2018, with the aim of bringing cutting-edge solutions and its expertise to the Asian market.
In Australia the company represents the full range of HARMAN solutions for the Installation market aside from other complementary offerings.
avt commenced operations in 1987 founded by Kevin Chatfield as AV Technology. In 1991, AV Technology became the distributor in Australia and New Zealand for AMX, having previously distributed York Controls.
The company was rebranded to avt in 2016 after having traded for the prior decade as AMX Australia and AMX New Zealand.
Today, they proudly continue distribution of the AMX range in Australia and
New Zealand. Additionally, in Australia they represent the Harman Professional Audio brands of JBL, Crown, BSS, and AKG for the installation market.
Given the inevitable rise of software platforms entering the commercial AV landscape, avt also strategically added Utelogy to their portfolio providing an
enterprise software- defined management, monitoring and control platform to
our solutions suite.
They also represent Utelogy throughout Asia via the company’s Singapore-based team and their expanding partner network.
In early 2018, they capitalised on the opportunity to represent another global
leader in Tripleplay; a software-centric IPTV, digital signage and video streaming platform. They collaborate with Tripleplay to ensure effective coverage for the Asian region with the Tripleplay platform.
avt has continued to expand their operations. Their headquarters is on the Gold Coast in Australia. They also have offices, showrooms and training facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth as well as Auckland, New Zealand and they established a presence in Singapore in early 2018.
SI Asia spoke to COO, Paul Fouracre, avt about what lies ahead for the company.
Tell us a little bit about avt in Singapore. Why did that come about?
As part of avt’s growth strategy, our Founder, Kevin Chatfield decided to
expand our operations into Asia to leverage growth that was occurring in the
Given our broad portfolio of new and innovative technologies, we were confident that several of the solutions we were representing were relevant to the region.
We also thought it was a great opportunity for us to leverage our skills and capabilities around value-add distribution which has made us successful in Australia and New Zealand markets.
Whilst we don’t have Harman distribution rights in Asia, we certainly have several key solutions relevant to the AV market that we sell into our channel partners in Asia.
Was it like a push-pull factor regarding the other brands representation in Asia?
It was part of our overall growth strategy and thankfully our suppliers were very supportive of that and we’ve certainly brought on new suppliers since then and now with the mindset of not only growth in Australia and New Zealand, but also the vast opportunities that exist in verticals such as Hospitality, Corporate & Education in Asia is an attractive proposition for both avt and our suppliers.
Therefore, it has certainly been a multi-faceted approach around how the av
industry is transforming from typically hardware-based platforms into software
Our continued portfolio investments, attraction of key leadership, sales and technical talent and our value-add distribution approach will fuel our expansion plan strategy into Asia.
Is avt strictly a distribution company?
That is absolutely the case. We are a value-added distributor. We distribute world-class audio visual hardware and software brands across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
We are passionate about technology and living our purpose which is to lead our industry, advance our people and partners, creating memorable experiences every day.
So, what does value-add mean?
Well it’s because of services such as our technical support, pre and post- sales, our audio EASE modelling and design-assist capability and deep product understanding across all markets.
We value working with our partners whether that is behind the scenes or customer-facing with the end-user.
avt positions with our customers, that we just don’t sell, we support during the sales process and continue to support them post sales which is the end-to-
end distribution value add service that avt provides.
We also engage with the consultant community as well to earn specification preference and have discussions around our technology platforms with the goal of optimising end-user experience with our technology.
Similarly, we engage with end users as well to share how our solutions can provide positive, seamless and intuitive experiences to their staff and customers.
When a decision is made to integrate our solutions, our valued partners take the client lead to complete the sale.
What are avt’s expectations regarding the Asia office in Singapore?
We planned in the first two years, it would be a start-up mode. So, we understood that, and it remains on track in this phase. But we’ve managed to
sign on a lot of partners as part of our strategy.
We are engaged with several consultants and we’re generating traction in that market for solutions such as Utelogy, Panacast, Mimo and more recently with Tripleplay.
We are certainly pleased with our progress and penetration across key customers early in our Asian expansion phase.
What about the manpower and service support for Asia?
We continue to invest in our technical capability across the business and have some great talent based in Singapore. That said, we have technical resources spread throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia who have and will continue to support any avt customer throughout Asia Pacific. We are receiving great accolades from our Asian customer base, which is the ultimate objective.
Do you see avt further expanding its portfolio any time soon and in which areas?
One of the things that we are seeing is certainly the role of the major UC platform providers such as Teams and Zoom and how the mid-size conference room has essentially been collapsed into a very simplified video conferencing solution.
I think this industry change has impacted the entire supply chain from manufacturer through to consultants and integrators because that space was previously a key design and implementation solution, but now it’s become vastly simplified.
It’s a case of camera, speaker, microphone, a display and a OneTouch start and there’s your room.
That resonates with CFOs and CIO’s who want low-cost simplified options that
deliver a consistent user experience. avt is looking at ways on how we address that across all our markets.
We also acknowledge that we need to have price-appropriate solutions for the markets we address. Watch this space for more interesting announcements in the near future.
Mezzo We noticed the MezzoCast software integrated with PanaCast. The software is an avt solution?
Yes you’re right, MezzoCast is an avt solution and the second in the Mezzo family. It can be delivered in the cloud or on an Enterprise Network behind the firewall.
The Mezzocast software ingests the people and object-count capability from the Panacast camera which through an open API can be interrogated by the various BI platforms to report on room usage and utilisation.
It also delivers auto room booking capability to room book panels such as Mimo simply by leveraging the Panacast people count detection capability.
I briefly mentioned Panacast, it is essentially a data appliance which just happens to deliver an amazing video user experience due to its native 4k, one hundred and eighty degree field of view. It seamlessly stiches three, thirteen megapixels cameras together to achieve this outcome.
The value of solutions such as Mezzocast is to provide data driven solutions for actionable insights and it’s where I believe the industry is heading.
CIO’s and CFO’s want more value from their investments and data insights is a key element of this. As a further example if you look at our Utelogy solution and how you can monitor devices in the in the room.
Utelogy is software defined control, management and monitoring solution so you can control any device that has an open API or you can simply monitor that device or do both.
The beauty about Utelogy is you don’t need to be a programmer to set up rooms, it’s all about configuration instead of hard-core programming.
That said, there is a great opportunity for the programming community to build drivers and enhance and tailor the solution for their clients.
When you have the capability to have your various conference room devices
monitored and with the recent launch of the Utelogy U-Manage 2.0 dashboard platform, you can leverage proactive device reporting capability
from the cloud dashboard.
That proactive ability to know when you’ve got a problem with components in the conference room and reporting on your fleet of rooms is very compelling. So it’s an evolving portfolio, arguably an eco-system in the making and we’re connecting the various elements and we’ve got a solid strategy around this.
On a final note, what’s the buzz around the avt booth at Integrate?
Well we formally announced the representation of two new products. These are Joan, a low cost, room booking solution for easy scheduling of office spaces and meeting rooms, built on sustainable and power efficient e-paper technology; and Airtame, an all-in-one wireless screen sharing solution with
customizable digital signage, remotely managed in the cloud.
The solutions have generated amazing interest.
In regard to Joan, it has a number of fantastic features but the thing I love most about it, is that it’s like your Kindle. It’s a low-power energy efficient solution.
It is battery operated and each charge lasts for 3 months and when the power level reaches 20% a notification is sent so you can simply recharge the unit.
We are all trying to reduce our energy consumption, so I really like this product and how avt is helping organisations achieve that goal.