Winners and Highly Commended
The AV News Awards have a special place within Europe’s 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 Award Presentation
At the latest in a series of sold-out presentation events staged as the first item on the agenda of Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), industry leaders acknowledged winning finalists against the backdrop of a multiscreen and video wall display created by Acquire Digital and PSCo. The success of the event has provided has led to a new agreement with ISE that will see the AV News Awards Presentation Ceremony double in size next year.
The Award Winners
Category: AV Technologist of the Year 2016
Jennifer Smith is an engineer blessed with a strategic vision that extends beyond Christie, even beyond the AV industry. Her career embraces many industry firsts and awards. In her current role Jennifer has led developments in laser, HFR (TruLife), HDR (with Dolby), projectors (specifically the Boxer, H and HS Series), and LED display technologies. Jennifer’s role has moved to implementing a strategic, market-led vision. She is tasked with creating technology vision, developing roadmaps and driving execution through to market. This includes the successful launch of multiple display, image processing and software platforms yielding a decade of year-over-year growth for Christie. Products include Boxer – a landmark in rental staging at less than half the size and weight of a 30K lumen projector and award-winning LED – a prelude to more differentiated, application-specific LED. Jennifer emphasizes identification of customer & market problems and then pursues technological advancements to solve those problems. She is an ardent supporter of user design experience (UXD) to drive the commercialisation of AV technology. Jennifer is not afraid to take risks, making decisions early in the development of new foundational technology in electronics, illumination and software. Jennifer realised bandwidth was a problem with image processing and risked delving into the underlying processing capability before the market need was clearly articulated.
Category: AV Sales Professional of the Year 2016
Holger Graeff joined Vivitek Corporation in August 2010 as General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. With nearly 20 years of channel expertise in the Audio Visual and Consumer Electronics markets in EMEA, Holger Graeff was appointed to grow the Vivitek business from a business start-up into a solid organisation within Delta Electronics. His focus areas, besides the responsibility for the overall business development strategy and structure, are sales, marketing and PR to ensure long term partnerships and brand development. Holger started his career with Sharp Electronics in 1989 in the office electronics and AV industry. Following this he moved in 1999 to ASK Proxima which, in the year 2000, merged with InFocus Corporation. At InFocus he held various positions as Director of Sales, for OEM business, Business Development and Sales in EMEA, where in July 2002 he introduced InFocus ScreenPlay into the home entertainment market. In this last capacity, he was responsible for all activities in Germany, Austria, Israel and the Benelux countries. Before joining Vivitek, Holger Graeff was responsible from 2006-2010 as Sales Director EMEA for Home Theatre Displays at Planar Systems and, later on, also represented Runco and Vidikron high-end home cinema projectors in EMEA and ASIA.
Category: AV Support Professional of the Year 2016
As the founding father of AV2events, Lee Wilson has a passion for all things AV, which started when he joined Promethean as a Senior Installation Engineer back in 2002. Drawing on a background in telecoms and IT engineering, with companies such as Telewest Broadband and Marconi, Lee has gone on to carve a career in AV support which is setting a new standard for customer focus and wrap-around value. As Promethean’s lead AV support partner, Lee is a key player in the delivery of projects across the whole business. These include initiatives such as strategic seed implementations, major external event showcases and ongoing channel partner support. In the last year particularly, Lee has been pivotal in helping Promethean to strengthen the UK channel by providing support at the UK Channel Partner Conference and working closely with resellers on seeding and demonstration opportunities. This has ultimately contributed to Promethean’s growing success in the interactive flat panel market. Lee’s philosophy is that AV support starts at the point of commission – not when you arrive on-site with kit. As Promethean’s representative on-site, Lee becomes an extension to the Promethean team. Attracting a high level of praise from customers and channel partners alike, Lee is a trusted ambassador of the Promethean brand.
The Award Winners
Category: AV Marketing Professional of the Year 2016
Chris Edwards is Marketing Director of CIE-Group. He joined the company in 1995, to bring all marketing communications and services in-house. He oversaw the transformation of ‘Canadian Instruments and Electronics’ into the ‘new look’ CIE-Group. In 2000 he was promoted to the position of marketing manager. In 2006 he became Head of Marketing and took charge of global marketing strategy. Elevated to the board in 2010, Chris is now responsible for marketing strategy, communications, online and CRM, recruitment and IT resources at the company. Chris’s attributes include:
• Vision: Chris recognised that there was a gap in the market for an online AV training resource and set about creating something that could deliver free, impartial and always-available expert advice – ‘HowtoAV.tv] • Ambition: Fresh from co-ordinating CIE-Group’s 50th anniversary celebrations, at the start of 2015, Chris embarked on the ambitious project of setting up HowtoAV.tv within a six-month timeframe.
