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The Buzz: Letters

To the Editor: As the association that clearly identifies itself with AV communications, InfoComm International has taken steps to support our members

The Buzz: Letters

Nov 1, 2005 12:00 PM

To the Editor:

As the association that clearly identifies itself with AV communications, InfoComm International has taken steps to support our members as they explore opportunities in the residential market.

Since more than 25 percent of InfoComm attendees have indicated they are involved in the residential market, we produced a residential pavilion at InfoComm 05. In addition, we offered a seminar track to further help our attendees understand the opportunities in the residential market.

Recently, Magnolia A/V, a company owned by Best Buy, chose the InfoComm Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) program as the training it would use to educate its employees. Magnolia has participated in InfoComm Academy education for several years and has crafted an interesting training program in which it uses our off-the-shelf Essentials of the AV Industry online course along with the hands-on training it provides directly to its employees. Employees completing the training can then take the InfoComm certification test to qualify for our general certification.

We aim to raise the bar for all companies working in AV. InfoComm Academy training is open to anyone who wishes to participate, as is required by federal anti-trust law. The general CTS is a starting point for anyone in the AV industry and, as our certification numbers near 4,000, it is clear that many companies come to us for specialized training to advance employees in their careers.

Our members serve numerous vertical markets, including corporate, higher education, worship, health care, and government/military, and many now see the potential in the residential market. We hope to support them by educating them on what it may take for them to become successful in residential — before they jump in with both feet.

How can the strengths of a current business be leveraged into a new business, and how should one create a business model that fits the residential market as well as institutional and corporate environments? After such an exploratory exercise, some may decide that they are better off not entering this market today. Ultimately, it will be up to them. Our role as their association is to provide them the tools to help them make good business decisions.

We stand ready to provide the press with information about how this activity is progressing. As outlined above, our position is about serving our membership using our current formats; we are not out to create a new association or trade show around the residential market.
Randal A. Lemke, Ph.D.
Executive Director
InfoComm International

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