Emerging Tech, Selling High-End Discussed on Day 2 of Azione ConferenceMarch 21, 2014 By Howard Whitman
The second day of Azione Unlimited's Spring 2014 Conference, March 20, found the buying group turning its focus to new technologies and the challenges/opportunities they'll present to CE integrators.
The day also saw the group, which met at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, discussing means to achieve one of the goals stated on the first day at the conference opening by Azione founder Richard Glikes: for the group's dealer members to sell more high-end products and brands.
The emerging technologies component, which was touched upon in a preliminary address on the previous night by the event's keynote speaker, consultant Mark Valenti of The Sextant Group, was delved into in greater depth with Valenti's full keynote address, which kicked off Day 2.
Valenti began his presentation by showing photos of disruptive technologies, which he described as "what's going on around that could disrupt me and take me out in five months."
Such disruptive innovation--examples of which include the Internet, tablets, cell phones and smart devices--"often come from a technology we're not working in," he stated.
Valenti's purpose for this address was to ensure that Azione dealers and vendors stay ahead of the curve with upcoming technologies.
"Let's make sure we're paying attention to the little things that could come into our marketplace within the next five to 10 years," he said.
Valenti spoke of how innovations can transition from products into essential utility services, offering the Internet as an example, saying "What we can do with the Internet is far more valuable than the cost."
Cloud computing, he said, is another offering, quickly becoming an essential part of everyday life, that will be "a game changer for the the CE industry." As an example of this, he cited when Amazon.com offered a free 5GB of music storage on the Cloud to buyers of mp3 downloads: "You didn't need an iPod anymore. … That's dematerialization."
Another important factor he cited was the next generation of consumers, stating "We've got a culture emerging that's very comfortable buying virtual goods."
The result, according to Valenti, is that bandwidth will become the "fourth utility."
To deliver this content to nextgen buyers, he felt fiber optic networks to the home will be a huge market, as they're already becoming for commercial use in offices, schools and hospitals.