AV News Awards 2020 – the winners

It is not without a little sadness that we presided over the presentation of the final set of AV News Awards to presented at the Amsterdam RAI. This year, we added another new feature – a live stream courtesy of Zoom’s webinar technology to accompany our regular video coverage. Congratulations to all our winners and runners up and we will be in touch very soon with details of next year’s event in Barcelona. We have every hope and expectation it will be just as successful, but in the meantime, we extend our thanks once more to Amsterdam, and the RAI in particular. for the last 13 years.

Personal Awards

Category: AV Sales Professional of the Year
Winner: Charlene Chandrasiri. Sales Manager UK Pro Division, Peerless-AV

With her 16 years in the Professional AV industry, there are very few who have not had the pleasure of meeting Chalene. Larger than life, with a personality that shines out in any room, she first started out as a customer service manager at BBG Distribution, a UK distributor of consumer and professional AV products with its roots in the car audio business.

‘Cha’ was there from BBG’s humble beginnings, helping to grow the business and getting hands on to transport goods from the office to the customer in her car, along with the team. When the time came to move to larger premises in Watford, and when BBG became Peerless-AV, Cha was always willing to get her hands dirty and ‘muck in’. Cha will do anything for her team, personally seeing projects from start to finish, whether out on the road, at tradeshows and events, when training customers, running product demonstrations, and even. when support is needed, during busy periods in customer support or the warehouse. Cha personifies Peerless-AV and the team ethos.

Professional career highlights

1. Winning the ‘Vendor of the Year Award’ for FY 2013/14 from Medium, before the distributor became Exertis, was a major personal and professional milestone. Cha was voted by the employees within the business for the role she played as their distribution account manager, for her unfaltering enthusiasm, her unique approach to spending time with all individuals on the sales floor during visits and her quick response times at all hours of the day.

2. Midwich is one of Cha’s biggest success stories, and rightly so. Peerless-AV launched with Midwich when the distribution giant did not have a real business case for taking on another mount brand. By banging the Peerless-AV drum on every weekly visit (sometimes an eight-hour round trip from her home), Cha built her company brand from number eight mount in the Midwich mount portfolio to number one position, for three consecutive years.

To uphold such a status, to grow year on year so consistently, is no mean feat. From the beginning, Cha had a challenging audience to win around – the vigorous team on the Midwich sales floor already had seven other bracket vendors to sell. She had a big educational role to play, opening the eyes of the sales floor to the USPs of the Peerless-AV products and high margins to be realised from bracket attachment selling – the classic McDonalds’ “would you like some fries with that?” technique.

Cha’s investment in hard work during these visits – never one to sit at the vendor desk, but rather, she roamed the floor and made her presence known. Lasting relationships were forged and the bar raised for other vendors to aspire to. Every week, Cha would have a theme to promote or new product to launch. The Ibiza Passport Incentive was one of the most anticipated and talked about internal promotions for two years running. Flexible day-to-day stock management and three months’ worth of purchase orders on top selling lines put the process in place for others to follow.

3. The new Tottenham Hotspurs stadium is a hugely prestigious and profitable project that Cha has been involved in right from the beginning. Cha managed the account and established relationships with all other major parties, including AVI-SPL and LG during regular site visits; specifying product, adapting to project changes, making sure last-minute orders were processed and air freight was organised in order to meet tight deadlines. Over 800 Peerless-AV mounts, from standard wall mounts to premium video wall mounts, are installed throughout the stadium, plus some 86″ stretch kiosk solutions for wayfinding and the award-winning Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Display (in the players’ cloakroom).

4. Chalene is very proud of her industry relationships, spanning OEMs, resellers, integrators, consultants and distributors. As a bracket manufacturer, she can be friends with everyone, but this also brings its fair share of political situations. Her work hard, play hard attitude is loved by all for its integrity and honesty in an industry that thrives on networking and trusted connections.

5. Chalene is a great all-rounder. A commercially intelligent, meticulously organised AV Professional that thrives in both one-to-one situations and on global conference calls. She owns the process of supply and fulfilment for all her accounts and does so with a smile on her face. She is a great role model for the team with so much passion and knowledge to share. Not only does she mentor new sales starters to Peerless-AV, but she also mentors’ new starters at our vendor and channel partners, with insight into mutually shared vendor accounts and suggestions of opportunities where Peerless-AV and that Reseller/Vendor can work together as a partnership to propose a complete solution

She is as technically strong as her job demands her to be. She can quite quickly and easily install a video wall or build a trolley, but what she is best at is astutely using the resources around her. She knows her limitations and how and when to bring in the appropriate resource to achieve the best outcome, whether marketing, product management or technical support.

Charlene Chandrasiri receives her AV News Award from Bryan Denyer, Editor of AV News, as the 2020 Sales Professional of the Year.

Category AV Support Professional of the Year
Winner: Graham Kirkpatrick Technical Solutions Architect NEC Display Solutions

Graham Kirkpatrick, Technical Solutions Architect at NEC Display Solutions, wins the Award for Support Professional of the Year.

