• Wednesday , 19 January 2022

AV Manufacturer/ Developer of the Year

Nominee: Peerless-AV

Peerless-AV is 80 years old, celebrating decades of technology innovation, strategic acquisitions, and international business growth between 1941 and 2021. Leveraging its maturity and unrivalled reputation for manufacturing quality AV products, Peerless-AV is a brand renowned for its agility and flexibility to adapt to new emerging technologies and markets. Since it produced the first TV wall mount in 1965, the business has always moved with the times, expanding its portfolio to include multiple industry-firsts according to customers’ changing needs. In September 2021, Peerless-AV hosted its first ever showcase event in London with over 20 exhibiting partners and cojoining events.

  1. 2021 has been another great year for Peerless- AV in terms of achieving record business growth across the globe, as well as increasing the size of its global team and ensuring an uninterrupted, high level of customer service and fulfilment, all during a pandemic.
  2. Now with 80 years under its belt, Peerless-AV is as agile as ever and, as its very name suggests, continues to design, manufacture and deliver unrivalled products, dependable customer service and industry leadership.
  3. In 2021, Peerless-AV launched its new generation Outdoor Digital Menu Boards for the fast growing QSR market and in December launched its new generation 55″ Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Display offering significant new operating system upgrades.
  4. In September, Peerless-AV’s first ever showcase and networking event took place, marking a milestone for the EMEA business and reflecting the company’s commitment to bringing the AV industry together, encouraging positivity and interaction.
  5. In 2021, Peerless-AV held a charity golf day at Foxhills in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation and raised £18,000.

Nominee: Promethean

With a legacy spanning over two decades, Promethean has firmly positioned itself as a leading manufacturer of AV solutions that have been designed to transform learning environments for both practitioner and learner.

Driven by a commitment to education and a determination to support its two-tier distribution model, Promethean’s robust strategy is centred around delivering practical solutions that drive end-user demand and enable its channel partners to meet strategic objectives through partner programmes and innovative market initiatives.

  1. Commitment to channel partners – working in constant collaboration with partners over the last year, Promethean developed Partner Connect – a unique programme which bolstered two-way dialogue and gave partners access to a regular stream of high value and high-quality content. Alongside the well-established Partner Programme, this supported partners to: drive competitive advantage, increase ActivPanel sales and achieve above-market growth.
  2. Dedication to distribution development – Promethean operates a dual-distribution model in the UK giving its partners increased flexibility and choice when it comes to meeting evolving partner needs. Identifying that partners required more focused support than ever before, Midwich was appointed as a specialist AV distributor to work alongside incumbent distributor, Tech Data.
  3. Serious about sustainability – increasingly high on procurement agendas, Promethean has initiated an enhanced sustainability strategy that spans all operations – from product design and manufacture through to logistics and business operations. In addition to achieving carbon neutrality in 2019 through offset purchases, Promethean has improved its outbound transportation model to reduce emissions by 30% and reduced packaging materials – this has increased transportation efficiency by 20%.
  4. Continued product innovation – despite the challenges faced by the education sector over the last year, Promethean stayed true to its design philosophy of delivering edtech solutions that support the learning space by enhancing its offering to help teachers to effectively navigate the hybrid environment. This includes the launch of a new Screen Share app and introduction of Panel Management as part of a major ActivPanel update.
  5. Maintaining market leadership – against a backdrop of continued market challenges, Promethean has maintained its market leadership with the ActivPanel. Excluding China, Promethean was the leading brand in interactive display technologies with an 18% share of the total interactive display market in 2020. (Futuresource Q4 2020).

Nominee: Datapath

Datapath has remained visible and active throughout a remarkably challenging year, with continued investment in product innovations and unequalled customer support with training and user-friendly support tools. Despite the global pandemic, sales remain strong, with revised sales targets being met in all territories and exceptional growth in the US.
Formed in 1982, Datapath has grown to become a leading global force in video processing hardware and software. We are acutely aware that client support is essential to successful AV business, and have invested heavily in this area in past years to ensure we meet and exceed clients’ needs and expectations.

