Each week, I am highlighting on some of the incredible people who are in the Audio Video Industry. As this blog is mostly about AV insiders, today we are profiling Peter Coman .
Here is a brief intro about him.
Peter Coman is award-winning designer whose career spans 25+ years in the technology industry. With a background in owning and managing IT companies and installing and programming advanced technology systems, Pete knows what it’s like on both sides of the fence.
His qualifications include – BICSI RCDD & ESS, CDCDP, InfoComm CTS, DMC-E and is a SME for InfoComm International.
He likes long walks on the beach, eating out, watching the footy, and has a passion (bordering on obsession) for technology.
Please drop your questions in the comments below and I will make sure that he sees them.
1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
First of all I like think of it as the ‘technology’ industry, and not just AV. I’ve always been fascinated with technology, however my journey began when I was about 11 years old building electronic kits. This fast grew into computers by the age of 13, then my first part time job at the age of 14 was at Dick Smith Electronics before setting up my own IT company as an 18 year old. My interest quickly grew from IT to lighting control, security system and Audio Visual systems, and after returning to Australia after a stint working for a dot.com company in Silicon Valley I started working for a small technology integration company in Sydney. From there I worked a number of companies designing, installing and programming some of the largest residential projects in Australia. After a number of years I decided to move to the dark side and become a technology consultant in the commercial building world and in 2010 I founded InDesign Technologies.
2.What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry.
At InDesign we hire first and foremost on attitude, if they don’t have the right attitude it’s just not going to work out, and by attitude I mean no ego, confidence yes, but ego, no. They also need to be the right cultural fit, someone who shares the same core values as InDesign. Age is also an important consideration. We look for someone with some experience who’s mouldable, rather than an industry veteran who’s very stuck in their ways. The other issue that the industry faces is a lack of standards, as a result formal education seems to be lacking and therefore AV is not recognised or defined as a genuine career pathway, unlike electrical and IT.
3.What are the positives of working in this industry
Technology is such a global industry, it has no borders. Events such as ISE, InfoComm and CES bring connect people from all around the world, sharing knowledge, products and services. It’s also such a specialised industry and as a result there can be a lot of travel required, not just throughout Australia, but around the globe. So for me I love the travel, meeting new people and sharing my ideas and experiences with the world. I also love the pace of the industry, there’s a new product or technology every day, that always keeps us on our toes as no two projects are the same.
4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent?
For me it’s the lack of mandatory industry standards to fall back on. As a result AV can been seen as a bit of a luxury at times, rather than a necessity. Standards will help our clients and the project team take what we do a little bit more seriously. I also believe that industry bodies such as InfoComm need to market the importance of CTS / CTS-D certifications to the end user, as this would help provide a better result for the client and drive the necessity for industry members to obtain these certifications. Education is the key.
5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you.
Creating a close working relationship with our clients is paramount, ideally this is a client who aligns with our core values –
We also enjoy working with organisations who are realistic, knowledgeable, standards based and who value partnerships.
Not all potential clients appreciate the services and benefits we offer, which means that we’re not always going to be the right fit for everyone. Our philosophy is very simple, ‘do the right thing’ and ‘be fair and reasonable’.
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6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently?
I prefer to look forward, not back, you only get a sore neck by looking back… Sometimes you’ll make mistakes, but that’s how you learn, it’s all part of the journey. I wouldn’t do anything differently.
7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?
My typical work is up at 4am, coffee at 4.30am, walk to the office and ready to go by 5am. Between 5am and 8am I’m organising my day, planning, strategizing, responding to emails, creating proposals, social media, and in general getting work done whilst I’m not getting interrupted by phone calls and emails. 8am to 5pm always feels very unproductive, lots of phone calls, emails, meetings and assisting the team with their many projects. 5pm – 7pm I’m catching-up on all the things I didn’t get done during the day. 7pm – 7.30pm walk home, have dinner, go to bed and get some rest before doing it all again the next day.
8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?
My tools of choice are my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and my iPhone. I love the flexibility of the Surface Pro and the fact that I can scroll, draw and annotate from the touch screen, and it’s light. This is particularly useful when on-site performing inspections as I can call up any drawing and make notes on the fly without carrying a whole stack of drawings with me. Software wise my world revolves around Outlook, I’d be lost without it.
I use my iPhone 24/7 to take notes, photos, check emails and upcoming calendar events. I also use it for all of my social media engagement utilising apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Linkedin. Other apps used include Uber, TripView (real time train schedule) and FlightBoard (real-time flight information), Weatherzone and Safari. It’s never more than 1m away from me.
9. How do you stay relevant in this industry?
Our role as consultants and designers is to inform and educate our clients not only about the current technology, but about future technologies that could possibly be incorporated into future projects 6, 12, 18 months down the track. We do this through regular industry and vendor training as well as attending the international exhibitions such as ISE, InfoComm and CES. It’s very cyclic – learn, design, implement, learn, design, implement… You always have to stay informed otherwise you get left behind.