfoComm, we arranged the booth visit for first thing on day 2, when it would be more quiet and we could spend a good amount of time talking, along with doing the interview.
My conversations with Nancy, recorded or just casually talking, are many times reflective of my days working along with SMART Technologies – as the interactive collaboration conversation for me really begins there. And that’s the way interactive collaboration conversation is right now with the next-generation Nureva Wall WM408i system, (launched at ISE 2018 and of course seen at InfoComm 2018) along with their other feature solution the HDL300 Audio Conferencing System (the Dual HDL300 for larger room spaces was introduced at InfoComm 2018).
In this interview discussion at InfoComm, Nancy and I talk about Nureva the company, products and solutions, recruiting dealers (and one in particular recently), and more – along with Nureva being transformative in AV.
And of course you have to consider Nancy Knowlton as being a transformative CEO as well – a woman in AV who all must get to know.
Here is my interview with Nancy Knowlton at InfoComm 2018.
With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, Convergent Tech Talk and Convergent Week. 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 him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/mosscorey/.