How do you see the ISE market (professional AV and electronic systems integration) market faring in the EMEA region in 2010?
2010 will be a very interesting and also a very challenging year. In 2009, the level of investment in both the public and corporate sectors has either shrunk or been postponed. Now, however, we’re seeing increasing pressure to restart those investments. We have already seen a slight upturn in the last quarter and the outlook for 2010 is very promising. At the same time, there are new technology trends which promise interesting new opportunities and challenges. These new trends – trends like green technology, green IT or even just pure IT will start to have a serious influence on the market, and the players who manage to adopt these trends early and quickly enough will be on the winning side at the end.
I do see a big challenge for ISE to bring these technologies closer to the market. If you look at the entire EMEA region, there are significant discrepancies between one market and another market. Of course, there are regions where ISE is well represented, and these regions will get the opportunity to pick up on the new trends quickly. But there are also areas where ISE is not so well established as a “must be there” show. Here, there is both a lot of potential and a need for improvement.
What do you think will be the key external factors affecting the market this year?
A lot of corporations have struggled financially in recent times and what we’re hearing is that many of them are looking to marketing as a way of getting back to where they need to be. That leads me to expect that we’ll see investments in marketing-related products like digital signage.
We will also see higher level of public investment in the education sector which will have a positive effect – at least for some regions or countries. However, budgets will be spent with even more focus on their effectiveness for the corporation or organisation – and that’s likely to put pressure on prices and competition.
Outside your company’s offering, what do you think will be the ‘star’ technologies of 2010?
This is a very difficult question for me as COMM-TEC’s product range is so broad and diverse that there’s almost no technology in which we don’t have an interest! What I will say, though, is that we expect 2010 to be a year in which IP continues its relentless march, enabling new products and continuing to be the technology that brings it all together. Products based on IP will be those that will succeed in the coming months, especially as we see things like HDMI over IP coming along.
What do you think is the best thing about the ISE show?
In just a few words – short, compact and you are able to see everything and everybody you need to see. One of the best things is that most of the manufacturers have changed their strategy and also launch new products at the ISE show.