IT/IP Networking – Building More Business on top of InfrastructureBy John Galante
EHX was launched in 2000 with a real focus on structured wiring systems. Structured wiring for the residence was hot and getting hotter at the time as the industry worked cleverly with standards and category promotions and publicity to convince home builders structured wiring was an essential in new homes. We also looked at structured wiring as a foundational product category and proficiency for integrators—a category that opened the door to all sorts of active component sales in audio, video, telecom and, yes, of course, IT.
A dozen years later, we see evidence in EH’s recent Crossroads Research Study that integrators are getting far beyond simple signal distribution and infrastructure and mastering a variety of network based technologies.
Figure 1 takes a look at the current and future IT product category involvement of integrators likely to attend EHX 2012 in Orlando. Not surprisingly structured wiring is at the top of the list in terms of current involvement, but integrators are moving far beyond passive hardware. Network security, storage devices and services, computers, tablets and application software now figure into many integrators offers.
To understand the different levels of involvement from one channel segment to another take a look at the table below. It’s no surprise how involved IT VARs and systems integrators are; this is their bread and butter. But the levels among resi and commercial integrators are high as well and growth is on the way.
A number of factors are at play here:
- Networks and IP are the underlying technology across almost all product categories these days. So integrators more focused on categories like A/V, control and security are increasingly investing in IT and network technology proficiencies, just to do the work in their core. It’s just common sense that they would have their eyes open to monetizing that competency for sales and service in the IT category itself.
- Another factor is the increasing complexity and sophistication of residential networks. There is simply lots of data and bandwidth need in homes today and the resi integrator sees an opportunity to do more IT work for the consumers.
- A final factor, not captured in the survey, is the opportunity to generate recurring revenue through managed services attached to home and small business networks. More and more integrators of all stripes are recognizing not only the value but the damn-near necessity of recurring revenue in their businesses. If IT can offer it, they’re interested.
With the co-located ChannelPro SMB Forum and ChannelPro Pavilion on the show floor, plus great IT training from CompTIA, EHX offers integrators a powerful program of education, information and advice. Get what you need to seize one or more of the great opportunities in IT at EHX. Register today!