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opinion

All Voices

A marketplace of ideas is always superior to a monopoly on them.

By David Danto As the new Editor of IT/AV Report, I’m adding a few recurring columns that will be clearly marked as opinion pieces, just as this one is. I would argue that, yes, although we in the industr y want to read about new technology, we also want to know what others among our peers are thinking. Indeed, when I worked as a collaboration consultant, the question I was most often asked was, “What are the other guys doing?” We all inherently want to learn from others’ successes and mistakes, desiring to stand on the shoulders of those before us to reach those higher heights. IT/AV Report partakes in that spirit with its “Viewpoint” section, which I was honored to coordinate and/or participate in many times in the past. That section will continue well into the future. After all, getting ever yone’s thoughts on a curated topic helps frame the issue in a manner that is unique. However, going for ward, we’ll extend the coverage of opinions to include industr y leaders and obser vers who can fill us all in on what’s happening and how they see it affecting what we do. Famous (infamous?) AVtweep Josh Srago decided to leave his role in the AV industr y about a year ago to pursue a law degree. He felt that no one was really looking at our technology space from the perspective of what is legal. He’s not a lawyer yet—in fact, he doesn’t even play one on TV at this point—but his unique perspective has been tremendously insightful as regards an aspect of what we do that’s long been ignored. We’ll share his opin-

ion contributions on an ongoing basis. Famous (infamous?) industry analyst Ira Weinstein offered his observations from his chair at Wainhouse Research for years, and he’s now begun his own firm, Recon Research. Weinstein has always had a unique perspective on the AV and collaboration space, and he can always be counted on to drive to the core of an issue with unmatched speed. We’re giving him a page at the end of this issue, as well as future issues, to deliver the last word on the topics we’re covering. Although I’ll edit both of those contributions for style and grammar, their thoughts will come to you unedited. What good is hearing only one idea—only one voice— when we all seek the opinions of our industry peers to help shape our own thoughts? I encourage others in our industr y to reach out to me and share their views, as well. Within the space constraints of our biannual publication, I’ll do my best to make this a forum where all opinions are welcome. It will never matter if you work with me (in my day job) or work for a competitor. It won’t matter if I agree or disagree with you. It would do the readers of this publication a disser vice to restrict the opinions published only to those with which the Editor agrees. Sadly, forums of this type are becoming less common in our industr y. Conferences that used to include sessions and programming by partners that represented the best and brightest in their respective fields now no longer have those partners. Some organizers feel they can do it “just as well themselves,” and maybe save a couple of pennies in the process. That’s a sad commentar y on our industr y. As soon as one restricts the source of opinions to only oneself, attendees of and participants in one’s events are stuck with blind spots that can result in problems they never saw coming. I certainly hope this trend is temporar y and can be reversed. It’s instructive to remember that the best managers are the ones who hire the brightest people and just let them shine. The employees look good, and the managers look great for having recruited them. The super visors who want to micromanage and control ever ything are never as successful or as appreciated. The same principle applies to conferences and seminars. If an organizer brings in the associations and partners that represent the best and brightest in the space, then both they and the organizer shine. If the conference or seminar is restricted to only the organizer’s voice, then one loses in quality what one has gained in control. In that case, the attendees and participants will see the difference—I guarantee it. “All Voices” used to be a part of our industr y’s mantra. Ever yone was welcome at the table. Now, the opportunities to participate have diminished. In this publication, I promise to make sure that ever y voice will have the opportunity to be heard going for ward. Reach out and share your opinions; participate in the conversations that shape our industr y. You’ll always be welcome here while I’m in the Editor’s chair.

David Danto has more than three decades’ experience providing problem-solving leadership/innovation in media and unified communications technologies for various firms in the corporate, broadcasting and academic worlds. He now works as the Director of UC Strategy and Research for Poly, and he’s the IMCCA’s Director of Emerging Technology.

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IT/AV Report

Profile for Sound & Communications

IT/AV Report Spring 2019  

Topics featured in this issue include Understanding AV Over IP, 2019: The Do or Die Year for Enterprise Team Chat Solutions, The Changing Fa...

IT/AV Report Spring 2019  

Topics featured in this issue include Understanding AV Over IP, 2019: The Do or Die Year for Enterprise Team Chat Solutions, The Changing Fa...