As Almo Professional AV prepares to celebrate 10 years in operation as business unit of Almo Corporation I feel grateful and proud to be part of this great organization. Looking back to 2009, at the origination of the division we had no vendor partners and no customers while today we have thousands of loyal customers and amazing partnerships with approximately 50 of the most desired manufacturers in the industry.
While many key factors have contributed to our mutual success with our customers and vendor partners, one key driver is our intentional strategy to keep our line card relatively narrow and focused compared to other distribution companies. When it comes to displays and projectors we aim to partner with a wide range of vendors to support the demand in the marketplace, however in other product categories we have chosen to partner with only a small number of manufacturers that we feel to be the best in class. This strategy has helped Almo to remain important to our existing partners as well as enabled us to better support a more narrow set of vendors.
With this, you won’t see very many new vendor partnerships announced by Almo each year. However, when it makes sense for a new partnership in the eyes of Almo and the potential vendor and we feel the partnership will bring value to our loyal customers then we will move forward with a new product offering. The last six to nine months we have found ourselves in a situation where there were several new partnerships taking place including D-Link, Ecler, VDO360, and Vivitek.
If you have had the opportunity to attend any of our recent E4 Experience events you likely heard our keynote speaker Gary Kayye talking about the emergence of AV over IP solutions. If you think about it, all sorts of professional A/V products now have a network port and can live on an IP network. The addition of D-Link now gives our customers the ability to include the networking solutions (i.e. switches, wireless routers, etc.) along with the rest of the gear they are sourcing from Almo for their given project.
Ecler, while probably not a familiar name to you here in the United States has been providing high quality commercial audio solutions in Europe for over 50 years. Through our partnership as the exclusive distributor in the United States Almo can offer our customers high quality proven products including loudspeakers, amplifiers, DSP, mixers & more at competitive pricing all while helping dealers to maintain healthy margins on their projects.
When it comes to soft codec based video conferencing, Zoom has taken the world by storm so it’s only natural that manufacturers are offering products that integrate with soft codec platforms. One of the challenges is including different components from different vendors that may or may not be tested or certified by Zoom potentially leading to support issues post installation. One of the things that attracted us to VDO360 was their single SKU, single box ZoomRoom kit that includes the camera, audio conferencing, PC, tablet controller and all required cabling, leaving out only the display.
While we were already well served with our existing projector manufacturer relationships, the addition of Vivitek adds a little more depth to our line up and will provide our customers with quality projector hardware at price points that may have not been previously available, with strong programs to enhance dealer’s margins.