ISE 2020 Highlights: Recapping the Final Amsterdam Show

Published: February 19, 2020

Senior web editor Adam Forziati traveled to the final Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam along with his colleague Arlen Schweiger from sister site and residential-focused brand, CE Pro. Together, they bring you some of the emerging trends, interesting booths, and overall ISE 2020 highlights they noticed while combing the show floor.

Adam’s highlights: open standards, rebranding the industry

The idea that AV equipment should be nearly fully interoperable was incredibly present on the ISE 2020 show floor this year. Almost half of the booths I visited evangelized the concept of “open standards” and “interoperability.”

Every AV manufacturer wants you to use their solutions. But it was refreshing to see companies admitting that, while they’d like you to buy their whole suite or product ecosystem, they also understand that AV clients demand flexibility.

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If your client already has a solution that fits part of their needs, you can still choose what you think is a better solution for adjacent problems and remain confident the systems will operate together seamlessly.

I think interoperability and open standards will continue to gain traction in 2020 and beyond.

Here are just some of the booths which stressed interoperability:

Something a bit more conceptual rather than product-focused: this idea that integration companies need a rebrand was nowehere more present than at the AVI-SPL booth.

For anyone that doesn’t know, AVI-SPL is the largest integrator and one of two firms which became the first billion-dollar integration companies in the last week or so.

When I spoke with some folks at AVI-SPL, they were telling me about how they’ve started to focus more on how they’re positioning themselves to new customers. This firm is known for collaboration solutions, and that’s what they used to call themselves: a collaboration company.

But now, they’re distancing themselves from that term and instead they’re going for things like “digital workplace services” and “workplace technology” and I think that’s really smart.

Related: ISE 2020 Attendance Drops to 52,000 After Coronavirus Concern and Travel Woes Interfere

When a billion-dollar integrator starts to turn the ship around on their branding, I think every other firm should at least consider why they’re doing that.

The primary reason here is that we’re coming now to a critical point where AV services are so closely tied to IT that savvy companies like AVI-SPL are trying to stay relevant to an audience that doesn’t really search for things like “Unified Communications” or collaboration solutions anymore.

Arlen’s ISE 2020 highlights: residential offerings, resi remote management

Companies like Crestron and Control4 were really bolstering their smart home offerings and operating systems: OS 3 from Control4 and Crestron Home were both offered as recently-updated fixtures in the smart home space.

While those offerings only debuted in the last year, the companies are already investing more and more into updates. We wonder if that means there’ll be a surge in the residential side of the the market?

Remote management and monitoring — something that debuted more in the commercial space — has really taken off in resi in the last couple of years.

Integrators serving that market need ALL products to be monitorable from the office to minimize downtime. RTiQ, ELAN’s monitoring solution, and Crestron’s partnership with Domotz all provide insight for integrators to potentially earn recurring revenue.

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