Last year at this time, Commercial Integrator magazine interviewed us for the purposes of helping us look ahead to 2020 and what was likely to happen across the AV landscape almost universally saw it as another year of growth for many in the space, without a hint of recession or trouble ahead. (note: this article was originally published in Commercial Integrator Magazine).
While, 2020 taught us we can't be too sure about... anything... we sat with Commercial Integrator again to look ahead to 2021.
We may have a different take than others in our industry, but, it's clear we’re all hoping that there won’t be a surprise that’s as jarring and all-encompassing as the coronavirus pandemic within the next 12 months.
What does look like it’s on the horizon is a continuation of the phenomenon that packed five years of tech innovation into the final nine months of the year. Things will look a lot different than they did two years ago, but AV is uniquely poised to answer the call in many of the transitions that lay ahead.
Our CEO, Bill Warnick, and CI's 2019 Integrator of the Year, says "2020 was a challenging year, but [our] ability to go in new directions as needed helped us navigate the market well. Having backlog was crucial to us, but so was being nimble in the way we managed our business,” he says.
“It’s a little like the stages of grief with our customers. There’s a big difference between trying to book projects and trying to recognize revenue. You have to finish projects to recognize the revenue.
“Large-scale integration is still the lifeblood of what we do,” says Warnick, but Solutionz also added a cybersecurity offering and increased its managed services capabilities in 2020.
“Being able to do things as a service is important, so is being able to do a subscription-based coverage of someone’s AV network,” he says. “That’s going to be a growing concern for our customers so it needs to be of utmost concern for us.
“Any integrator will tell you they make way more selling their own services than they do selling boxes,” says Warnick.
Warnick vows Solutionz will continue to be active on the M&A front after closing 2019 by acquiring Unified Technology Systems in Atlanta, one of the last major deals of the year in AV.
Check out the full interview below as well as some highlights from the article.
Here are a few graphs that sum up how AV integrators performed in 2020, despite the pandemic, as well as where we're headed.