The Accelerating Merge of ProAV and IP

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By Chris Pennell
Futuresource Consulting

While the past two years have brought unprecedented operational disruption and uncertainty for enterprises across all industry sectors, it has also accelerated the blurring of the boundaries between the ProAV and IP worlds.

We have seen broadcast and event tools merged with videoconferencing tools to enable enterprises to have richer interactions with employees and customers. In turn, these new solutions are having to work with a wider set of enterprise tools that normally reside on the IT network. Traditionally these solutions would have been seen as separate environments, deployed on their own closed networks. However, the increasing use of AV-over-IP and software-defined deployments of ProAV solutions means we are seeing these silos being brought together. For example, universities are combining lecture capture tools with videoconferencing tools, as well as broadcast solutions in lecture theatres and teaching spaces to deliver remote learning to students.

Network Performance Becomes Critical

The nature of AV within enterprise is shifting. The landscape is getting more complex as AV services are combined with IP services to support the adoption of hybrid work, remote collaboration tools and the accessing and sharing of information in real-time. In response, enterprises are looking for data-driven approaches to resource allocation, maintenance, and support. At the same time, they want to move away from running separate networks due in part to the associated costs that come from running siloed platforms. This presents new challenges for connectivity solution providers. As vendors focus on combining Pro AV and IT services, network performance and stability becomes much more important.​

5G will be a big talking point this year. Vendors are increasingly looking to embed capabilities within devices for specific industries. For example, within the health sector, we are seeing OEMs work with healthcare providers to join up hospital systems to create smart hospitals. The expansion of 5G footprints allows enterprises to connect a greater range of low-powered static or mobile devices, creating IoT environments within enterprises. ​

Cloud-based Solutions on the Rise

Vendors are also finding new opportunities thanks to changes in the devices used to access AV services. The adoption of smartphones with 4G and 5G services enables access for people who are on the move to ProAV services. At the same time, cloud-based solutions are also becoming much more common in the ProAV sector. This opens the opportunity to build various services around these solutions.

New standards are breaking down the walled garden approach of before, allowing for a wider connection of smart devices in conjunction with cloud-based services and mobile devices. Enterprise IT infrastructure will need to evolve to support ever-growing bandwidth-hungry ProAV workloads.

Futuresource’s eBook: “Tech Perspective 2022: Pro AV Trend,” is here.