  1. Team Investment: The past 18 months have brought considerable investment to how Datapath supports its customers. Two key positions have been added to our management team – David Spence being appointed to Director of Customer and Technical Support (global) and John Hohenstein as Customer Service Manager for North America. These teams focus on one thing – fully supporting our customers with dedicated technical support, advice, and sending resources when required.
  2. Commissioning: Following a soft roll-out last year, Datapath’s commissioning offering is now available internationally on all large projects and has been warmly welcomed by integrators and end-users alike. With Datapath engineers available throughout the design, build and testing process, this service ensures zero issues with the video processing part of any install. This is particularly beneficial in large, multi-input projects such as command and control rooms or broadcast monitoring. The popularity of Datapath’s commissioning offering is growing by the month, particularly in the US, with high profile installs such as the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park stadium and the New York office of the NBA.
  3. 2021 has also seen the successful launch of Datapath’s new Channel Partner Program – strengthening customer and partner relationships by providing a comprehensive solutions, services and support offering. The Datapath Channel Partner Program has been designed as a practical way of demonstrating the company’s commitment to its partners, and to help add extra value to your business. Operating as a tier-based initiative, the program sees Datapath partners benefit from exclusive benefits on pricing, support, territory and training. Our partners have fully embraced the benefits of our offering, with 175 channel partners signed up at the time of writing.
  4. Complimentary DDCT and inbuilt diagnostic suite Datapath’s Display Driver and Configuration Tool (DDCT) is now available as standard on iolite 12i, VSN Micro 600, iolite 600 and full portfolio of 11 and 9-slot VSN chassis. This free software brings numerous benefits to help make systems operate at maximum efficiency, with minimal set-up hassle. Users can set-up even the most creative of video displays in minutes using an in-built database of manufacturer hardware which takes into account bezel dimensions, pixels, refresh rate and so-on. However, it is the free Diagnostic Suite part of the software that brings that extra peace of mind to client support. The diagnostics in the software continuously monitor the health of a system, ensuring factors such as core temperatures, software updates, cabling and connectivity are all working to best practice. Gone are the days when any issues would mean a lengthy document of code to decipher where problems lie. With a user-friendly GUI, the end user is instantly made aware of obvious problems by using the diagnostic suite (incorrect wiring port, for example), which can be fixed with ease.
  5. AVIXA-approved training: Our AVIXA-approved training course, focused around our VSN video wall processors, has been warmly received all around the world this year, from Chile to Shanghai, and New York to Derby. With practical and written components, the course ensures customers get hands-on familiarity with our hardware and software, avoid any technical pitfalls, plus earn valuable CTS points. “We’re thrilled that Datapath has developed this course to support the CTS program,” said David Labuskes CTS, CAE, RCDD, Chief Executive Officer of AVIXA. “The more companies invest in providing education resources, the more the AV industry can elevate itself to higher standards.”
    To reinforce our remote training capability, Datapath have this year launched its Online Experience Center. Powered by the very latest video processing technology. The Online Experience Center features Datapath’s Arqa and Aligo solution for seamless KVM and content sharing across the solution. Processing power comes in abundance courtesy of Datapath’s award-winning VSN1172 video controllers. With a trio of video walls spread out between two rooms, plus several operator terminals, Datapath’s Online Experience Center is able to showcase operations in real time due to multiple cameras. Users will be able to see the room as an overview of any area and watch the content for the different screens in real time in a one-to-one

Nominee: Clevertouch Technologies (a Boxlight Brand Boxlight Ltd)

A NASDAQ listed company, Boxlight’s Clevertouch Technologies rebranded in March 2021 from Clevertouch to combine all of our manufacturing solutions under one umbrella. We make world- class, market-leading and award-winning innovative technologies for all meeting, open spaces, classrooms and software solutions that embrace the communication and collaborative needs of educators and corporate clients alike. We do this with the end customer in mind and every solution is created to make life easier for them. Clevertouch supplies not only leading technical products but also ClevertouchLive to control and update all your products whilst also managing your digital signage. We are an innovator.

  1. Clevertouch Technologies are now the number one touchscreen brand in Australia, UK, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Belgium and fifth globally
  2. Clevertouch Technologies have grown 30% during a pandemic year – exceeding all revenue expectations and unit sales (now 40,000)
  3. Clevertouch Technologies go the extra mile (quite literally) this summer when shipments were delayed our very own sales director drove a 500- mile round trip to deliver panels to a school in order for them to be ready to open again in September.
  4. Clevertouch Technologies continue to look to the future, our research and development never sit still, we are continuing to bring out better solutions. We listen to our clients and we endeavour to create solutions that address their needs now and in the future.
  5. Clevertouch Technologies care about our colleagues, we have made significant changes to ensure we address diversity and inclusion within the company. All start are treated fairly and all staff are shareholders in the business. We succeed because we have a great team all of whom have a voice in our business.

Nominee: SMART Technologies

We believe that making connections that matter is the most important work in the world. A world where everyone can nurture and share their unique greatness. As human beings, as innovators, empowering connections that matter is what we love to do and have always done, since day one. We were made for this.

SMART embraces the challenges of an ever- evolving world, growing ourselves and revolutionary tech alongside it. It’s why we design solutions in the name of flexibility and accessibility for all.

  1. Who could’ve foreseen a global pandemic cancelling all the in-person events our business depends on? From personal sales meetings, product demos, showcases, professional development to large scale annual trade shows and conferences – everything was halted. As a 30+ year events heavy, experientially focused company, we were left to figure out what to replace these tried and tested methods with.
  2. The relationship between environment and experience is something we value strongly and build into our solutions at every turn. That’s why, this past year, we ran headlong into the challenges of connecting people completely virtually. We seized the unique opportunity to play with the relationship between environment and learning by re-imagining what an online conference experience could be. From global roundtables to inspiring keynotes, we connected passionate education and business leaders across the world. Creating the SMART 360 platform to amplify bold voices, uncover new solutions, and inspire.
  3. Instead of people coming to a big trade show or single event, we were able to come to them, with an expanded array of offerings and time. It optimized and preserved these custom experiences and content so they could live on and be shared endlessly. SMART 360 has garnered 7194 global attendees from diverse rolling events with a 37% conversion rate on 19,269 registered users in over 150 countries expanding our brand and product awareness beyond what was imaginable just a year ago. This immersive environment empowers attendees all over the world to easily browse evergreen content, attend live virtual events, receive support, network, and most importantly power the connections that matter – everywhere.
  4. We grew our events team by 43% dedicating new resources to SMART 360
    – Over 32 hours of 39 Live and Semi-Live Sessions covering multiple global time zones
  5. 13 regional sessions delivered in 9 different languages
    32 exhibit hall booths with 9 dedicated to Channel – Over 6K views of 39 different sessions 10,890 virtual booth visits

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