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Exclusive: Sharp/NEC’s Stefanie Corinth answers our questions

Not long appointed at recently formed ‘joint venture’, the senior VP speaks to Installation

Congratulations on your new appointment. What do you see yourself bringing to the role?
Thank you! It might be a particularly challenging year for everyone, but we are focused on the future and I’m relishing the opportunity to make a real difference for our customers. 

What I see myself bringing to the table is a resolute commitment to our customers, both the channel network as well as the integrator partners and end-users, putting them firmly first and foremost across our entire organisation. I want it to be easy to do business with Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe, and following a recent realignment of our sales teams, we are now fully focused, more than ever, on improving our customers’ experience. 

We have integrated regional teams with vertical business teams, building on our visual solutions competence whereby we fully understand the needs and pains of our customers and can respond accordingly, with agility. As a trusted partner and advisor, we listen to our customers; we want to understand how their business is responding to current challenges and to support them both now, in challenging times, and into the future.

What’s your background and what are your strengths?
Having worked in both executive sales and marketing roles, and with a high level of product knowledge and in depth experience of the EMEA AV/IT industry, I believe I have a fully rounded skill set to lead Sharp NEC Display Solutions Europe to achieve greater sales efforts and success, along with our much valued partner network.

Whilst I have been at NEC for 18 years, my undiminished eagerness and curiosity drives my motivation to try new ways of working and to embrace technology change and innovations. I am keen to empower our staff to follow their own creative energies in supporting our customers; it is their expertise and dedication which reflects our brand reputation as a supplier of quality and reliability, in all things.

What plans do you and your colleagues have for the new NEC/Sharp ‘joint venture’?
Right now, it’s business as usual! The new company represents our deep and ongoing commitment to the B2B display solutions business and our customers. Looking to the future we only see opportunities, the joint venture will allow us to add scale and efficiency, both for Sharp NEC Display Solutions and for our customers across the globe. As two market-leading brands in the production and development of visual solutions, the joint venture will result in a wide range of synergies. Over the coming months, the European teams of both Sharp and Sharp NEC Display Solutions will work closely together to develop go-forward strategies to maximise the value of the joint venture to our partners. Together, we can take better advantage of economies of scale and compelling prospects in new categories such as 8K and 5G technology. 

Exciting times ahead and I’m enjoying the journey!

What are your thoughts on how Covid-19 has affected the display market?
It is undeniable that the current pandemic has had a significant impact on the visual solutions market. To a large extent, our visual products are designed for use in public environments, bringing visual experiences to large venues, just the kind of places that have been hit hardest by the strictest limitations. But our expertise lies across many vertical sectors, all of which have had differing experiences. 

Transport initially remained resilient, buoyed by large on-going projects which benefitted from the absence of people in terms of the logistical efforts around installation. Naturally, this segment is quiet right now, but improvement is expected in 2021.

Driven by government investment into digitisation, the education sector has fared surprisingly well. In the corporate space, usage is the big change leading to a rethink in the way meeting rooms are equipped, but business remains strong. Desktop displays for personal workspaces have seen a surge in sales as one would expect.

Whilst retail offers unfortunate pandemic-related opportunities, overall, business is currently somewhat slow in this sector.

But the prospects for 2021 are positive. With a vaccine on the horizon and an end to the imminent threat of the pandemic and health crisis in sight, combined with the opportunities arising from the joint venture, I am hugely optimistic that business will bounce back, as will we all as individuals. I am incredibly proud of the enormous resilience demonstrated by our workforce and I am delighted to be alongside them as we move forward.

What do you see as the main technologies as we move into 2021 and beyond, and the dominant verticals?
For us, our key focus spans enterprise, retail, education, entertainment, transportation, energy and utility including control room environments; this is where we see strongest opportunity for future growth, notwithstanding the current climate. 

dvLED, whilst a relative newcomer, is fast becoming a mainstream technology, with its impressively long life cycle and low power consumption. The dvLED technology meets the demands of sustainability targets yet delivers all and more in terms of visual impact. Passive and interactive larger LCDs and laser projection continue to deliver many advantages meanwhile, each offering benefits and advantages for different usage scenarios.

The challenge of economic recovery gives every incentive to look for new tech ideas. One key factor will be efficiency. Companies that maintain or deploy tools that free their employees to focus on their main business will come out stronger.

Analytics, with its framework of IoT, AI and sensors, become ever more important in delivering meaningful yet efficient communications, and our open modular approach with powerful computing options ensures our product offering is well positioned to take our customers into the future.