A full house on the opening morning of ISE 2014 saw some of the brightest and best individuals in AV receives Awards from AV News. The AV News Awards have a special place within the audio-visual industry, being focused on the people and community that make the business work.
The Awards recognise the contribution made by the individuals in the labs and R&D centres, the sales and marketing teams and those involved in training and support for the technologies and services that comprise AV solutions. The Awards also recognise excellence in AV technologies and in the channel that delivers them to market.
AV News is delighted that the Awards again attracted a strong group of nominees and would like to extend its thanks to all those who undertook the task of filling in the forms, and to the Award sponsors who again made the whole thing possible.
AV Technologist of the Year
Andy has more than 20 years’ experience in designing and creating software and in that time acted as a consultant for Cisco and IBM. He has designed and developed, DisplayNote, a collaborative software solution that lets presenters: mirror their screen with multiple mobile devices; lets users connect to and control their PCs with a mobile device and allows participants to collaborate in real-time using the mobile device of their choice. Since launching DisplayNote has signed agreements with NEC Worldwide, BENQ, Sahara, Triumph Board, TeamBoard, TouchIT, and Delf Systems Australia that sees the software on almost 1 million devices.
Miquel, leading a small team of three, developed Leafengine, recently launched to the market following 18 months of development work. This is a lean middleware layer which allows for the development of more intelligent digital signage solutions. Leafengine connects the vast array of sensors available today through a standardised interface and lets users build them into whatever digital signage applications they require.
AV Sales Professional of the Year
Angela Townsend has worked in AV sales for more than 17 years, with her experience embracing spells in an AV reseller, a multimedia consultancy and with two leading manufacturers – Sony and Epson. In the past, as well as in her current position of Channel Account Manager for Epson, Angela has demonstrated an innovative and creative approach to sales. In terms of sales technique, Angela advocates building relationships at all levels within customer organisations and to taking an entrepreneurial approach to the business. Angela’s nomination is supported by a large number of endorsements from colleagues and customers.
Pip is a serial entrepreneur having created and sold a number of businesses. Following N-vest’s acquisition by Inbay, Pip has continued to lead N-vest as MD and sales director. New business development in tandem with focused marketing has expanded N-vest’s client base expanded customer base by 42% in 2013, delivered 67% more training sessions, designed training for 61% more products.
AV Support Professional of the Year
Jatin graduated with a first class degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Brunel University in 2007, which included a placement year with Hitachi as a Technical Support Engineer. Jatin gained further experience working with large format products as Technical Support Engineer at Panasonic before joining NEC Display Solutions in 2010 as a Technical Specialist. He now works within the Solutions Team as Technical Specialist giving pre-sales support, mainly aligned to the corporate sales team. Jatin is the technical wizard behind the NEC Solutions Showcase, now an established annual industry event attracting over 1,000 attendees. He is skilled in conveying highly technical information in a way which anyone can understand, regardless of their level of knowledge.
AV Marketing Professional of the Year
Following a sales career within two blue-chip IT companies, Natalie joined Steljes in 2005 as a sales manager. Promoted in 2012 to Head of Marketing, Natalie quickly developed a marketing strategy focused on both end-user awareness and channel and channel development. Recently, Natalie has introduced digital techniques into the marketing mix. She has pioneered the effective use of social media to generate greater awareness of the Steljes portfolio. This has resulted in over 750 new leads being generated in the last quarter. Just before last Christmas, Natalie’s contribution to the Steljes business was recognised with a seat on the company board and promotion to the role of Group Marketing Director.
AV Reseller of the Year
Sponsored by BENQ UK
With 13 year’s experience, CDEC’s staff complement is at the heart of the business and the company prides itself on a diverse workforce and equal opportunities focus. CDEC is headed by a woman, and has a 50% female staff ratio – including management level positions. The last financial year was a landmark for CDEC, with excellent financial growth. Turnover increased by 25% to £8 million and gross profit increased by 48% to £1.3 million. Diversification was also a key feature of last year, with the company’s first corporate contracts completed. These included winning a competitive pitch to install Pirelli Tyres’ first UK digital signage solution.
AV Integrator of the Year
Sponsored by Exertis MICRO-P
Engage Production is part of a new breed of systems integrators, taking a more creative approach to technology. The company’s work is inspired by the need to create memorable brand experiences by realising great creative ideas based on expert technical know-how. Engage Production seeks out and applies the latest technology, enabling brands to communicate and interact with their customers. Engage also launched the virtual ‘style pod’, which brings together the virtual and physical worlds. In addition, Engage designed the i-LAND concept. This is a digitally- enabled workspace designed to enhance the abilities of businesses to accelerate sales processes.