• Planning – HowtoAV.tv was successfully launched, as planned, in June 2015. Feedback from AV experts, industry professional end-users has been enthusiastic.
• Marketing – A launch event was held in London and twenty journalists from the AV trade and the wider consumer tech press attended. Chris is currently expanding the list of contributors to include CIE partners, trade bodies, consultants, integration professionals and the media.
Category: Outstanding Achievement in AV
Founder of the Imago Group / European president of ImagoScanSource
A graduate of Oxford University, Ian Vickerage began his working life as a management trainee for Plessey, a telecommunications company. He then worked his way up the corporate ladder at Unisys and Computervision Corp, focusing on sales and marketing management. In 1986, Ian was one of four entrepreneurs to set up Insignia Solutions, and was responsible for the successful launch of the company in the USA sand its subsequent IPO. When he left Insignia he joined Cameron Communications, an AV distributor, which was taken over two years later by Barco. In 1991, Ian set up Imago Micro, starting with just one exclusive brand and three employees. Over the next twenty or so years, Ian steered Imago to considerable commercial success, growing the business from its niche area of technology and to mainstream AV. Imago’s achievements have been recognised in a clutch of business awards, but Ian is about so much more than his business interests. He is President of the West Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee of the Vision Charity and a board member of the Corn Exchange Theatre in Newbury. Ian has shied away from personal recognition, but we have persuaded him to make an exception. His contribution to our industry in establishing a business in 1991 and building that business to eventual annual sales total of £40m in 2014 is truly exceptional. He has built a forward thinking business which continues to thrive. Ian’s energy is boundless and, following the sale of Imago to ScanSource last year, he is very much leading ScanSource onto bigger things in the role of President.
Category: AV Market Development Initiative of the Year 2016
Having first built her reputation in the AV sector with Nvest as a leading provider of end-user training services, Pip Thomas is now pioneering User Adoption as a technique for selling and introducing new technologies to organisations. Over the last 12 months, Pip has campaigned to raise awareness of the value of User Adoption and its benefits to both end-users and to reseller or integrator. This has comprised evangelising at an industry level through leading trade press, supporting marketing collateral and a detailed case study to demonstrate successful User Adoption in action – all backed by User Adoption services designed for delivery through the channel. Pip’s activity has defined a new business opportunity for the channel. She has sought to change reseller and integrator thinking, challenging them to take responsibility for helping their customers drive adoption of the technology supplied. The User Adoption techniques that Pip advocates ensure that end-user customers achieve tangible benefits through sustained usage and get value from their investment, so encouraging more profitable relationships with customers. The campaign has been highly successful, putting user adoption firmly on the reseller and distributor agenda.
The Award Winners
Category: AV Project of the year (Education) 2016
for the Liverpool Hope University Learning Lab
Liverpool Hope University sought to transform an existing meeting room into a collaborative space to explore innovative modes of teaching and engage students in active learning. The emphasis of the ‘Learning Lab’ project is about using technology as a tool to enable and encourage collaboration. The key requirements for the ‘Learning Lab were simple connectivity and ease of use. The Learning Lab offers academics the opportunity to push the boundaries of teaching practice and provide students an experience that prepares them for the modern collaborative workspace. The solution needed to accommodate BYOD and offer great flexibility, whilst remaining accessible for room users. The Kramer Via solution was selected as the best fit for the project from a technical and support perspective with room control delivered through Crestron. The project highlighted the role of the University Network Team when working with collaborative solutions. Early engagement ensured conflict with existing network protocols were identified and managed in partnership with the network team. Pure AV’s project manager Tony Crossley used his experience of collaboration projects and relationship with the manufacturer to ensure the client got everything they needed from the system. A well planned handover and phased room introduction process ensured that the adoption of the room was high and that room users were able to make productive use of the available technology from day one. Nick Almond Director of Teaching and Learning at Liverpool Hope University documents: “This Learning Lab gives us the opportunity to push the boundaries of teaching practice. I am confident that with the learning lab we will be able to offer our students an innovative experience that genuinely prepares them for the modern collaborative workplace”.
