The three largest consumers of audio-visual products and services are the government, corporate, and education markets. That’s why this weeks news that sequestration will be rolled back (at least in part – Hooray for the FBI!) should be celebrated by the AV industry. Uncertainty, budget reductions, and entire programs being cut over the past year has had a cooling effect on the market. We have deep roots in the government sector and sell both Sol and Solstice to a large number of government agencies, so I’ve had a front-row seat to the effect the budget battles have had on our industry and it hasn’t been pretty.
White House Situation Room with Mersive solutions installed.
That being said, our market has been able to weather the storm fairly well – and we should take that as a sign that AV is poised for continued government sector growth in 2014. Other, more positive forces, have kept revenues growing. Government agencies have realized the importance of collaboration and communication technologies to their respective missions and have found ways to acquire new large-format display systems, collaboration software, and media platforms that promote situational awareness and decision making. I’ve even talked with folks in the government space over the past several months who have been looking at adopting new digital signage solutions that are normally targeted at smaller markets like rental staging.
Integrated and managed services, according to our resellers, have been doing better as IT and AV converge into more coherent and efficient systems. Trends like this have kept the industry afloat. As budgets are normalized and government agencies can get back to thinking about how best to utilize technology to realize their missions as efficiently as possible, the AV industry should be there to help. This will make for an exciting 2014 and I, for one, look forward to it.