In the integration industry there is no more powerful and influencial force than the corporate market, which stands out with 84 percent of Commercial Integrator‘s readership claiming to have done business in that market in the past year and InfoComm noting that corporate is the largest customer segment in every part of the world in a recent global market analysis.
If the corporate market signifies a harbinger of things to come, that’s good for integrators and consultants. The industry is demonstrating strong growth and optimism in the enterprise and office segment (see sidebar).
Numbers are one thing. A look at office communication trends provides even more reasons for optimism when it comes to the corporate market:
We’re in a Communications Revolution
Organizations and their employees communicate differently. Millennials entering the workforce (and there are now more Millennials than Baby Boomers running around) have an expectation to be able to collaborate on screen with small groups.
There is a real opportunity is for integrators to be in lock-step with clients’ evolving communications philosophies.
It’s All About Mobility
Today’s offices are less about dedicated space and more about optimized space.
Related: 5 Workplace Collaboration Trends CIOs Should Know
Those Millennial workers that your customers are trying hard to recruit have an expectation that they’ll be able to connect wherever they are — working from home, a coffee shop or moving through an office space. Integrators have an opportunity to facilitate that mobility.
OPPORTUNITIES BY THE NUMBERS:
Corporate Market Survey of 181 integrators and consultants says:
60% say corporate business was up in 2016
Only 3% say corporate business was down in 2016
20% expect to see growth of more than 10% in their corporate business during 2017
67%expect to see flat or less than 10% growth in their corporate business during 2017
Internet of Things Puts the Spotlight on Integration
You might say that IoT is overhyped but with an expected 25 billion “things” connected by 2020, it deserves its share of hype. Among those excited about the idea of completely intuitive systems are your customers, especially as their staffs get younger.
The idea of walking into a conference room and watching the room react because of the phone or access card in your pocket, that’s appealing. The customer walks in, lights optimize, screen drops, display starts, presentation launches and meetings begin almost immediately.
For many the hype is about the efficiency and productivity made more possible by IoT.
Decision-Makers Are Changing
Another well-played-out story line in the integration market is that IT departments are making customers’ buying decisions instead of traditional facilities managers and that changes everything.
It does. But that’s also changing. Technology is so omnipresent in offices that departments are making more final decisions than before with, for example, human resources procuring digital signage, marketing buying interactive displays, you name it. The common thread, of course, is that IT influences all of these decisions.
Is that an opportunity? It is for integrators that don’t assume an immediate disadvantage due to a lack of ability to discuss networks and appreciate IT directors’ concerns.
Another opportunity is that different folks making buying decisions have different buying philosophies. IT managers are more inclined to pay for ongoing support for their investments or invest in ongoing managed services rather than outlaying big money for an initial investment.
Recurring revenue is more realistic in this new reality.