Graham Kirkpatrick joined NEC in 2015 as Corporate Account Manager before moving into his current role as Technical Solutions Architect. Graham began his career in the AV industry 20 years ago when he joined Go Audio Visual, then in 2003 he joined Reflex AV where his technical competence really started to take shape, gaining many industry certifications. In 2007 Graham joined Pacific as Sales Manager, then briefly returned to Reflex in 2013.

Directly responsible for the growth of NEC’s interactive touch solutions, including InfinityBoard, and for software solutions including Hiperwall and Mosaic, Graham also supports NEC’s LED sales, demonstrating the breadth and depth of his knowledge.








Expertise

1. Graham has become a trusted advisor not only to NEC’s customers but to NEC’s own sales staff. His belief in teamwork is evident as he consistently finds time and methods to support both his customers and colleagues. Taking a mentoring approach, Graham understands the need to help others to help themselves, empowering them to develop their own skills and knowledge whilst offering his support and guidance.

2. With a diverse skill set and vast experience within the AV industry, Graham is able to provide appropriate support and advice across NEC’s broad ecosystem, from end users to consultants and systems engineers, from channel partners to solutions partners. Graham talks their language and understands their thought processes enabling him to specify the solutions that perfectly fit the need.

3. Graham always looks to deliver against ‘AV best practice’ and is becoming ever more invaluable in his position and across the company. This deep respect has led him to be positioned as the Lead Solutions Specialist for the NEC Display Solutions Pan-European AGILE Team, focusing on Conferencing, Collaboration and Meeting Rooms. This multi-skilled task force is designed to ensure NEC’s go-to-market strategy is clearly aligned against end user need.

4. Trusted partnerships are vital to NEC’s business and Graham is at the forefront of developing relationships with its Solutions Providers including Hoylu, Quicklaunch and DisplayNote which are a pivotal part of our collaborative solutions offering. Graham has been instrumental in NEC gaining Zoom certification for InfinityBoard and NEC large format displays.

5. Graham is passionate about NEC and is an avid ambassador for the brand. His wholehearted belief in NEC’s credentials shines through in all that he does, advocating quality and reliability. Graham’s drive to consistently improve, to continually develop his knowledge and skill set and to find ways to provide even better support for his customers and colleagues is to be admired; he is a much-valued asset to NEC and to our customers.

Category: AV Marketing Professional of the Year
Winner: EMEA Marketing Team Vivitek

At ISE 2009, no-one would have been able to foresee what the future held for Vivitek, a new brand making its debut at the show with a modest booth in a well-established AV industry. Ten years on, Vivitek’s presence at ISE 2019, symbolised its success in creating a solid brand presence and a recognized player in the AV market. Central to this, has been Vivitek’s skilled marketing team comprising Jolanda Medendorp and Dominika Waliszeswka, who jointly lead and motivate the external marketing team at Osom Studio in Poland and the PR and content generation team at NSPR in the UK.

The team:

1. Jolanda has 20 years of AV industry experience in marketing. Before her 10 years at Vivitek – where she is responsible for activities ranging from marketing communications, PR/media to social media activity – Jolanda held positions at InFocus, Planar-Runco and Optelecom. Next to Jolanda, already working together for 10 years as a team, is Dominika Waliszewska, who brings 15 years of experience from Wolters Kluwer and a variety of technology companies. Dominika is responsible for all channel marketing, product database, web strategy and much more.

2. Anna Soldatova and Shannen Liu joined recently to reinforce the team with event support and market solutions management, respectively. Combined, they form a formidable team that has been key to accelerating awareness of Vivitek since its first attendance at ISE in 2009

3. Osom Studio has been a Vivitek partner for five years, and it is responsible for almost all visual creation at Vivitek, from print to web, video and social media. Established over nine years ago, digital marketing agency Osom Studio has created a number of high impact campaigns for clients ranging from IKEA and Eurobank to Kodak Alaris.

“Working with Vivitek, we observed a huge change the company marketing and product range has undergone over the last five years of our cooperation. At first it was support for the necessary brochures for the Qumi projectors, and this year on top of other marketing activities, we are rolling out a comprehensive campaign for the Wireless Collaboration NovoConnect devices. The very high pace at which Vivitek team operates and the brand grows, keep us at a constant cutting edge of marketing strategy. The company is dynamically evolving and we are proud to be a tiny part of its success.” – Osom Studio

4. NSPR has been a Vivitek partner for four years, managing its media relations in the UK working closely with the team at Vivitek and Osom Studio to prepare content and media materials for use across EMEA. Established in 1993, NSPR leverages its press relations and media experience – gained from working with clients that currently range from Alibaba Cloud to Zoom Video Communications – to keep Vivitek in the media spotlight

5. This ‘best of breeds’ approach to skills and talent aligns passion and professionalism – as well as client and suppliers – to create a close-knit, integrated team, that has driven tangible results that are marked most visibly by Vivitek’s ever-bolder presence at each ISE.

