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EMEA expansion deal signed

U-Topia Technologies has been awarded a Master Distributor licence for the EMEA market here at ISE by Utelogy, which makes software for control, management, and analytics of audio visual systems for business and education.

US-based Utelogy, which focuses on a software-centric model, has now got the world covered with the signing of U-Topia Technologies and director Jonathan Mangnall, yesterday here in Amsterdam, following on from the signing of a deal with Australia-based AVT led by CEO Graham Evans, to cover the Asia-Pacific region in July last year.

Utelogy, based in the US, says it now has the world covered after concluding deals with both U-Topia Technologies and director Jonathan Mangnall here at ISE. It also signed a deal with Australia-based ATV – led by CEO Graham Evans, to cover the Asia-Pacific region in July last year.

With its standards-based architecture, the Utelogy platform uses existing IT infrastructure and can support any AV device with its built-in tool suites for provisioning and configuration.

When asked if they believe systems integrators today are ready for this software-centric approach to AV generally, Frank Pellkofer, CEO at Utelogy, Mangnall and Evans unanimously stated, “No!”.

Pellkofer explained: “Those who are suited to moving to this type of tech are the VARs and AV integrators with video infrastructure experience, the large integration firms, and the small ones with the DNA of IT in them.” However, he warned: “There is a certain segment here who aren’t going to be walking these halls in five year’s time. It’s the same progression as that from the PBX to IP PBXs.”

While U-Topia Technologies is a new company, Mangnall has a decade of experience in this field. He commented: “AV now is about agility in the workplace; it’s about being able to collaborate with colleagues from around the world for 10 minutes at a time, so it needs 99.9% uptime.

Because of this, AV has to be a pro IT-grade piece of software. Utelogy’s agnostic technology opens the door to new possibilities for integrators and consultants providing them with increased opportunity to enhance the end-user experience.

“One of our challenges is identifying the right market and people to take this technology forward,” added Mangnall. “It’s a whole sales proposition here; we are talking about changing the way people do business and the way customers buy AV.

Normally, people buy AV as a bit of tin that sits in a room, and within two years of the install, or even half an hour, the only person with skin in the game is the manufacturer; the consultant and integrator are long gone. It has to be a consultative sale now.”