AMX’s ‘Generational Shift’: Jamie Trader Interview
We catch up with the AMX boss, Jamie Trader, at ISE 2022. Sounds like things about to get real.
Interview: Christopher Holder
Jamie Trader’s title is Vice President, Video & Control at Harman. You can call him Mr. AMX Global if you like. Harman went to ISE to catch up with customers rather than display any new product. But according to Jamie Trader, the product pipeline is full to bursting.
I started off by asking Jamie about the types of conversations he was having at the show.
Jamie Trader: The nature of the conversations are obviously what’s on everybody’s mind. What do you have? What’s available? What’s the outlook? What’s happening with the supply chain? In fact, it’s probably one of the first shows where there’s a lot less conversation about ‘speeds and feeds’ and it’s a lot more about: ‘Do you have it and when can we have it?’
AV: What’s the answer?
JT: Ha! Well… you can have a lot of it right now and, some of it, not so much right now.
Everyone’s got their own challenges. We’re all constrained in certain ways. Some have worse challenges — we’re in better shape than some, and we’re probably in worse shape than others. We’re all struggling through.
AV: But they’re conversations you may not normally have had, right? It’s not a tradeshow about who can out-shmooze the next guy.
JT: This is a much more tactical show for everyone involved. Everyone here is looking for real solutions.
And the timing’s great. It’s great to be in our position right now at a time of massive re-engagement of the entire marketplace; massive re-engagement of individuals coming out of the bubble; individuals coming out of isolation. People are looking for solutions and re-engaging.
It’s also a time that represents a monumental generational shift for our brand. This is a generational moment for AMX, leading into one of the most prolific launch periods of AMX’s 40-year history.
AV: What’s the nature of the roadmap? Are you divesting and refocussing?
JT: The focus is on identifying what are the new challenges in the marketplace that are not being solved, or perhaps not being solved as effectively as they should be.
We’re not trying to deliver a product into every category but deliver meaningful solutions to real problems people are experiencing right now.
The marketplace has changed. The pandemic has brought in an entirely new era of different utilisations of technology. And every time there’s a monumental shift, there are brand new challenges.
Our focus: Let’s not try to build a product just to fit a category. There’s too many great manufacturers at this show; a lot of people doing amazing things. Amazing speaker manufacturers; amazing soundboard manufacturers. Rather, we’re finding areas of ‘what do we need to improve upon?’ ‘What is the new challenge with all of these new peripherals coming in and how can we solve those challenges?’
AV: What are your customers expecting from AMX and have those expectations changed much over recent years?
JT: There’s some obvious expectations based on the current conversation of unified communications. There are expectations based on the modernisation of control. There are expectations based on just what people see elsewhere at a show like ISE.
I think that, in many ways, we are addressing most of those expectations. It’s <how> we’re addressing them that we will probably surprise the market with.
There are some obvious areas for AMX: we have a very mature control platform and it’s probably time for a look at what that control platform does, how it works, and how people can interact with it in a more modern, elegant and problem-solving way. What are the efficiencies a modern control platform can bring? And how do we protect people’s investment while modernising?
AV: Is there a tension between providing comprehensive solutions but leaving behind the ‘walled garden’ mentality?
JT: I think it comes down to the core DNA of the brand. If you think about what AMX was at its birth point: the birth point of the brand was about building problem-solving tools for people who build great solutions. It is about helping people go do amazing things for other people.
And so when you get down to that DNA and you get down to what that means in the modern marketplace, you have to look people’s workflow — how are they working and how can we improve the way they’re working?
AV: Anything you want to say to your AMX tribe in ANZ? Any word of encouragement from Papa?
JT: I can’t wait to reconnect in person. It’s been an amazing couple of years. As a community, everyone’s been working amazingly hard. We’re deeply appreciative of the growth that we’ve seen through the pandemic and I look forward to bring those new tools to you in the very near future.
We think you’ll be pleased and very appreciative.