Members of Vivitek’s EMEA Marketing Team – including (from left) Gino Mainolfi of NSPR, Dominika Waliszewska and Jolanda Medendorp – receive their Award from Bryan Denyer.

Vivitek General Manager Holger Graeff celebrates his EMEA marketing team’s success at the AV News Awards.

Category: Outstanding Achievement in AV
Winner: Tony White, Country Head (UK & Ireland) at ViewSonic Europe

With 30 years’ experience in technology, first with Plantronics and later with BenQ, Tony White joined ViewSonic Europe in October 2016 with the challenging remit of growing UK sales and the company’s wider reputation in the competitive AV industry.

Responsible for formulating a ground up build and new strategic marketing vision, White quickly laid the foundations for 18 months of continued success – overhauling distribution and pricing strategies, forming new channel partnerships with Ingram Micro and Tech Data, and investing in staff and equipment which has culminated in AV sales increasing by more than 100%. These are predicted to grow to £9 million by 2019.




Career highlights

1. Channel relationships: By developing new pricing strategies and investing in £500,000 worth of channel stock, Tony helped ViewSonic secure key partnerships with some of the world’s biggest IT distributors – Tech Data and Ingram Micro. He also played an influential role in developing new relationships with service providers and AV retailers.

2. Education frameworks: With ViewSonic developing innovative interactive flat panels (IFPs) for the education market, Tony recognised the importance of being able to showcase these cutting-edge products directly to schools and teachers. He used his industry experience to secure ViewSonic’s admission to local educational frameworks. By securing access to these key regional markets he helped ViewSonic firmly establish its brand in the EdTech sector.

3. Pricing structure: Responsible for developing the marketing strategy for ViewSonic’s new 4K home cinema projector line, Tony recognised the need for affordable 4K products. Following a successful launch period, he helped ViewSonic become the #2 ranked manufacturer for 4K projector sales in the UK. The projector market has doubled in size in the last 12 months and ViewSonic now has a vastly increased market share.

4. Investment in demo kits and staff: A key part of Tony’s ethos is sustainable growth and a key aspect of that approach is investing in right people; providing a strong foundation to win business and offer improved customer service. Tony has been responsible for the recruitment and development of a new three-person business development team and investment in new state-of-the art demo kits for end-users. In the last six months, the business development team have completed more than 100 demos around the UK – with 60% of these converting to sales. Currently recruiting 3 new posts to drive performance in 2019

5. Strategy for sales success: Tony has been one of the key catalysts for ViewSonic’s recent success in the AV industry. His in-depth product knowledge and understanding of the wider market has helped the company achieve its best sales figures to date, increase its market share and allow its growing sales team to have a positive impact in multiple vertical markets.

Tony White collects his Award acknowledging 30 years in AV culminating in his appointment as Country Manager for ViewSonic.

Project Awards
Category: AV Project of the Year (Education)
Winner: ViewSonic for Ashford School

Ashford School is an independent boarding school in Kent. As part of its new digital strategy (‘Prepare, present and participate’), the school was looking to upgrade its classroom displays to facilitate improved group interactions and the sharing of annotated content and ideas. For staff, there was also a need to eliminate back-facing teaching.

To achieve its vision the school installed a number of ViewBoard displays. These multi-touch panels support Microsoft Office 365, allow content to be annotated and accessed remotely – including after class and during revision periods – and allow teachers to increase one-on-one engagement with pupils.

The UK’s EdTech 50 Schools award cited the school’s: “Very highly thought out digital strategy for both parents, pupils and staff. This school makes excellent use of its digital ecosystem to impact learning.”

Dr Neelam Palmer, Director of Educational Technology, Digital Learning and Innovation at Ashford School, said: “As a result of this streamlined ecosystem, teachers are able to work in more effective ways, making workloads more manageable. There has also been a significant impact on wellbeing and engagement for both students and teachers; with students embracing and ‘co-constructing’ their own independent learning journey.”

Adrian Barnett, a Design and Technology teacher at Ashford School, said: “Now that I am using the ViewBoard S and ViewBoard IFP in tandem, I can stand to one side so that the students can see what’s on the big screen, while I can add notes as the lesson goes on in a far more interactive way than I could previously.”

Project Highlights

1. Following the installation, Ashford School was recognised as one of the UK’s Top 50 EdTech schools 2019

2. ViewBoard displays seamlessly integrate with other devices and software deployed by the school, adding value to the installation

3. ViewBoard S units installed on teacher’s desks allows teachers to change display content and make touchscreen inputs from their desktop touchscreen – creating a front-facing classroom

4. Free myViewBoard software powers the ViewBoard platform – myViewBoard is device agnostic, allowing teachers to quickly deliver lesson materials that are age appropriate and improve collaboration

5.ViewBoard displays allow for dynamic lessons that put the focus on collaboration and are easy to use – improving student engagement with the curriculum and academic developments

Izabela Gral of ViewSonic pick up the Education Project Award for the company’s work at Ashford School.

