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New ways to supercharge their Pro AV offerings using IoT

November 18, 2019

Earlier this year, IDC published a report predicting that there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices in 2025. One key factor in the growth of IoT is the creation of supporting infrastructure. From affordable broadband Internet to emerging 5G IoT networks, there are plenty of affordable ways for today’s “things” to communicate.

In addition, IoT’s growth attributes to its horizontal appeal. Indeed, every industry can benefit from having connected devices that collect data and integrate in powerful ways. Even our Pro AV industry is embracing IoT.

While “AV over IT” isn’t a new concept, it’s certainly picking up a lot of momentum. We’re seeing more Pro AV devices come to market that are activated, managed and controlled over the Internet. This gives you and your customers exciting new ways to operate.
For example, consider a university that has dozens of projectors in use across its campus. Checking bulbs and filters for replacement used to be a manual process that could consume hours of someone’s day.

More likely, a projector fails during a lecture, which triggers a reactive situation. With Internet-enabled projectors and the right management tools, your customer (operating on a recurring revenue-generating services agreement) can remotely monitor all projectors to proactively identify failure situations before they occur.

You can find similar uses with AV switches, streaming devices, audio receivers and IP video cameras. It’s now easier than ever to deploy, manage and update devices regardless of their location.
Businesses use IoT sensors to modernize meeting spaces. New microphones with sensors detect the movement of a speaker in a room, the volume of their voice and ambient sounds to automatically adjust the audio levels for optimum sound quality. Sensors are making every part of Pro AV better.
 

Don’t overlook security
Anytime we discuss IoT, it’s essential to put a spotlight on security. If we truly wind up with 41.6 billion connected IoT devices in 2025, many of them will have little to no security.
As your customers’ trusted advisor, the last thing you want is for an unsecured device to be used as an attack vector. Luckily, IoT security isn’t difficult. Simply follow these best practices:

  • Don’t use equipment that lacks enterprise-level security
  • Change default passwords
  • Perform a customer site survey
  • Perform a customer network security and penetration test
  • Segment network traffic
  • Only open ports that are necessary
IoT in Pro AV isn’t something for future generations; it’s happening right now. To bring these exciting solutions to your customers or to learn how you can leverage sensors to build recurring revenue, contact Tom Jones, Ingram Micro’s Pro AV expert.