Category: AV Project of the year (Commercial) 2016
for the new UBM HQ in 240 Blackfriars
This ambitious £1.5million contract from media and events giant UBM called for the design and delivery of AV systems that were fully integrated across all nine floors of UBM’s new HQ in 240 Blackfriars. Technologies to be integrated included smartcard-based personalised access and touch screen desk selection, room booking, room control (for climate, lighting and meeting room systems) video conferencing, digital white boarding and IPTV over digital signage. Collaboration spaces included formal boardroom, a range of meeting rooms suited to small, medium and larger groups, multi-function spaces, project rooms and informal breakout areas. Vanti was responsible for design, installation of all AV systems; for its integration with other building systems such as climate, lighting and security; and for systems testing and commissioning. Successful delivery of this building-wide, smart environment demonstrates Vanti’s depth of understanding of AV and IT hardware, software and integration as well as the imagination, innovation and determination to conquer the challenges of the project. Vanti is one of a new breed of integrator; specialising in smart building, AV and IT system design and integration, Vanti believes everyone should have a great experience with technology. The team works with clients to realise their vision and ensure solutions are designed around the people who use them. Vanti’s UBM project deserves the award because it both demonstrates cutting-edge deployment of agile and collaborative technology, and shows the direction of travel for AV in a fully integrated smart future.
Category: AV Project of the year (Residential) 2016
Harris Grant for Five and Six Connaught Place, London
The Connaught Place project saw a multi-dwelling unit developed to merge numbers Five and Six Connaught Place, London into a development of five lateral and two duplex apartments, each with state-of-the-art home automation. “We wanted to create a complex of state-of-the-art homes, complete with the latest 4K technology,” explains Neil Grant, Managing Director of Harris Grant. “Crestron technology allows us to offer our clients the ability to distribute the 4K content to any compatible display in their home via the DigitalMedia system and adds an extra level of luxury to these properties, making them stand out from similar offerings.” Harris Grant is active from the design of world-leading recording studios to concert halls and performance spaces. From superyachts to home theatres, the company breathes life into beautiful spaces where sound and vision are reproduced with absolute fidelity. To achieve this, the company blends the latest generation technology, systems and materials with innovative architectural design and signature styling. In a world where quality, luxury and exclusivity are prerequisite, Harris Grant’s extraordinary solutions are designed and implemented to consistently exceed the ambitions of its clients. Whether it’s discreetly refined or boldly ostentatious, every project reflects and complements the lifestyles and aspirations of our clients.
The Award Winners
AV Display Innovation of the Year 2016
Samsung for OHD Series SMART Signage
The last two years has seen outdoor digital signage start to realise its potential. The channel now has a choice of solutions sufficient to realise a wide cross-section of customer requirements. This year’s Display Innovation Award does marks a recent introduction in the category – Samsung’s OHD Series SMART Signage. These bright, high contrast displays provide clear picture quality and 24/7 durability against a range of variable and harsh conditions. As a result, users can captivate audiences through brilliant content with minimal interference. Integrated content management tools further simplify the user experience and enable updating from any location. Through Samsung’s outdoor SMART Signage, businesses can increase brand awareness and improve traffic by extending messages to outdoor customers, all at a lower cost. Previously, workspace and budget limitations have sometimes prevented these companies from realizing the potential of expanded promotional capabilities. Through its OHD Series SMART Signage, Samsung is the first digital display provider to condense the power, function and reliability of larger displays into a compact and affordable outdoor solution. Featuring ultra-high brightness (2,500nit for the 46-inch model and 3,000nit for the 55-inch model) and a 5,000:1 contrast ratio. Samsung’s OHD Series The displays feature the Samsung SMART Signage Platform (SSSP), an embedded, System-on-Chip (SoC) media player and operating system that together streamline content management and signage setup.
Category: AV Network Innovation of the Year 2016
Crestron Fusion is a modular platform providing the foundation for smarter buildings that save energy and enhance worker productivity. Customers can choose to deploy Fusion RV (RoomView), Fusion EM (Energy Management) or both based on organisational needs. Fusion RV enables facility and IT managers to centrally monitor and manage room scheduling, as well as AV presentation and video conferencing resources from the help desk. It can track device and room usage to schedule routine maintenance, provide real-time remote technical support and receive instant alert notifications. Robust reporting features provide data to make more effective purchasing and scheduling decisions. Fully integrated with Microsoft Exchange Server, IBM®, Lotus Notes, and CollegeNet R25 for scheduling, Fusion RV enables occupants to conveniently book conference rooms from the web browser, a touch screen mounted inside or outside the room, or from Microsoft Outlook. Fusion EM manages and monitors renewable and sustainable energy sources in real-time, and displays historical usage data for day, week, month or year. It also provides environmental control, including lighting, shades and climate, to intelligently integrate with room scheduling and occupancy for greater energy savings. Fusion EM is able to track the building’s carbon footprint while enabling facility managers to easily analyse energy consumption. Designed for unlimited scalability to accommodate organisational growth as a robust, scalable enterprise application, Fusion provides direct database integration with Microsoft SQL Server – from standalone server to enterprise fault-tolerant clusters. As networks and room capacity grow, additional Fusion servers can be added and fully integrated for faster performance across the enterprise.