Category: AV Project of the Year (Commercial)
Winner: Samsung for the MSC Grandiosa

The MSC Grandiosa is the largest ship in the MSC Cruises’ fleet. MSC Grandiosa’s indoor promenade, the Galleria Grandiosa, is the central social hub of the ship, linking many of the bars and specialty restaurants, and its home to the 93-meter Samsung LED IF040H-D sky dome that creates an awe-inspiring atmosphere, 24 hours a day.

“The increased length of MSC Grandiosa is most evident in the Promenade, the main indoor thoroughfare lined with shops, bars and eateries and topped off by a spectacular 93-metre “digital sky” LED screen, the largest anywhere at sea. Images are projected onto the ceiling 24 hours a day, along with special shows of changing pictures screened three times a day. We adore this space, which is the vibrant heart of the ship” says Jeannine Williamson, Cruise Critic

With mesmerizing shows three times a day, the promenade also hosts many of the ships’ themed parties. To deliver tremendous experience to passengers throughout the voyage, Samsung not only created the LED sky dome with 1,750 LED cabinets, but also integrated 4,200 hospitality displays into suites.

Project Highlights

1. To present unique and memorable experience to passengers, Samsung installed 4,201 hospitality displays into suites and cabins as well as providing a total of 2,061 LED cabinets and 148 touchscreen displays throughout enriched facilities inside the cruise.

2, Samsung integrated 1,750 cabinets of LED IF040H-D to create 93-meter LED sky dome changing depending on the consumer’s atmospheric preference.

3. Samsung LED IF040H-D, with 4.0mm pixel pitch, presents superior picture quality to passengers and visitors with 1,700 nit peak brightness and 7,000:1 peak contrast ratio.

4. The LED sky dome is in use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with 100,000 hours of LED lifetime.

5. The curved LED sky dome embraces the Galleria Grandiosa from the ceiling with 6,000R curvature and operates stably aboard the cruise ship.

The LED sky dome on the MSC Grandiosa is in use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with 100,000 hours of LED lifetime.

Category: AV Project of the Year (Live Events)
Winner: Optoma for the Roncalli Circus

The Roncalli circus, founded in Germany in 1976, wanted to transform the traditional circus experience while also taking a stance against the mistreatment of wildlife in their industry. Founder Bernhard Paul came up with the idea to replace the problematic practice of keeping animals in captivity by replacing the animals with 3D holograms.

In cooperation with Roncalli’s agency TAG/TRAUM, blueBOX was appointed to make this dream a reality for the entire 32 x 5 m arena. Choosing 11 Optoma ZU850 laser projectors to bring the animated horses, elephants and goldfish to life, Birger Wunderlich at blueBOX said: “We have been using Optoma projectors for six years and have consistently had a very positive experience with reliability, performance and affordability.”

Katja Burkard, a TV Presenter from Germany found the hologram the most entertaining part of the show. She stated: “I found it very contemporary – I especially loved the fact the hologram could replicate real animals in a very good way”. Janine Kunze, an Actress from Germany stated “The hologram at the beginning was really special. You will always remember the Roncalli circus once you’ve been.”.

Project Highlights

1. Optoma’s ZU850 projectors bring the Roncalli circus to life, thrilling audiences all over Germany with entertaining holographic footage.

2. Boasting superior colour performance and 360° projection capability, Optoma’s ZU850 models with innovative MultiColor laser technology have assisted in creating a phenomenal experience for Roncalli circus visitors.

3. The installation was completed using 11 BX-CTA03 long throw lenses allowing the ZU850 models to be positioned further away for ultimate flexibility.

4. Optoma’s ZU850 projectors bring the Roncalli circus to life, thrilling audiences all over Germany with entertaining holographic footage.

5. Thousands of visitors now enjoy a modern, entertaining twist on the circus experience. With 360° projection of horses galloping around the arena and elephants doing head stands, the Roncalli circus experience is not one to miss.

Holograms at Circus Roncalli replace the traditional wild animals.

Product and Solution Awards

Category: AV Display Innovation of the Year
Winner: Samsung for The Wall Luxury

The Wall Luxury brings a new level of immersive viewing and ensures that consumers can experience this superior picture quality in the comfort of their own homes. Ideal for even the brightest areas of the luxury residential space, The Wall Luxury is configurable and customizable to a variety of sizes and ratios from 73″ in 2K definition, to 292″ in 8K definition.

With a depth less than 30 mm, the slim, bezel-less infinity design along with customizable décor frames allows the display to blend seamlessly into its surroundings, ensuring no disruption to the desired ambience of its environment.

Product Highlights

1. Based on research into the lifestyles of target consumers and their preferences, the new luxury model goes beyond just image quality and provides a personalized user experience.

2. Thanks to the 100,000-hour lifetime of its self-emitting diodes, The Wall is designed to never turn off, but to change into a digital canvas best matching the owner`s interior needs and personal mood.

