Each quarter we ask end-user decision makers to tell us which spaces they are planning to make AV upgrades in over the coming three months (MOAR). Responses from the Q3 fielding revealed group collaboration spaces, or boardrooms in old office-speak, as the most common area of focus (38%). This tracks with expectation given the prominence of conferencing and collaboration solutions as the top revenue generator for solution providers. So this serves as some nice confirmation of forecasts.
It's the spaces in the number two spot that are a bigger head-scratcher -- control rooms (36%). While command and control solutions are a strong contributor to pro AV opportunity, they are the smaller of the solution areas tracked by AVIXA, at an expected $15.6B this year. Even that revenue amount may appear large to those integrators who provide higher end control rooms with the latest video wall and data handling technologies. Growth too is only expected to reach a modest 7% this year and 5.4% over the next 5 years in terms of CAGR, both lower than the average.
So what's the deal? Taken at face value this would seem to portend a rising wave of investment in control room technology this year. The caveat is one of definitions. While we see strength across much of AV, we also know that how an individual end-user/buyer defines a solution area like control rooms can vary greatly. So while this focus likely does not mean large percentages of end-users are ready to invest in the deck of the Enterprise or NASA's launch center, it does demonstrate a focus on the CAPABILITY represented by control rooms. In this case, a space or capability to take in data (including AV content) and analyze or visualize it, perhaps by either a single user or large group. Or perhaps something slightly different.
This is the point of solution areas ultimately. It showcases a wide variety of related emphases on a particular organization need rather than an indication of a specific product bundle. Thus, as a company seeking ways of capitalizing on opportunities hinted at like the data above, should seek to understand just how buyers are using terms in creative or new ways to define an area of need. This may reveal some unexpected sales along the way. Here's to many successes to any and all as they seek to explore the nebulous areas within and around solutions!