We recently attended Crestron’s masters training at their HQ in New Jersey and I wanted to share a few of my takeaways. First, the format of this training was quite different from that in years past. But we found it refreshing and encouraging. We were there amongst several hundred of our colleagues and unlike previous years, this time we had the opportunity to choose from a series of classes. Having so many Crestron Service Providers (CSPs) in one place also created the unique opportunity to network in ways that we never had before. For example, at tradeshows we see, mingle with and attend events with Crestron employees and independent programmers, but this particular event created a concentration of these folks unlike ever before.
For years we’ve been hearing about and discussing the convergence of audiovisual (AV) and information technologies (IT). In some instances the discussion from the AV side has seemed fantastical and unrealistic. And many of the AV/IT-related predications made since the rise of this popular topic have simply fallen flat. But the time of true convergence now seems to be upon us.
The need for AV programming and Crestron programming experts to know more about the IT world is quite obvious. Crestron has adapted to industry requests and so have we at AVPA. More complex systems are on the horizon, including deeper integration with building management systems, monitoring and asset tracking opportunities, and corporate databases and networks, to name just a few.
Crestron Continues to Address Simpler Systems with Configurable Solutions
As the high-end and custom programming projects we do become more complex, Crestron continues to address simpler systems with configurable solutions (i.e. products that don’t require advanced programming). Crestron Pyng is perhaps the best of the more recent examples of this ongoing trend. But for as long as we’ve been involved in software, automation and Creston there have been products attempting to simply the process. Like software solutions in all industries, Crestron’s Pyng offers both advantages and limitations. That’s simply the nature of less advanced solutions. Gaining ease is always accompanied by a proportional loss in flexibility or control.
Crestron Is Moving Toward More Universal Programming
SIMPL Windows and SIMPL+ have been the standard languages for programming Crestron systems for more than a decade. But in recent years an evolution has been taking place that is changing what the future of Crestron programming will look like. In fact, it really has already changed quite a bit. We’re now using the C# programming language (originally developed by Microsoft as part of their .NET initiative) to perform some tasks. I predict that within the next 3-5 years we’ll be able to, and it will common for us to, deliver complete Crestron projects programmed exclusively in C#. We’re not there yet, as limitations still exist. But moving toward a more universal language set is clearly in Crestron’s future, and ours.
We’ve taken some time to discuss the trends we’re seeing, where we feel the industry is going and how we should best adapt in order to remain a top Crestron programming company and competitively service both existing clients and legacy systems, as well as cutting edge new projects. The conclusions we’ve drawn and the additional clarity we’ve gained is helping us to steer AVPA through another phase of the ongoing evolution that is technology. Ultimately however, there are certain standards that remain of paramount importance, independent of technology and products. Customer service, forging lasting relationships with integrators and end users, and refusing to sacrifice quality for price or unrealistic timelines remain values we hold unchanged.