3. When the screen is not used, the Ambient Mode can display a variety of curated art from paintings, photographs and video art to customizable pictures with digital frames – that best suit the homeowner’s tastes.

4. The Wall Luxury is also equipped with the AI picture quality engine, Quantum Processor Flex. This delivers optimized picture quality scene-by-scene, regardless of the original source format.

5. Quantum Processor Flex is a machine learning-based picture quality engine that analyses millions of image data to automatically calibrate the original low resolution according to the modular screen resolution.

Djamila Kerdoun, Co-founder and CEO of DK Ambassador, and founder of the International Summit of Fashion commented: “Walking into the room, I couldn’t help but notice this huge screen and its sublime quality. I had to take a few minutes to admire its artful design and high-resolution images. Working in the events industry, I am particularly attentive to every detail when it comes to digital equipment. For its beauty and for its innovative design, it perfectly fits in…as part of Fashion Week!”

Samsung’s The Wall Luxury is designed to never turn off, but to change into a digital canvas best matching the owner`s interior needs and personal mood.

Digital Signage Innovation of the Year
Winner: Vitec Enterprise IPTV and Digital Signage

VITEC’s Enterprise Grade IPTV & Digital Signage Platform combines powerful Digital Signage capabilities with broadcast quality IPTV distribution with into an all-in-one solution.

Designed to seamlessly integrate with any IT environment, EZ TV is the ideal digital signage solution for enterprise customers, sports stadiums and arenas, medical facilities and government agencies looking for a secure, scalable, cost-effective way to distribute video and display dynamic signs using their existing IP network.

Product Highlights

1. Communicate with your audience and turn any screen into a digital signage opportunity: Driven by VITEC’s high-performance, hardware-based endpoints, operators can turn any screen on the network into a new monetary opportunity, delivering eye-catching digital content with dynamic data and the highest quality IPTV content — all managed from a centralised server. The onboard administration and analytics tools empower organisations with campaign information vital to pulling in untapped revenue streams.

2. All-in-one system: Unlike other signage solutions designed as stand-alone systems – EZ TV’s Digital Signage software suite is tightly integrated with the IPTV Portal to form a powerful all-in-one platform that streamlines video and Signage work-flows, simplifies configuration and management and allows the operator to mix IPTV content with signage on any display while maintaining highest broadcast quality. VITEC’s Digital Signage End-Points feature dual discrete hardware processors for the ultimate TV experience combining Full-HD videos, live IPTV streams, picture playlists, social media content, dynamically updating data such as sports scores, meeting rooms and food catering databases – all using a small, PoE-enabled cost effective video player appliance.

3. Ultra-low latency, mission-critical reliability: Designed to ensure 100% up time for an organization’s critical IPTV and Signage services – EZ TV uses VITEC’s cutting edge video playback and security engines to deliver the lowest latency playback on any device. The hardware-based IPTV set-top-boxes and Signage Endpoints cost a fraction of the price of PC-based media players while consistently delivering a smooth, secure, uninterrupted viewing experience for the most demanding graphics and video applications. These ASIC-based decoders guarantee longer service life and less time spent troubleshooting problems during major events.

4. Latest compression standards: EZ TV supports the latest compression standard HEVC (H.265) up to 4K, in addition to HD and SD live and on-demand streams in MPEG-1/2/4 and H.264 formats. Full integration with Microsoft Active Directory for managing access to live and on demand content for network users and groups using PCs, STB and mobile devices. EZ TV gives the audience an engaging and interactive experience, whilst offering users robust digital signage features, including easy-to-use signage authoring, administration, and analytics tools.

5. Seamless integration and easy to manage: Designed to integrate with any IT environment and run on all types of networks — including LAN, WAN, and wireless — EZ TV is a future-proof and scalable platform for centralised creation, distribution, and monitoring of live and on-demand content that can be shown on every display throughout a facility.

Vitec collects their Award as the Digital Signage Innovation of the Year.

Collaboration Innovation of the Year

Winner: Clevertouch for IMPACT Plus

Launched at BETT Show in 2009, Clevertouch was the first manufacturer to show a dedicated large format true interactive displays designed specifically for the education market. Now with their fifth-generation screen, the newly launched IMPACT Plus is part of the Plus Series range and designed to meet the needs of the modern classroom.

Informed by the government’s agenda, the product is designed to enable extraordinary lessons to take place in ordinary classrooms, transforming the learning experience. Our education solution is helping teachers and pupils shine in the digital classroom.

Celebrating 10 years of continued innovation, the Clevertouch team supported by family business owners and brothers Kevin and Nigel Batley, bought the first generation of touchscreens to market at a time when the whole industry (manufacturers and education end users) were still very much focused on buying and installing interactive whiteboards and projectors.

Weighing in at 100 kilos and costing £8,000 for a 65″ Clevertouch interactive touchscreen, it was a risk, but a risk that the brothers instinctively believed was going to pay off.

