AV vendor Atlona looks to listen and learn with IT channel at CompTIA ChannelCon

Atlona, which has been moving into the IT side of the AV space because of the convergence trends in the industry, is attending their first CompTIA ChannelCon event to talk with IT channel partners, get their take on convergence, and learn what the IT channel wants in an AV solution.

Michael Crisci, Atlona’s Business Development Manager AV/IP and Strategic Alliances

San Jose-based Atlona has been a presence in the traditional ProAV market for fifteen years. Over the last three years, prompted by the convergence trends in AV, they have gradually increased their presence in the IT part of the AV solutions business, and today announced their first IT distribution agreement, with D&H Distributing. They are looking to ramp that up next week, with their first appearance at the CompTIA ChannelCon event, being held next week in Washington D.C. While many first-time vendors come to ChannelCon looking to recruit channel partners, recruitment isn’t the main goal of this appearance. Instead, Atlona is at the event to learn more about the IT AV channel, how it sees the trends in convergence, and what IT channel members are looking for from an AV solution and an AV vendor.

“We have consistently been in the same area since our inception fifteen years ago,” said Michael Crisci, Atlona’s Business Development Manager AV/IP and Strategic Alliances. “Over that time though, we have evolved from a company that was a reseller and distributor or other peoples’ hardware to being a full-blown research and manufacturing organization. Over the last three years, we have focused development on IT-focused AV solutions, which is why we are at CompTIA ChannelCon for the first time.”

Atlona started out in the small Huddle Space market – the industry term for small 3-6 person meetings who typically huddle together around a small table rather than occupy a larger conference room.

“We have expanded beyond the Huddle Space to include conference rooms, boardrooms, training rooms and auditoriums, and we can build campus-wide because our solutions reside on the network,” Crisci said. “The Huddle Space is still our sweet spot though, and that’s a reflection of market demand. The corporate real estate market and architectural market create those spaces today, and we fill them with technology.”

Approximately 60 per cent of Atlona’s business is commercial market, with the rest being served by the residential reseller community. Resellers were in the model from the beginning, although they were traditional ProAV partners, and at first they came on board by finding Atlona, rather than the reverse

“We have a broad cross-section of partners today, using distribution partners to reach national, regional, local and independent resellers,” Crisci said.

Relatively few of them are from the IT side however, and that’s what brings Atlona to ChannelCon.

“What are you looking for at ChannelCon is more of an introduction of us to the space,” Crisci indicated. “We are here basically to ask, listen and learn. We can sit down in the heartbeat of the IT channel space, and find out what we don’t know about the channel. We can  see how they look at convergence. We know how we see it, from the AV world, but what are IT partners looking for from an AV solution, that matches their current business model.”

The OmniStream AV over IP platform

Atlona will also be highlighting their own value proposition to CompTIA partners at the event. They are focusing on three solutions – specifically designed for the IT industry. OmniStream is a comprehensive AV over IP platform for the switching and distribution of video, audio and USB over the network. Velocity is an IP- and cloud-enabled AV control platform that gives extreme scalability for up to 5000 controlled devices within an IT infrastructure. AMS is a powerful and easy-to-use IP management system that configures, monitors and services multiple Atlona products from a web browser. The three solutions can be used alone or together, and together they make up the Atlona All-IP Meeting Space, which lets IT integrators design, integrate, scale, and manage both large and small meeting room systems.

These three products will be available to the IT channel in the U,S, through Atlona’s first-ever distribution deal with the IT channel, with D&H Distributing. The companies made that announcement today.

“We want to take to the IT channel and are coming to them so we can bring awareness to our current solutions, and so can learn how to support these partners,” Crisci said.

Atlona will exhibit at Booth 1227 at ChannelCon from July 31 to August 2.