ISE Advisory Board Interview with Keith Watson, Harman Pro Group UK2 February 2010
How do you see the ISE market market faring in the EMEA region in 2010?
We see 2010 as a springboard for significant growth following limited market retraction in 2009. Essentially, we’re seeing higher levels of performance and system sophistication migrating downward to broader markets and more accessible price points.
As a result, more businesses and institutions will have access to professional-grade systems and this applies to retail, hospitality, corporate, education and a host of other applications where networked audio and video systems will enhance communications, reduce costs and simplify operations.
At Harman we’re well positioned to address this shift; each of our audio technology brands are leaders at the component level and HiQnet and System Architect provide our customers greater system configuration and control. Migrating that value proposition to a broader market holds tremendous potential for Harman and our systems integration partners.
What do you think will be the key external factors affecting the market this year?
The economic health of each territory will be the pervading determinant of market health. From a trends perspective, however, I think that increasing consumer and end-user-level demand for powerful networks with intuitive user interfaces will be the most critical market driver in 2010! End users are used to IT and telco systems and are beginning to demand the same depth of system configuration and control.
This shift is driven further again by the surge in availability of high bandwidth networking.
The EMEA market is also dictated by many stringent environmental compliance and green CO2 reduction guidelines and laws, which, though admirable, do present considerable challenges to the manufacturer.
What do you think will be the ‘star’ technologies of 2010?
High among the key technologies will be Audio Video Bridging (AVB). I believe so because it’s driven by close collaboration between leading engineers from an exciting and diverse array of promoting partners each a leader in its field. The group includes Broadcom, XiliNX, Samsung, Intel and of course, Harman International.
The collective level of expertise coupled with a group-level commitment to reach a standard promises to simplify and enhance AV integration in the near-term.
What do you think is the best thing about the ISE show?
We’ve exhibited over the past few years and I think the show has been such a consistent success because of the calibre of contractors that come from all corners of EMEA, asking us questions, challenging our ideas, offering their own ideas and bringing real projects to the show seeking input, direction and a good deal for their customers.
This combination of commerce and collaboration makes time spent at ISE an increasingly valuable part of our sales and marketing and business development calendar.
The market is growing and the show is supporting that growth.