“Although there was no market for interactive touchscreens in education, given the popularity of personal touch devices, we had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t be long before teachers and pupils would be demanding more”, says Kevin Batley, CEO of Clevertouch.

With a turnover of £70 million (70% of the overall business), 2019 has been a tremendous year for Clevertouch’s Plus Series which has seen a 33% growth in unit sales around the world shoot up to 36,000 a far cry from the 100 sold in the first year. By 2023, Plus Series will generate £200 million of revenue for the business through rapid expansion and product investment.

Clevertouch has spent the past decade building relationships with key EdTech influencers and solution providers. From software companies to app developers, Clevertouch have found the ideal partners provides the largest range of resources for the classroom. If a teacher requests a new feature in the software, or for an app they’ve seen in their app store to be added to the Cleverstore, the Clevertouch team aim to fulfil the request within six months. Cleverstore is owned by Clevertouch and unlike the competition will never show external advertising.

Boasting the dynamic duo of education software – Lynx and Snowflake, as well as over a hundred apps in various languages, subjects and age groups, Plus Series has everything a teacher would need in the classroom. Supporting both types of teaching style – on the fly and pre-prepared, the software can be accessed via the Cloud to allow teachers to work on their content from anywhere. Resources can be easily shared between colleagues or schools.

The Plus Series follows the Clevertouch ethos – once you’ve purchased a screen you will never have to pay extra for software. We believe in the price is the price at the point of sale and we’ll never ask for additional subscription costs, and no in-app purchases. If a new version of the software is released, it can be installed at no extra cost.

Clevertouch supports future pathway solutions saving school thousands on having to buy new technology. Every Plus Series has Android and Intel based OPS slots, these can be used as upgrade paths to download all the latest firmware and Android updates to keep the screen running at full capacity.

The current Plus Series Android module runs LUX 8, which makes teaching easy with some unique features including super glide touch, handwriting recognition, class voting, Whiteboard, split screen mode, spotlight, Cloud accounts, Chrome browser, GoogleDrive, CleverMessage and Clevershare.

Sign into all your settings and cloud accounts by tapping your NFC card against the Plus Series bezel. With dual tip super cool stylus, ideal for group work, and the Clevershare app for screen sharing, IMPACT Plus is designed for the collaborative flipped classrooms.

The ability to send messages to classrooms using CleverMessage and the freedom to teach from around the classroom. No longer being tied to the front of the classroom. With the most comprehensive five-year warranty, ongoing support through former teachers delivering training and the ability for modifications to enable seamless integration helped IMPACT Plus beat off all the major suppliers to be chosen as the lead technology across this district.

Members of the Clevertouch team celebrate their Award for Collaboration Innovation of the Year,

Presentation Innovation of the Year
Winner: DisplayNote by Montage

DisplayNote was founded in 2012 to simplify how people present, share and collaborate on content in meeting rooms, huddles spaces, classrooms, lecture theatres and training rooms. Organisations utilise DisplayNote products to share ideas, make decisions and improve how information flows.

DisplayNote’s Montage is a simple, effective and intuitive wireless presentation system that is compatible with all the major hardware and software providers. With DisplayNote Montage, any attendee can share their screen without the need to pass cables, use a plugin, or replace someone in an active session:

1. Presenter mode – with one click, any meeting attendee can become the presenter to enable the flow of information to be constant throughout a meeting.

2. Dual network – Attendees can wirelessly present from the primary or guest network, ensuring the right individual is always in control.

3. Share files – folders, documents and links can be securely shared to anyone connected to the meeting. The ability to share work heightens the sense of collaboration promoted by the montage solution

4. Media player – multimedia files, including MP4 and URLs, can be viewed on the main screen within the presentation with no latency. This maintains the focus of the meeting participants.

5. Two-way collaboration – An inbuilt whiteboard allows attendees to brainstorm ideas and annotate documents over the main screen. With multiple attendees, this intuitive feature ensures that the notes taken during the presentation can be shared.

Project example

DisplayNote worked alongside touchscreen manufacturer Elo Touch to deliver a unique meeting room collaboration solution for the Pet Supplies Plus corporate headquarters in Michigan, United States. Hosting more than 500 employees, the headquarters is the base the Pet Supplies Plus ­business, which serves as one the largest pet food and supplies retailers in the USA with over 430 outlets across 33 states.

All employees at the headquarters have competing needs for conference rooms and meeting spaces, and therefore the rooms were in high demand to serve as spaces for presentations, conference calls and huddle areas. The meeting rooms struggled to meet the needs of the employees. Staff found the disparate systems confusing, and the additional cables and parts were forever going missing or being misused.

“Struggling to set up easily takes away 5-10 minutes of productivity from every meeting. Finding cables, ensuring everyone is on the same network, team members being unable to join because of device issues – all of these issues become even more cumbersome when we host hundreds of vendors every year,” comments Lisa Y Brown, Director of IT, Pet Supplies Plus.

