CEDIA: A Guide to Going Global
Flashback ten years ago and designers, installers, distributors and custom install professionals alike were working, mainly, on a local level. Thanks to globalisation, companies, now more than ever, have to think of the wider picture.
Connecting and outsourcing professional services on a global scale and working with clients who are based on the other side of the world is now a common business objective for many businesses. Similarly, more and more companies are employing installers around the globe to help with various projects, but can you be a real community when based in different countries?
Managing projects has changed dramatically in recent years. Clients from different countries and cultures are increasingly seeking bespoke designs, installations and customer service from installers in different time zones. As a result, more and more home technology projects are being micro-managed from afar. Whilst many home technology companies operate and administer a high level of designing, planning, shipping, installing and controlling systems from overseas, the complexity of these systems are also developing. Due to the increased demand for bespoke design and automation, a thorough knowledge, undivided level of attention and meticulous planning is required for each overseas project.
The real challenge, and the element that does not change in the relationship with each and every customer, is the installer’s ability to adapt the design, the electronic architectures and the user interface, quickly and flexibly. The final goal is always to deliver a unique experience and a reliable, secure automated system. Each owner is unique; each project is a chance to learn something completely new and every overseas project is an opportunity for your company to develop greater organisation and implementation skills.
Each client is very different from the other and their demand is not necessarily related to their culture, or to the country they come from. I have now actively served as a volunteer in the CEDIA community for six years and the general needs of the members do not seem to be very different from one country to the other. Having said this, there are some elements that remain localised, including the countries technical documents and building regulations.
CEDIA Waves its Magic Wand Worldwide
As part of the CEDIA community for six years, I have played witness to the on-going advance of resources and support being made readily available to CEDIA members across the globe. An important part of the support that CEDIA provides is sharing ideas and knowledge as widely as possible to encourage industry best practice.
CEDIA is always at the forefront of any changes to any legislation changes that affect installers throughout the EMEA region and has built a comprehensive resources library that is accessible to all members. CEDIA translates key resources into multiple languages to give installers across the EMEA region the same benefits provided to English speaking installers. Created by industry specialists, these white papers are a great source of understanding technical information and trends, and are provided in digestible chunks. CEDIA continues to translate its popular white papers and guidelines, such as its renowned Smart Home Recommended Wiring Guidelines, which has been translated into French, Italian, and Spanish. Other translated technical documents include CEDIA’s ‘HDMI Installation Best Practices’ and ‘Network Recommended Practices: Network Security’, to name just a few. A full list of CEDIA resources can be found here, to view and download.
In addition to this, the AV installer and designer community is becoming increasingly globalised. The availability of online education and resources has become a “must”, especially in an industry based on flexibility and virtual presence. While it is essential for designers and the installers to have accessibility to high quality education, they are often limited in time to dedicate to travelling and to attend these education sessions in person. This is why CEDIA developed an online education resource, allowing both members and non-members to complete a training course from the home or office.
CEDIA launched its online education platform last year, and is now offering over 100 online courses and webinars, helping members further their technical, business and marketing knowledge. While face-to-face training remains extremely important in our industry, an online training portal is useful to those who are based in a different part of the world, or who find it difficult to take a full day out of work. These online supporting courses include Home Theatre Room Design, Introduction to Control and User Interfaces, Cable & Connector Properties and IP for Technicians. The online courses will also help those who are currently CEDIA certified and need to collect Continuous Education Units (CEU) to maintain their certification.
CEDIA’s next international events are taking place in India, Italy and South Africa this October. To stay up to date with new and upcoming CEDIA events, visit www.cediaeducation.com/calendar.
Laura Lazzerini is a CEDIA Board Member and Project Manager at Studio LGL.