Category: AV Reseller/Integrator of the Year 2016
2015 has been a tumultuous year for CDEC, whose founder and owner, Andy Duckworth, sadly passed away in September. The team at CDEC are determined to carry on Andy’s legacy as the UK’s leading Educational AV Reseller and Integrator. Hard work and dedication sees CDEC on target to turnover £15m, with revenue to date nearing £9m, a fantastic 10% increase across all regions and testament to the commitment and drive of the whole team. In 2015, CDEC installed the UK’s first LED video wall in an educational theatre setting at St Paul’s Catholic School, Leicester. 2015 also saw CDEC expand further into the Higher Education market, having secured a place on the HEPCW and SUPC framework. The framework has generated £2.5million revenue YTD, in the very first year of being on the contract. CDEC can confidently offer warranty support and specialised technical knowledge for every state-of-the-art product installed, which gives CDEC a competitive advantage resulting in a 15% sales order increase over the last year. CDEC has also expanded the special projects team through the appointment of three Technical Project Managers and a FE/HE Sales Manager to provide dedicated regional expertise. This ingrained commitment to excellent customer service, sharing best practice and life-long after sales care means that we have no hesitation in presenting CDEC with its hat trick of AV News Awards.
Award and event sponsors
BenQ is a world-leading human technology and solutions provider driven by the corporate vision of ‘Bringing Enjoyment ’N’ Quality to Life’ to elevate and enrich the aspects of life that matter most to people today- lifestyle, business, healthcare and education. Set apart by the unique philosophy of ‘Because it matters’ BenQ is committed to empower people today to live better, increase efficiency, feel healthier and enhance learning through people-driven, innovation-fuelled products, services and solutions. Because it matters, BenQ will continue to utilize substantial resources and proven expertise in product design, visual display, mobile solutions and network convergence technologies with the hope to delight the world, offering a broad range of products, services and solutions: digital projectors, professional monitors, interactive large-format displays, imaging solutions, mobile computing devices, and LED lighting solutions. More information: www.benq.co.uk
Peerless-AV, a Peerless Industries, Inc. company, is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of audio visual solutions. From its award-winning mounts and wireless streaming systems to indoor/outdoor kiosks and the industry’s first fully sealed outdoor displays, Peerless-AV aims to Get it Right by fulfilling both integrators’ needs for ease of installation and service, and end-users’ dreams in residential and commercial applications. Based in Aurora, IL, Peerless-AV manufactures over 3,600 products that serve original equipment manufacturers, commercial integrators and consumer retailers in 22 vertical markets through direct sales representatives and authorised distribution. More information: www.peerless-av.com.
RGB was established in 1991 as a technical audio visual distributor. Initially distributing ‘connectivity’ solutions to AV resellers, since then we have expanded our product range to cover all aspects of audio visual solutions for AV resellers and custom installers including; Room & Lighting Control, Networks, Audio & Video Conferencing, Projection & Displays, Connectivity, Racks & Power and Meeting Room signage. Where we differ from run of the mill distributors is our technical expertise, our focus by not distributing conflicting products, not representing too many manufacturers, extensive dealer training program, an enviable reputation, our commitment to customer service, consistency and longevity. Our mission statement is; to provide our customers, suppliers and staff with a long term, profitable relationship. More information: www.rgbcomms.co.uk
CDEC has been fulfilling the AV needs of both the corporate and public sectors since 2000, when founder Andy Duckworth combined his teaching experience with his ICT Manager background to bring seamlessly integrated AV solutions to organisations across the UK. From education and corporate to retail and digital signage, we cover a broad range of verticals nationwide, adopting a partnership approach with both clients and manufacturers to ensure that every installation is tailored to the individual needs of each project. Our Elite Reseller status for all manufacturers in our portfolio means that we can confidently offer warranty support and specialised technical knowledge for every state-of-the-art product we install. This combined with our ingrained commitment to excellent customer service and life-long after sales care means we provide a complete AV integration package. More information: www.cdec.co.uk
The Award Sponsors
Just Lamp Established in 2002, Just Lamps was the first specialist distributor of projector Lamps anywhere in the world. The company now employs over 60 staff supporting resellers in 20 major countries across the USA, EMEA and Asia. With distribution partners in many of the smaller territories Just Lamps reaches nearly every corner of the planet and is by far the largest projector lamp distributor in the world. Every brand and model of projector and rear projection TV is covered from one of our five global warehouses to get the replacement lamp delivered to you or your customer the next day. Selling only to trade customers, we only deal in lamps of high quality that provide exceptional product performance, value for money and healthy reseller margins. We do not sell solutions that could compromise your reputation with your customer. Trade and selected country distribution partnerships are most welcome and we will empower those who wish to make lamps a specialist part of their business by helping them create a lamps websites for their country or market sector using our data and stock. We can deliver to nearly every destination in Europe the next day in plain label packaging, thereby creating lamp specialists with the minimal overhead. More information: www.justlampss.net.