To address the problem, Pet Supplies Plus specified the Montage solution from DisplayNote, embedded within Elo touchscreen products, to enable wireless connectivity and collaboration in the meeting room spaces. Without the need for any additional hardware, the solution has streamlined the technology setup and enabled productive meetings in the rooms.

Eddie Morgan (right) of DisplayNote prepares to collect the winner’s trophy for Montage.

Special Awards

Category: AV Market Development Initiative of the Year
Winner: Promethean

With more than 20 years’ experience in education, Promethean is a global leader in education technology. Promethean’s combined hardware and software solutions are designed to transform classrooms into collaborative and connected learning environments that promote student participation and engagement.

Committed to developing solutions that enhance educational spaces, Promethean’s ActivPanel Elements Series has been developed with an emphasis on ease of use, making teaching with technology even easier. The ActivPanel Elements Series has been designed by teachers and developed by Promethean for education – focusing on all the little things that make a big difference in the classroom.

Program Highlights

1. Becoming the market leader – through a coordinated strategy that champions a robust product offering, excellent partner relationships and commitment to supporting schools has projected Promethean to achieving its position as market leader- both in the UK and globally.

2. Investment in Innovation – Promethean is committed to providing edtech solutions to schools that directly address their needs. The new Promethean ActivPanel Elements Series has been designed in partnership with real teachers specifically for education environments.

3. Strategic channel developments – Promethean has invested heavily in its partner gateway Atlas, a communication platform that provides access to sales support materials and account management tools to make it easier and simpler to do business with the company. Earlier this year Promethean also launched its Promethean Certified Installer training as an extension of the Promethean Partner Programme.

4. Education initiatives – with a deep-rooted passion for education, Promethean takes pride in pioneering initiatives that give back to education. Now in its fourth year, The State of Technology in Education Report is providing valuable insights into the successes and challenges faced by schools and plotting trends in the sector. Additionally, the #ClassroomStory competition – an alternative to the Promethean Grant – is giving teachers the opportunity to share inspirational stories and win a free ActivPanel.

5. Education partnerships – Promethean has forged an exclusive partnership with The Learning Partnership to support the delivery of the STEAM curriculum through digital content and resources. The collaboration will add significant value for end users, further enhancing the range of free to use classroom resources Promethean offers. This is the first of several strategic partnerships being brokered by Promethean.

Repeat winners of the Market Development Award, Promethean win their third trophy in a row,

Category: AV Reseller / Integrator of the Year
Winner: Pure AV

2019 has been a year of unprecedented growth for Pure. Revenues increased by 30%, following 20% growth the previous year. International projects have multiplied, and investment in people and resources has kept the focus on the high-quality service delivery that has built our business.

We introduced new trainee and developmental roles, creating opportunities for internal progression and encouraging new industry entrants. Our commUniCate19 showcase which united 50+ customers, 20 suppliers and 20 Pure AV staff for a day of training, exhibition and seminars is an example of how we seek to bring extra value to our customers and supplier relationships.

As we have increased revenue while we have also improved profit levels. Improvements to profit are the result of the development of our customer mix and improved internal processes. New admin and warehousing procedures and a skilful purchasing team have reduced errors, and waste and exploited fully the strengthened purchasing power that comes with larger business volume.

Referral by customers and suppliers has, and continues to be a significant source of new business. Complementing this is growth in inbound enquiries resulting from proactive marketing activity. Unique visitors to our website have increased by 28% this year, and the volume of leads passed to the sales team more than doubled. We help our customers to promote their new facilities to their internal clients and their peer group externally through the creation and publication of case studies and information documents and videos. We also host technology events to encourage the exploration of new technology and sharing of best practice.

2. Historically, 80% of our business was within the University sector. Today, as we continue to grow our activity within this area, we have also expanded our operation in other industries. University projects have increased, the growth supported by the sustained business under the NWUPC and new relationships under the NEUPC framework, University business now accounts for 55% of our overall revenues with the rest split between the corporate, public, hospitality and healthcare sectors. The most significant growth has been in the corporate and healthcare sector, with a more substantial number of higher value projects driving performance improvements in corporate and increased volumes of projects driving success in healthcare and hospitality.

3. We have seen significant growth in the number of overseas and international projects undertaken by Pure AV. Overseas work is not new to Pure, having held long-term relationships with clients that take us regularly into Europe and occasionally to North America. This year hospitality projects have taken us to Paris, and Dubai, with corporate projects in Stokholm, Turkey, Dubai and Singapore. Strategic partnerships with in-country partners enable international activity, with design and administration manged by Pure AV and project delivery always overseen by a Pure AV project manager and system designer.

We recognise the importance of a skilled and motivated workforce and actively encourage professional development. We have multiple CTS and CTS-D holders, including one triple CTS holder, and offer every employee the chance to take their CTS. This year the introduction of two new Trainee Programmer and Junior Project Manager roles has opened up the opportunity for progression internally. The first Junior PM role was taken by one of our long-serving engineers, who wanted to build on their on-site experience to move into project management. The trainee programmer positions have attracted new talent into the business from outside of the AV sector which is fantastic news for both Pure AV and the AV industry as a whole.