AV Innovation of the Year
Sponsored by PEERLESS-AV
Silicon Core’s Common Cathode Technology
SiliconCore has developed an LED display technology, Common Cathode drivers which replace traditional Common Anode drivers. The new technology lowers heat emissions, eliminates ghosting and reduces power consumption, resulting in a much lower total cost of ownership over its 10 year lifespan. SiliconCore has over 100 R and D engineers who design everything including specifying the LEDs, driver chips and PCBs. The redesign of the LED platform has allowed the creation of smaller pixel pitches. This makes direct view LED possible for close proximity applications for the first time.
Two finalists qualified for recognition as highly commended:
Vision’s Techconnect HDMIIP
Vision’s Techconnect HDMIIP is able to send HDMI signals over an existing IP network or peer- to-peer without the network. The technology is suited to digital signage applications where the signal can be patched through existing infrastructure.
Solstice software from Mersive
Solstice software from Mersive enables multiple users to connect simultaneously to a shared display using a range of devices and applications over an existing Wi-Fi or Ethernet network. With Solstice, anyone can walk into a meeting room and instantly connect, share and control the display, fostering collaboration and decision making.
AV Environmental Initiative of the Year
Sponsored by Casio Projectors
In a bid to revolutionise the complex retailing of A/V and Home Automation equipment, Cornflake heavily invested in an experiential centre – dressed as a realistic home. Cornflake stipulated the showroom must be sustainable and built entirely from ecologically-friendly materials in a bid to prove that hi-end designer living is compatible with caring for the planet. The Smart App-partment demystifies technology for the consumer – with behind-the-scenes racks displayed in glass rooms to enable clients to see exactly what they are buying and how it works. It encourages consumers to consider sustainable choices when designing their own homes. The showroom is particularly marketed at architects and developers. The hope is that having seen the palette of eco materials used here they will be inspired to choose similar products for their own projects.
AV Market Development Initiative of the Year
Sponsored by RGB Communications
The BIS Group
BIS is an audio visual, video and ICT integration specialist, with more than two hundred and fifty people. BIS is AV and ICT market leader in the Benelux countries, and last year took the decision to expand its business over key European markets, including the UK, despite the prevailing economic climate. BIS covers all aspects of the AV spectrum (room design, consultancy, installation, infrastructure, furnishing, maintenance, repair, rentals, productions and training. The blend of interior design, provision of furnishings and interior finishes with AV facilities has proved to be highly marketable to a multi-national clientele.
Again we have two initiatives achieving recognition as ‘highly commended’ finalists:
PSCo Assessment Centre
In October 2012, PSCo launched its one-of-a-kind Reading Assessment Centre enabling channel partners, end-users and consultants to view these new technologies side-by-side in one location, with access to unbiased technical advice to help them make an informed decision and find the right solution.
Kramer Electronics has long engaged with the ultimate end users of its products in order to stimulate ‘pull’ demand within the market. This engagement includes sponsoring the London AV User Group, working with specific end users to develop system designs and standards, working with consultants to promote products and solutions and feeding back ideas for new products from these groups to R&D for possible future product development.
AV Employer of the Year
Sponsored by AV Jobs
Exertis Micro-P has a highly successful 32 year pedigree in technology distribution. The team of Business Development Managers, Sales Specialists and Technical Specialists receive regular and rigorous training. The UPGRADE programme, ensures engaging and retaining the very best of its people by developing their potential and enhancing their career opportunities. A Sales Graduate Programme has been introduced to help individuals grow their career by teaching them new skills and enabling them to gain professional qualifications. The UPGRADE management training initiative rewards people with a recognised qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management. With dedicated and continued investment in people and training, Micro-P’s Visual Solutions Division continues to evolve with the professional business (signage over 32″) growing 93% year-on-year.The company’s digital signage, software and accessories business grew 175% year-on-year. Central to Exertis Micro-P’s culture is to promote from within. Exertis Micro-P continuously looks for people who want to aspire and develop themselves and their careers.
Outstanding Achievement in AV
Sponsored by Sahara Presentation Systems
The Unicol company is 50 years old. It was founded in 1963 by Peter Ligertwood. Peter is credited with inventing what was probably the first AV stand to go into production. The methodology of connecting parts using columns was applied to ceiling and the famous Unicol chrome column was born. The Unicol system of supporting AV equipment has become a UK industry standard. Unicol remains the largest manufacturer of mounts in the UK and still innovating.
AV News would like to thanks all of those who submitted nominations, the Award sponsors and Promethean for the loan of an interactive flatscreen for the presentation.