Amazon’s New B2B Service Includes ProAV

At least five MAJOR ProAV manufacturers have relented to Amazon’s push into the ProAV market. In case you haven’t heard, Amazon quietly launched a business-to-business initiative earlier this year called — appropriately — Amazon Business. Its charter is to become a multi-billion-dollar supplier of anything a business needs to operate. And, Viewsonic was one of the first projector manufacturers to jump at the opportunity — offering Amazon Business customers a $300 SVGA box as well as its $500 3500 ANSI lumen 1080p and $700 show throw WXGA units.

I guess they figured that the ProAV channel doesn’t want to sell them, so why not let Amazon?

But, a week or so ago, ViewSonic’s $1,700 5200-lumen projector appeared there too. Hmm.

So, what now?

Differentiate. Services.

The Internet changes our business models forever. Amazon will do it again. Amazon is more powerful than the Internet. yes, I said that.

Amazon is, well, Amazon.

But, they don’t do services well. We do. Look, the industry is moving towards giving products away — we all know that. But, the integration is what we are all about. Think about it, when something goes wrong with your Internet, even though we all hate calling the cable company, at least we know who’s responsible. When you integrate the stuff, as you well know, you are doing more than build a system. You’re building a relationship. You’re becoming that single-point-of-contact. You’re the simplifier.

So, don’t panic. But, that said, I sure as hell wouldn’t support brands that are flooding Amazon with products!

Shame on you Viewsonic.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..

  • chief8742

    Gary, you have done an awesome job with rAVe and I respect your opinion but I think you are betting on the wrong horse here. You have been preaching for years that the AV world needs to sell service and I wholeheartedly agree. ViewSonic just further pushes us into evolving into selling services or we will die.

    • Gary Kayye

      I certainly HOPE you re right! But, this is a bit scary. This is the company putting THE MALL out of business.

  • David Hull

    Be careful what you wish for. Technology has been decimating the retail business for years. No One wants to go shop anymore. When there are no more bodies to discuss the advantages or disadvantages of one product over another, then you kind of end up with Hobson’s Choice. Where do you get these items serviced? There is no more service. It is cheaper to buy new that repair. The article above clearly displays that concept with $300.00 and $500.00 projectors. Integrators and Systems Contractors will be doing this, as well, which also begs the question – what sort of quality can you expect from these boxes?

  • Frederick Ampel

    Just as a point of reference Viewsonic has been selling ALL their video products ( monitors, TV,’s etc., on Amazon for along time, adding in integration -ProAv products is frankly absolutely no surprise. The sell to Microcenter and every other on-line AVIT site so why not Amazon, the biggest.? Anyone who thinks their manufacturer of choice is immune to the big A is dead wrong!