Congratulations to PureAV – the 2020 Reseller / Integrator of the Year.

Category: AV News Editor’s Choice
Winner: BRIX Concept by CTouch

During the spring and summer of 2019, CTOUCH Europe B.V. and the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have conducted a research on the CO2 impact of the manufacturing and usage of interactive flat panel displays (IFPD). The outcome of this research has led to two new, innovative initiatives that will benefit both the environment, as well as the companies that are planning to invest in modern workplaces in the years to come. A true win-win concept, of which CTOUCH is very proud.

The first initiative is CTOUCH’ Circularity Passport. With the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), CTOUCH conducted research on the CO2 impact of manufacturing and using touchscreens. A material passport (‘The circularity passport’) enables us to create awareness about the CO2 impact of touchscreens. It also triggers dialogs with our partners about reusage of these electronics, creating environmental and commercial benefits.

The second initiative is above mentioned re-usage mission brought into practice: CTOUCH ‘BRIX’. This is a modular business model, using the touchscreen as a basic platform, which is upgradeable via modules. In a nutshell, this means companies will be able to upgrade or migrate to different collaboration solutions within their meeting room or huddle space. This can be done without having to completely replace their CTOUCH touchscreen. And that saves time, money and above all, production of completely new interactive displays that have a high CO2 impact.

Together with the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), CTOUCH has researched the CO2 impact of manufacturing and using interactive flat panel displays. As a part of this research, instead of ‘writing off’ consumer electronics, CTOUCH started to ‘write down’ the amount of raw materials that are used in interactive flat panel displays in a so-called material passport: the CTOUCH Circularity Passport.

Doing this creates several benefits. First off, it increases the level of CTOUCH’ ownership of the used resources, accelerating the conversations with suppliers on using energy efficient materials and technology. Additionally, sustainability has become a key topic in commercial conversations with our resellers and end-users.

The materials analysis showed that:

1. The production process of touchscreens accounts for 60-70% of the CO2 impact in a product lifecycle of 7 years.
2. About 30-40% of the CO2 impact is generated by the actual usage of the touchscreens.
3. Packaging and transportation have a minor CO2 impact compared to production and usage.

4. Zooming in on the production process, the manufacturing of the LCD display makes for 55-60% of the CO2 impact.

5. Electronics and raw materials such as aluminium and steel take up another 10-15%.

What do these numbers mean for CTOUCH and users of its touchscreens?

The production process of LCD displays is very complicated. Still, in the new product design process, CTOUCH has discussed guidelines for its suppliers in using less steel, without impacting product quality. This will make future products slimmer and lighter in weight, decreasing CO2 emission. Another mission that we have taken upon us is to increase the lifecycle of touchscreens which – according to the research – is the key to successfully contributing to sustainability. This requires a circular business model, in which touchscreens can be re-used in the future by modular upgrades. This eliminates the need for continuously producing completely new touchscreens. This concept resulted in CTOUCH BRIX.

We keep in mind that we’re all different. We work in different ways; we have different needs. And the way we work today can be completely different from the way we’ll work tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be great if the tools that you are working with today, can still be used in your future workplace? Sounds complicated? Not at all. Get familiar with our rock-solid solution ‘BRIX’. A flexible upgradable family of collaboration solutions for all end user needs and requirements.

A display is just a display. Until you put smart, fast hardware and software inside. When companies decide that they want to do more with their touchscreen, they might need to buy a brand new one. Well not with CTOUCH! Our Leddura touchscreens are based on a modular platform. We call it ‘BRIX’. How does it work? Well, simple. We’ve made part of the hardware inside our touchscreens modular.

This means that users are able to replace a module, or even add a module to their CTOUCH touchscreens. They can start with basic whiteboarding and easy screen sharing. After that, they simply upgrade the CTOUCH screen with a BRIX module to add functionalities such as videoconferencing or room booking. Whatever their needs and requirements are, we’ll support them with the perfect fit!

The BRIX advantages

1. Pay for what you need – Whiteboarding and easy screen sharing might already match the collaboration needs of companies. But what if these needs change? It is very easy to transform a meeting room into a futuristic huddle. For instance, simply integrate the Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business BRIX module. Companies can do this whenever they are ready for it.

2. Exchangeable whenever you want and easy to upgrade – Migrating from one CTOUCH solution to another is a piece of cake. Companies can quickly gear up their workspaces with the modules that meet their needs.

3. Sustainable – Why would we produce an entirely new touchscreen if we can satisfy the needs of companies with a simple upgrade? We are able to extend the lifespan of our touchscreens by upgrading the BRIX over time. As a result, we save companies a lot of money and together we reduce loads of CO2 emission. Yes, we’re talking about a win-win situation here.

The CTouch team at the AV News Awards Breakfast to collect their Editor’s Choice Award for the BRIX Concept.

 

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