AV Industry Trends at ISE 2019

It was early February in Amsterdam. I traveled from the Shure UK office in London to attend ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) 2019, the world’s largest exhibition for AV and systems integration. I was there, for the first time representing Shure, to introduce our Microflex Complete suite of discussion and conference systems to an audience of over 80,000 attendees. I was also there to listen. It was an incredible four-day event. 

The Updated Shure Booth

In addition to our striking new logo, the Shure exhibit featured an innovative layout, divided into Experience Zones that highlighted conferencing, education and live production solutions. This reflected a wider AV industry trend in enabling experiences through technology, rather than focusing on products. It afforded integrators the opportunity to show their customers exactly the right products for their needs. This is increasingly important, particularly in the enterprise sector.

The approach was well received by visitors and ISE. Shure claimed the Best Large Stand at the Stand Design Awards during the show.

Solutions on a Global Scale

Not that long ago, global organizations relied on local integrators to develop specific solutions tailored to the needs of specific offices. Today, key decisions across the enterprise sector are often made by specialists within the end-user company. The trend toward standardized, global solutions, and the economies of scale they bring, shows no signs of slowing.

As part of the demand for global solutions, end users, consultants and integrators are looking for manufacturers that can support and deliver products on a global scale. Shure’s rebranding and investment in this sector demonstrate that the company is well equipped to support this need.

Shure’s participation in ISE this year represented the biggest marketing investment the company has made in its 95-year history. That’s a sign of just how seriously we take the integrated systems market. More than that though, we are proud to be a leading innovator in audio technology for the systems integration sector, backed by nearly 100 years of excellence in innovation, technology and engineering

We’ve taken the heritage we have in the pro audio industry, along with the knowledge and experience we’ve gained (from NASA missions to Super Bowl performances), to bring that same level of urgency and reliability to the systems integration market. We know that every word counts in important meetings. Shure has the technology and the solutions to ensure that communications are crystal clear.

Microflex Complete at ISE

Microflex Complete, officially introduced at the show, has already garnered a great deal of attention from government, corporate and educational facilities. This latest addition to the Microflex line means we now have a product suite designed to meet any integrated systems audio need.

Our new trajectory led to a number of engaging conversations with AV and IT professionals, partners and end users at ISE. The role of software was a common theme.

Products are getting smarter and the old AV support model of waiting for support staff to fix a problem is no longer feasible. There’s a definite drive for software solutions to troubleshoot those problems.

When that capability has been built into a system, end-users can monitor gear and identify potential issues before problems occur. Software can also provide tracking and equipment usage analysis. Room tracking isn’t new, of course, but it can now be accomplished with a smart microphone, taking the potential for data analysis a step further.  Here’s an example:

In the past, room-booking systems indicated that a room was booked, but end-users couldn’t tell if it had actually been used. Data from Microflex Advanced, for example, can reveal that the room was booked, occupied, the call extended to the length of the meeting, and all participants were engaged throughout.

This provides valuable, actionable information. If just two people meet regularly in a 10-person room, the meeting can be moved to a smaller room, freeing up the larger space. If calls regularly drop out during a meeting, perhaps a more reliable solution is required.

A Bright Future

ISE highlighted just how much opportunity there is in the systems integration market. Attendance figures reveal that ISE 2019 was the biggest show yet and, interestingly, 32% of visitors and 17% of exhibitors were attending for the first time. To me, this suggests a strong market with growing appeal. As we continue to focus on creating solutions that make life easier for the end user, I’m sure this growth will only continue.

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Rob Smith

Rob Smith

Rob Smith is senior director, integrated systems sales for Western Europe. Smith joined Shure after 27 years in the AV integration business in varying roles. Most recently, Smith was responsible for setting up HB Communications European operation, managing the business as regional manager.

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