ChannelPro Mar 2013 : Page 38

PEERTOPEER Where AV Meets IT By Edward J. Mana • Photography by Matt Greenslade HERE ARE RICHES IN NICHES . A management professor in college taught me that, and I capitalized on this advice by filling a void I saw in the audiovisual (AV) industry with a managed services practice. Today, my com-pany is a B2B provider, offering both AV and IT services to AV and IT solution providers. I also service a few high-end residential VIP customers (big celebrities who can’t be named!), providing “Batman-type automa-tion” for their homes and offices. It’s a natural fit for me. I have been doing IT work since I was a kid. My first job as a teenager was computer consulting, which I continued to do to help pay for college. Poly-technic University, now Polytechnic Institute of NYU, where I was majoring in computer science, was relaunching the defunct audio-visual department and needed someone to run it. They asked me if I wanted to do it, and that was basically my job interview. I ran the AV department for two and a half years. I was the sole employee of the department when I started, and when I left I had grown the staff to 11 work-study students and me. It’s a business model bonanza: Technology On Demand offers AV as a managed service to AV and IT providers, as well as high-end residential customers. From there, I went to a company where I programmed Crestron and AMX control sys-tems for various AV dealers throughout the United States and abroad. Crestron and AMX provide control and automation systems for homes, offices, schools, hospitals, hotels, and other businesses. Then, in 1998, I launched Technology On Demand to provide programming and IT ser-vices. I recognized that managed services pro-vider practices were taking off on the IT side of things, and I looked at the trend where AV was converging with IT, and I tried to figure 38 MARCH 2013 The Insider’s Guide to SMB

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