NEC Display Solutions
NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH has its European headquarters in Munich, Germany and is responsible for all business activities in EMEA. NEC Display Solutions benefits from the technological know-how and technologies of the NEC Corporation and, with its own Research and Development, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers offering the widest product range of display solutions in the market. The display product portfolio ranges from entry-level to professional and specialty desktop LCDs, via large-size Public Displays for Digital and Retail Signage. The Projector range offers products for all needs, from portable devices via business projectors to products for permanent operation (such as PoS applications) and digital cinema projectors. More information: www.nec-display-solutions.com
Promethean is a global education company that motivates students to learn by developing, integrating and implementing innovative 21st century learning environments that make everyone more engaged, empowered, and successful. The company is headquartered in Blackburn in Lancashire, England with U.S headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. Teachers and students in today’s connected classroom are empowered with access to limitless learning and instructional resources. Together with over 2 million teachers around the world, Promethean’s mission is to improve education by partnering with teachers to create dynamic learning environments that motivate students to learn. Promethean offers classroom technology solutions that address the needs of schools, teachers and students, including the ActivBoard, ActivPanel and ClassFlow for Schools. More information: www.promethanworld.com
Technology Assessment Centre
At PSCo, we focus on delivering the latest and most innovative visual solutions exclusively to our trade partners, through PSCo Technical Distribution, Nearly New AV and PSCo Rental. We have over 15 years’ experience bringing new and exciting technologies to the UK, including large format, video wall and LED displays. We have tailored our services to complement and support our channel partners and portfolio of products. Our unique Assessment Centre showcases the very latest impactful display solutions side-by-side and in a real-world setting including six individual product zones; LED, High Bright, Video Wall, Mounting Solutions, Ultra Large Format Display and Players and Processors. More information: www.psco.co.uk.
This year we are delighted Sense is the trading name for Sense, The National Deafblind and Rubella Association. SENSE is supported by a number of audio-visual companies and organisations in its work to support and campaign for children and adults who are deafblind or have sensory impairments. The charity has been supporting people who have sensory impairments to enjoy more independent lives for the last 60 years. SENSE was started by a group of families who had deafblind children after being seriously affected by rubella during pregnancy. Today, a growing number of children are born prematurely with a range of medical conditions that often include sight and hearing impairments. There are also older people who develop sight and hearing loss at later life. More information: www.sense.org.uk.
Creative and AV technology partners
Since 2001, Acquire Digital has been designing and developing software specifically for the management of multimedia content on digital signage, touch screens and interactive kiosks. Through the continued development of our advanced, innovative technology and the creation of our bespoke solutions, we have successfully established ourselves as one of the industry’s leading providers and a key player within the digital revolution, with over 21,000 installations worldwide. At Acquire Digital, we believe in engaging with people. Through innovative software development and excellent service, we exist to create superior interactive digital solutions that allow improved communication and an enhanced user experience.
PSCo is unique as it works across three divisions to achieve this; PSCo Rental for flexible, short term solutions, PSCo Technical Distribution for permanent installations and Nearly New AV for customers looking for the l atest technology at a fraction of the cost if bought new. With over 15 years’ experience in large format and video wall displays, and strong relationships with leading manufacturers, PSCo creates exclusive packages for trade partners. The portfolio is available to view and test at the Assessment Centre in Reading, with an experienced team on hand to offer technical advice and recommendations.