Putting Customers Center Stage Earns Us All New Roles

HARMAN Professional Solutions is evolving to address new opportunities in changing end-user markets

Growth, personal and professional, is the reason many of us got into business—we wanted to make a positive difference in the workplace, the marketplace and in our own careers. Growth requires a capacity to evolve.

An organization like HARMAN Professional Solutions must continually evolve its technologies and offer new innovations, but we also must evolve as an organization to address changes in the market and make the most of opportunities we see on the horizon.

We recently undertook a significant restructuring at HARMAN Professional Solutions with the goal of placing a much higher emphasis on our customers’ vertical markets. For a start, we organized into three Strategic Business Units (SBUs): Enterprise, Entertainment and Product. In addition, a shared services group supports the SBUs with Finance, IT, HR and Marketing Communications. Each SBU and shared service function is led by an accomplished, experienced leader.

The Entertainment and Enterprise SBUs are broken down into Customer Solutions Units (CSUs). The CSUs are dedicated teams with a simple, yet powerful, mandate: Provide vertical market customers greater market expertise and market- specialized solutions. Our CSUs are empowered with the resources required to deliver on that mandate.

The Entertainment SBU, led by Bryan Bradley, is made up of two CSUs: Retail, led by
Scott Robbins, and Touring & Cinema, led by Brian Divine. Our Enterprise SBU, led by Kevin Morrison, is made up of three CSUs: Hospitality, led by David McKinney; Large Venues, led by Jaime Albors; and Corporate, Education and Government, led by Kevin Bowyer. I am confident that we have strong talent within our ranks and that this new customer-centric organisational model will equip HARMAN Professional Solutions to be more effective, innovative and responsive to the needs of our customers across the globe.

Our customer-centric organizational model will make it much easier for customers in this region to do business with HARMAN Professional Solutions. There will be a single point of access and accountability with specialized teams, technologies and programs for each vertical market. And, because they’re customer-centric versus brand- or technology-centric teams, they will have a better understanding of the customer use case today and clearer insights as to where markets are headed tomorrow.

At the same time, we don’t intend to miss a beat on product innovation. Our new Product SBU, led by Mark Ureda, combines our expert technical talent and deep R&D investments across the organization to deliver groundbreaking technologies, products and, most importantly, customer solutions.

From acoustics and video and control to electronics and lighting, this team is going to be a true systems powerhouse. It’s a group that is committed to performance, connectivity, interoperability and the best user experience possible. Right now, they’re working on powerful systems that run natively, which would immediately reset the rules of systems integration and provide a massive efficiency boost to systems integrators and their customers in Asia and around the world.

Another aspect of our solutions strategy is scalability. Having consolidated the recent acquisitions of Martin, Duran Audio, AMX, SM Pro Audio and SVSI, HARMAN Professional Solutions has a wide array of technologies and IP at its disposal. Our organization is now equipped to provide a linear progression of good-better-best solutions, from small fixed-analog solutions to medium scale digital solutions to enterprise-grade open architecture solutions.

I think one of the most exciting aspects of this restructuring is that we’re unlocking specialized talent and applying it directly to the challenges that systems integrators and customers face in the market.

Working together, our product and customer SBUs will be in a position to design application-engineered systems like IDX, but also support the technologies with application engineering, services and a host of vertical market programs. I know all of us are inspired by the prospect of integrating our technology roadmaps with our product in order to more quickly and efficiently provide customers with powerful solutions tailored to the needs of their respective markets.

We expect the positive change to be very apparent in Asia. Our organization is now completely global, with an important design center from the Products SBU in China and customer support teams from the Enterprise and Entertainment SBUs throughout Asia. The restructuring has also streamlined communication and facilitated new efficiencies.

Until quite recently, in the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore region, we had teams operating from separate AMX, HARMAN Professional Solutions and Martin Professional offices within a 350-mile radius. Now, all that talent is one team, housed under one roof and providing partners with a single point of access for all HARMAN Professional Solutions.

Other advantages that extend to distribution partners have emerged. Before, we challenged distributors to be specialists in an array of vertical enterprise and entertainment disciplines, but now, our approach is to work with proven experts in each vertical discipline. As a result, our long-standing distribution partners need not invest in new vertical expertise, but can grow their businesses where they’re strongest. We also have the latitude to go direct—as AMX and Martin Professional have always done—or partner with specialists in other vertical markets.

Even though a lot has changed at HARMAN Professional Solutions, some things will remain the same. As we fine-tune our organization and improve our processes, HARMAN Professional Solutions will retain and strengthen the culture of our unique and valuable brands. We’ll continue to build amazing products, and we’ll always keep customers and systems integrators center stage in our business. There is considerable talent throughout our organization, which I believe will become even more apparent in the weeks and months ahead.


*This article was originally published in Systems Integration Asia Dec 2015-Jan 2016.