“We want to be the company that provides everything between the source and the display for systems integrators and end users. It’s a stark difference from our initial focus of conventional connectivity, and we never dreamed of providing the global market with advanced, comprehensive AV solutions.”
– Ilya Khayn, Atlona co-founder and president
Atlona founders Michael Khain and Ilya Khayn
Atlona’s 15th Anniversary
The Story of Atlona: Atlona Looks Forward as a Company on the Move
With the company celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2018, Atlona continues to accelerate from its humble beginnings to an enterprise solutions focused supplier for connected spaces.
The commercial AV industry is in the midst of its most significant transformation to date. As more business and organizations move away from legacy and toward networked AV systems, there is clearly a need for complete, enterprise-based solutions.
The trajectory of Atlona as a company aligns with this transformation. From the San Jose, California-based company’s humble beginnings in the garage of brothers Ilya Khayn and Michael Khain, Atlona has entered a prolific phase of innovation across wireless and network-based AV distribution and control for commercial and residential markets. This period of evolution comes as the company marks its 15th anniversary.
Naturally, it took a little time to get here, but the brothers had a shrewd knack for business out of the gate. They soon were on the path to become a supplier of simple, wired residential AV solutions, before moving onto even bigger things.
“We saw a niche in the market to supply unique devices to convert and transport video direct to end users, and we soon started to make these ourselves,” said Khayn. “While initially lucrative, we realized rather quickly that just building these small items wouldn’t be enough. We had greater aspirations.”
2003: Our first office in Campbell, California. We’ve been a part of the Silicon Valley since day one.
Michael Khayn in an early Atlona booth, ready to give an overview on the latest cable and signal distribution technologies.
The company again shifted its focus, with the goal of establishing a customer-first reputation. After applying their early cable manufacturing skills to innovate other connectivity products – their first being an HDMI converter to feed laptop content to digital displays – the company officially rebranded as Atlona, and began to scale up its manufacturing business.
“We really became known as problem solvers, particularly in residential AV. While our product line wasn’t as focused as it is today, we began to shape that customer-first reputation we sought. And organically, we began to see interest from commercial AV integrators. That’s when the business really started to take off.”
– Michael Khain, co-founder and vice president of development and engineering
Shrouded in mystery, the Atlona Lizard adorned many early products under the new “Atlona” name.
The “Slingshot Guy” helped launch a new series of 4K/UHD products in 2015.
Atlona soon invested more in logistics and availability, as well as training resources to further simplify life for their growing customer base. With collaboration as a key focus, Atlona began building products to help corporations, schools and universities, and other enterprise customers simplify AV needs in meeting and conference room environments. This included features like auto-sensing and auto-switching that remain popular today.
The seismic shift in Atlona’s focus took shape in 2014, when the company brought its first UHD-capable products to market for residential AV and began to focus on building complete solutions. By ISE 2015, the company launched 12 new 4K/UHD products across its extender line, soon followed by its first 4K/UHD matrix switchers for the commercial market. In all, Atlona launched nearly two dozen 4K/UHD products that year, developing a reputation as an innovator ahead of industry trends.
The flagship 100 meter HDBaseT Extender led the way for Atlona’s massive 4K/UHD product overhaul.
The SW-510W launched in 2017 to enormous attention.
ISE has remained a launchpad for Atlona’s most significant product innovations. The following year’s show saw the company introduce its CLSO range of presentation switchers and its HDVS-300 soft codec conferencing kit, which provided corporate and higher education customers with a quick and simple way to present via Skype, GoToMeeting and other software-based codecs.
At ISE 2017, the innovation trend and push toward complete solutions continued with universal BYOD compatibility (AT-UHD-SW-510W) and the company’s foray into AV control with Velocity, which aggressively transitions facilities from wired to networked control architectures.
In between, the company addressed the AV over IP signal distribution trend with its enterprise-level OmniStream family, which has very recently been adapted for residential markets with OmniStream R-Type. And Atlona shows no signs of slowing down as it strengthened its range of audio, scaling and extender solutions at ISE 2018 and InfoComm 2018.
The developments of the past few years have brought Atlona to where it is today – a global manufacturer that is delivering on their promise of complete enterprise-level solutions, including the All-IP Meeting Space strategy that the company demonstrated at both ISE 2018 and InfoComm 2018, as well as regional events worldwide.
OmniStream and Velocity are part of Atlona’s All-IP Meeting Space strategy.
Atlona’s award-winning 10-year warranty is the key component of the “Atlona Advantage.”
“It wasn’t until 2016 that we really evolved to a complete solutions provider, and the innovations of the past two years across 4K, BYOD and wireless collaboration, networked AV control, AV over IP and whole-home AV have secured our position in the industry,” said Khain. “We have begun to accomplish what we have set out to do, which is finding ways we can differentiate ourselves, serve the market, and provide value for integrators and end users by offering complete solutions that are easy to install, deploy, operate and scale.”
Demand has significantly grown as Atlona shifted its focus from simple sources and destinations to entire connected spaces. To address that growth, Atlona opened offices in Switzerland and Asia to get closer to its customers, and continues to add new distribution partners to support this growth.
“Our partners worldwide are finding more opportunities as our product portfolio grows,” said Khayn. “For example, our residential partners are more aggressively moving into light commercial projects with these new innovations, and our commercial AV partners are landing broader enterprise-based projects in corporate, education and other verticals. We see an incredible land of global opportunity moving forward as this industry continues to grow.”
Even with the company’s recent growth, Atlona remains a nimble operation that puts their customers first. While that includes differentiating, customer-friendly services such as automatic 10-year product warranties, same-day shipping, diverse training classes with three certification levels, free design services, and a dedicated sales engineering support staff, it also means a direct line to top executives. As Khayn explains, “Any customer can reach me directly today. I’m just one phone call or email away. We will always be structured in a way where we can move quickly and react to customer demands.”
That mode of operation extends to proactive outreach to customers as well. “Our internal emphasis on development processes has gone a long way in helping our partners simplify how they design, deploy and integrate complete systems, and service customers post-installation,” said Michael Khain, vice president of product development and engineering, Atlona. “That customer experience is further amplified through the provision of system analytics that equip systems integrators and end users with the data they need to make informed decisions as they scale systems. This is the beginning of the next innovation phase from Atlona that will simplify growth across multiple spaces and locations – whether locally, regionally, nationally or globally.”
Of course, those goals aren’t viable without the appropriate investment in resources. Atlona continues to expand its engineering team to drive innovation, and ensure that the company remains several steps ahead of industry trends. That last point is an aspiration they have already begun to achieve with products like OmniStream, Velocity and the BYOD-friendly SW-510W switcher that were clearly ahead of the curve upon introduction.
As with any company, it’s more than just the products, it’s the team behind them.“Michael and I have surrounded ourselves with a great team that go the extra mile to support our partners and develop great products,” Khayn points out. “Some of our earliest hires here in the Silicon Valley are still with the company as we continue to grow our team across the globe.It’s this brilliant team that makes Atlona the successful company it is today and this is our main success factor as owners.”
Atlona products have been trusted and used in tens of thousands of systems from high-end homes to corporate boardrooms; from sports bars to courtrooms and convention centers. Our customers have used our innovative technologies in their most important projects. Read our Case Studies to learn how Atlona products have been used in a variety of applications.
“Atlona has truly become the complete solutions provider for meeting spaces, classrooms and collaboration environments of any size. With strong positioning across commercial and residential markets globally, 2018 is the year that everything is coming together for Atlona and its customers.”