A changing corporate workplace

AV projects for corporate customers are the lifeblood of the industry, but the needs of its clients are changing.

In the last decade the corporate market across EMEA has been a tale of feast (2005-2007), famine (2007-2010) and and recovery (2011-2015) for system integrators.  The global financial crisis of 2007-08 saw huge corporate cutbacks, resulting in mass redundancies and heavily reduced AV budgets. 

Thankfully the financial (and job) markets have bounced back somewhat in EMEA, but the  modern reality of the workplace is that companies now expect their employees to complete the same workload as before, but with fewer staff.

One impact of this development is the increased demand for more flexible, more mobile AV technology. AV systems are in higher demand than ever before, but before budgets are released, they must first be able to prove their worth to the business. It could be argued this has always been the case, but the money spent on AV projects now has to meet the needs of the business in a clearly defined way.

With the exception of a few countries in Europe, most economies across EMEA have stabilised since the financial crisis, so are budgets and spending levels for corporate AV  projects on the up again? "In general clients are still pretty cost conscious, with what’s going on in the marketplace," says Ian Griffiths, director, CSL Integration.  This was backed up by an AV manager at a leading global bank we spoke to; "Budgets are pretty much static. Although there are increases in some areas, for example when they are instrumental in delivering or contributing  to workplace transformation initiatives."
Griffiths agrees, saying he has seen customers be more 'flexible' with budgets if it is going towards 'smart technologies' or videoconferencing, where a clear business benefit can be proven.

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