SDVoE Alliance President Stephane Tremblay: Exclusive CI Q&A

In an exclusive interview, Stephane Tremblay, the new SDVoE Alliance president, shares vision for the future, ISE 2024 plans and more.

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SDVoE Alliance President Stephane Tremblay: Exclusive CI Q&A

Image courtesy of the SDVoE Alliance.

Stephane Tremblay has been appointed president of the SDVoE Alliance following Justin Kennington’s departure this past November. Tremblay is no stranger to SDVoE, having co-founded AptoVision in 2011 (later acquired by Semtech in 2017), the company behind SDVoE technology. In fact, Tremblay recalls working on the SDVoE processor technology in his basement as early as in 2011!

The SDVoE Alliance is, of course, the nonprofit consortium of technology providers collaborating to standardize the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments.

In 2016, Kennington conceived and founded the SDVoE Alliance to drive a standards-based approach to audiovisual technology. Under Kennington’s leadership, the SDVoE Alliance has grown from a handful of visionary Founding Members to a global organization comprising more than 60 industry-leading companies representing the vast diversity of the professional audiovisual industry. The SDVoE Alliance has developed a robust technology, established strong brand awareness and created a vibrant community of SDVoE adopters.

Commercial Integrator got an exclusive opportunity to speak with Tremblay about his new role as President, his vision for the future of the Alliance, upcoming ISE 2024 show plans and the Alliance’s reach into various industries.

Commercial Integrator: Considering the challenges that the SDVoE Alliance might face, such as recognizability, market penetration or integrator awareness, what would you identify as key areas of focus? How do you envision strengthening SDVoE beyond its current stature?

Tremblay: The most important thing is to connect with the pro AV community. With an increasing number of manufacturers joining the Alliance, we are seeing a rise in system integrators and individuals outside of the traditional product-producing realm embracing this technology. Our goal is to foster connections and expand the reach of the Alliance to benefit the entire community. In addition, the Alliance provides training resources to educate people about SDVoE technology, not just its capabilities but the inner workings as well. We are working on broadening interoperability to beyond what we are right now. Stay tuned for more on this as it gets close to ISE!

CI: With the anticipation building for your significant announcement at ISE, can you give us a sneak peek into SDVoE and its partners’ presence at the show? Will SDVoE have a substantial footprint and prominent visibility on the show floor? Beyond the big reveal, are there additional events planned such as training sessions or networking events to facilitate deeper connections with the Alliance while in Barcelona?

Tremblay: The best way to connect with us is at our booth (5B100, Hall 5), that is where we are going to have the most presence. We’re doing more than we did last year — members can showcase their products in our booth. Presentations will be taking place every morning, where SDVoE members will share their expertise and insights on solving common AV issues using our technology. In the afternoon, you won’t want to miss our interviews, where I will personally sit down with members of our community. All of this will take place on our public stage within our booth.

CI: For those unable to attend ISE, how do you plan to bring the SDVoE experience to them? Will there be initiatives like live online training to ensure interaction? How can they engage with SDVoE and tap into the benefits without being present in person?

Tremblay: All of our presentations are recorded. Whether you missed our presentations or simply want to revisit the content, everything will be made available online, including interviews. Through a recent content survey, we’ve identified the need for two key areas: technical content is highly requested, and our pro AV audience appreciates content that offers renewal units (RUs). In the new year, we’ll be launching a technical webinar series featuring experts from the SDVoE Alliance and our member companies. These webinars will dive into specific technical aspects of design, implementation, troubleshooting and security.

CI: Could you provide an update on the Certified Design House initiative? How is it progressing? Are you seeing the level of engagement and uptake you initially anticipated?

Tremblay: As the Certified Design House Program comes up on its one-year anniversary, we have about 32 system integrators encompassing various sizes, including major players as well as medium and smaller firms, our platform is garnering attention. We have identified opportunities for improvement, with a particular focus on strengthening the connections between system integrators and manufacturers. Promoting interoperability and enhancing educational offerings are key areas of development. By leveraging the insights gained from this, we are tailoring our next steps to best serve our system integrators and ensure their success.

CI: In light of the recent executive leadership change, will the SDVoE Alliance continue on the same path under your stewardship, as it did under Kennington’s? Or should we anticipate a fresh rebirth for SDVoE? 

Tremblay: We will continue to build and improve the Alliance. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we are taking what exists and building upon it. By forming stronger connections with the system integrator community, we are able to provide them with even better support. Since [Kennington’s] departure, we have seen an increase in the number of people involved in the Alliance, both internally and externally.

CI: What is one milestone or innovation you would love to see brought to life by the SDVoE Alliance in the coming year?

Tremblay: The thing I want to achieve the most, is, unfortunately, something I can’t reveal yet! Apart from that, my goal is to expand the SDVoE Alliance and increase the number of members. I want to grow our community and ensure that our Academy offers a wide range of resources. Currently, we have over 200 individual pieces of content available. I strive for even greater success, as I want to reach a broader audience, including system integrators, manufacturers and those interested in AV-over-IP technology. We’d love to learn more from our community members how they are utilizing SDVoE technology in various verticals, such as the medical, high-end home, process and control, education, government, financial, corporate, live venues or esports. We have had lots of great case studies, but there are more out there we would like to know. By sharing stories of successful deployments, we can create more awareness and educate the industry on the power of SDVoE in solving problems.

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