Never have I been so excited to see a year in the rear-view mirror. 2020 was like no other; probably the most difficult year most of us had. Partners, integrators, consultants, educators as well as the Atlona team and our families, we all felt the impact of 2020 in some way. Despite the challenges, the Atlona team was able to pivot and adapt to new business conditions. From finding new ways and places to work and balancing family time, not to mention our new ‘co-workers’; to refining our product road map to address new ways to support you, our customers, 2020 brought a new direction.
This year stressed the company from all angles, but we were able to come out stronger from the difficult conditions we all faced. I am very proud of the Atlona team and what we have accomplished. But it’s time to move forward. Even though we can’t shake everything 2020 has left us with, I remain as enthusiastic as ever for the new year and the solutions we have planned for you.
As my colleague, Marc Naese points out in Part I of our Outlook 21 Blog Series, Atlona will bring products and solutions to the market that address what IT experts desire: products that are scalable, flexible, and reliable. These products will feature all the innovative technology the Silicon Valley is known for without the complexity of traditional circuit-based AV equipment. 2021 will also bring new training, education and certification opportunities for AV and IT professionals alike.
Working in alignment with the network infrastructure experts at Panduit, Atlona is more agile, flexible and innovative than ever as a complete AV/IT solutions provider – and well-positioned for a game-changing year.
Atlona’s product development plans for 2021 center around three pillars: control, distribution, and wireless.
Our Velocity™ networked control platform – an industry first in terms of IP-based control – is one such innovation, and we continue to introduce new features and capabilities that attract enterprise-level customers. We have recently introduced touchless functionality within the Velocity environment to promote safe and secure workplaces without limiting AV capabilities. We have also introduced room scheduling functionality within Velocity, which has captured the attention of IT professionals tasked with meeting space bookings. Additional platform developments and new products are coming immediately, and more are on the way throughout 2021.
Atlona was not the first to market with AV over IP, yet our OmniStream™ family continues to be the leading choice among many IT professionals. OmniStream video encoders, decoders, plus audio and USB interface solutions were introduced with IT-centric features that prioritized network redundancy, scalability and security. The latter is particularly important with corporate enterprises and large government customers moving sensitive information around a building or campus. And with automatic network switching, OmniStream brings the redundancy IT professionals rely on for uninterrupted, mission-critical business operations.
Wireless presentation presents our third growth engine for 2021. BYOD was the buzz term of 2018, but it truly became an important part of our vernacular in 2020. People wanted to use their own devices more than ever to present and collaborate, and ongoing conditions have amplified that desire. Just as our Touch-Free AV switching and control applications reduce or eliminate manual interaction with physical interfaces and touchscreens, 2021 will see the introduction of our third generation of wireless presentation solutions. Atlona will bring innovations to the BYOD space that allow more collaboration with even less interaction with the physical elements in those spaces.
While our scalable AV for IT initiative is designed with large commercial AV customers in mind, Atlona brings this same mindset to more modestly sized business verticals. Atlona was launched nearly 20 years ago with an exclusive focus on the residential AV market, and those roots remain an important part of the company today. We continue to serve the global residential AV market, and have seen stronger growth over the past 12 months thanks to our range of Opus matrix switchers.
Atlona foresaw the lines blurring between residential and commercial markets years ago, which has led to a healthy light commercial, or “resimercial” market. The hospitality segment has been a rapid growth market, including casinos, hotels and restaurants. While Atlona has certain product lines that are dedicated to this market, we see growing interest in our OmniStream and Velocity solutions in the resimercial space. The flexibility of these products means that we can scale and deliver tailored solutions to meet the typically lighter AV requirements of their operations.
We are also experiencing explosive growth with SOHO – Small Office / Home Office customers seeking professional AV solutions on a very small scale. The recent expansion of our HDVS Series of PTZ cameras addresses the needs of both. Consider the remote worker seeking a more professional appearance for a Zoom or Teams meeting, or a medical professional requiring improved video and audio for a virtual patient visit. In addition, we are seeing strong soft codec adoption continuing globally. Atlona Omega™ solutions help to enhance the capabilities of soft codec applications.
Panduit’s acquisition has brought innumerable benefits to Atlona’s operation and growth as a business. They have provided an infrastructure that makes us a more nimble and efficient organization. They continue to invest in resources that allow us to grow as a company, and better serve our customers and partners. This includes operational improvements across our supply chain, stronger customer service initiatives, and more effective pipeline management.
The latter is especially important as we work to introduce Atlona to IT consultants in the earlier phases of a project. Panduit has taken steps to introduce us to their customers, allowing us to speak directly about how our AV solutions meet their operational needs as part of the IT and network infrastructure. As we continue to serve IT professionals, learn who they are, and listen to their concerns, we will continue to create innovative solutions to solve their problems. The integration of Atlona and Panduit brings us closer to the IT professionals and consultants we aim to innovate for in 2021 and beyond. We are focused on improving the customer experience for the IT professional and moving into new and exciting phases.
There are big opportunities for us to ‘get creative’ in 2021! I thank you for your support and I hope this year is a better one for all of us.
About the Author
Ilya Khayn is CEO and Co-Founder of Atlona.When he’s not running an AV company he enjoys time with his family and skiing in Lake Tahoe.