Electrosonic UK’s leadership has its eyes on ensuring the firm lasts at least another half-century. Commercial Integrator (CI) has named Electrosonic as 2014 Integrator of the Year as the global firm celebrates its 50th anniversary. “When Electrosonic started, there wasn’t really an AV industry,’ says president and CEO Jim Bowie, who joined the company in 1987 as an engineer and was named the company leader in 2008. “We helped to shape the direction.’

“Every company has to make a decision about who they are,’ he says. “Are they focused on giving the lowest price or are they about providing the best quality? About 30% of Electrosonic’s worldwide revenue is tied to service and maintenance, including roughly 75% of that coming from existing customers. “Every project we do and every person with “Electrosonic’ on their bag is part of our marketing,’ says Bowie. “I think we have a brand that’s very specific.’
“Electrosonic also strives to get involved with all of its projects as early as possible, we like to be involved in the design and concept of a project,’ says Bowie. “Things can vary dramatically on labour and you can tell pretty quickly if someone doesn’t understand the scope, one of our major skills is project management. We know how to do very large projects over a long period of time in very difficult places. This job is about integrating different components and having a happy client at the end,’ he says.

One of the biggest challenges Bowie deals with even today is helping customers understand that projects take time to complete and rushing them doesn’t usually make sense.

Well Ahead of AV/IT convergence, Bowie understands there’s been a lot of talk in the past few years about the convergence of AV and IT, whether it’s happened yet, whether it will ever happen, whether it should happen and more. From his perspective, though, it happened a long time ago. Electrosonic wrote an IP-based control system about 15 years ago, says Bowie.

“For the past 20 years, IT has been a part of a lot of what we’ve done,’ he says. “We don’t see it as a separate entity. It’s been a part of our world for a long time. Younger people expect things to be more interconnected. They expect information to be part of their workflow. “We see the expectations of intelligent systems growing, in what we deliver and how we work. It’s an incremental growing and learning process,’ says Bowie, who calls IT and unified communication “the natural evolution.’

“People want to be able to buy from a quality company that can deliver what they need,’ he says. And delivering on that simple mantra is something that has helped CI’s Integrator of the Year achieve success for 50 years, with no signs of slowing down.