Interview: The HD distribution revolution2 November 2010
In his new job at Grandbeing UK, Adrian Ickeringill will be communicating the practical issues associated with the implementation of HD distribution solutions. He spoke to David Davies about the Grandbeing product range and the company’s plans for the future, as well as reflecting on his previous, 13-year tenure with Armour Home.
After 13 years with Armour Home, why did you decide to move on to a new role?
At Armour Home, I had been very involved in the new-build side of the business with the Systemline Modular brand, and built that up to the level where we were experiencing good levels not only in the UK, but also in the Middle East and the rest of Europe. But with the recession hitting and the housing market coming to a halt, I felt that it was time to make a change and to move into a new area. For me, that exciting opportunity was HD distribution and the chance to work for a manufacturer which has a really exciting portfolio of products coming out this year and next.
We are a [small team] in the UK, but we are aiming to expand over the next two years through distribution in Europe and also via support for our partners in the UK. We want to get the message across about HD distribution and help installers to feel confident that this is the way forward and that these products do work reliably.
How do you intend to go about this?
We need installers to be confident in the concept [of HD distribution] and the best way to do that is through product training and the explanation of all the terminology. [Installs of this kind] can be profitable, but the last thing you want to encounter is issues on site with the cabling or termination.
What is the USP of the Grandbeing product range?
Grandbeing manufactures a lot of HD splitters over HD cable, but the mainstay – and the area in which we set ourselves apart – is our pro range that features a number of matrix switchers (4×4, 4×8, 8×8, 8×16) that deliver over CAT6 ideally, although support CAT5 as well, multiple HD sources to multiple locations. One of the key things that we are trying to implement is the ability to integrate those devices with third party control systems, so we are already working on RS-232 protocols with market-leading control products that will be available soon.
As well as [conveying the practicalities of HD distribution], it’s also in my remit to appoint and work with new distributors in key markets, mainly in Europe and the Middle East. This involves identifying existing relationships I have had with distributors in [given] markets, as well as locating the right partners to take the product forward and supporting the training of installers in those countries. That is the key element that we have got to cover during the next 12-18 months.
In general terms, are you optimistic about the year ahead?
It’s still a tough market, particularly in certain countries in Europe. I think that people are probably wanting better value for money, but what’s also having an effect is the rise of products like the iPad and the iPhone. These kinds of devices are becoming increasingly important in terms of control systems in the home and I think that we will see a sea-change that means there is a need to identify what the client wants to achieve via the iPad, as well as bringing energy management, lighting control and traditional AV distribution into play.
Finally, how do you look back on your long association with Armour Home?
With great fondness. From product management and area sales, through to become sales manager for Systemline Modular and moving that product forward, I had a fantastic grounding in the business through working for Armour Home. I have some great memories and remain very good friends with the people there.