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Tony Griffiths | CQT, CTS, AV Department Manager | IES Communications

IES Communications: Delivering Future-Ready Solutions that Redefine Benchmarks

For any organization, efficient communication is imperative. The components of effective communication include excellent communication skills plus advanced contact channels that ensure effortless and interruption-free interdepartmental and corporate communication. This helps streamline the company’s business processes while also fostering a consistent brand image and identity.

As video conferencing is rapidly becoming the new industry standard—courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic—organizations are looking forward to integrating the latest Audio-Visual technologies into their businesses for virtual real-time communication. All relevant industries have experienced the immense potential that these new-fangled technologies carry.

IES Communications is one of the companies at the forefront of providing these state-of-the-art technologies in a highly personalized fashion. Be it conducting a smooth video conferencing experience or an impactful auditorium event, IES Communications delivers to all the demands and needs.

In the following interview, the team at IES expands on their exemplary Audio-Visual services that are transforming the pertinent industries, the challenges they came across, and their vision for the company’s future.

Please brief our audience about IES Communications, its Unique Selling Points, and how it is currently positioned as a leading player in the Audio-Visual solutions niche.

Tony Griffiths: IES is a nationwide systems integrator for design, structured cabling, OSP, audio visual, life safety, PoE lighting, security, Wi-Fi/DAS, and data center integration products and services. We have been performing and perfecting cutting-edge technology-related services to organizations for 37 years.

As a turnkey service provider, IES eliminates the administrative burden of working with multiple vendors and takes full responsibility for your project.

Our national footprint success is based on our reputation, trust, and relationships with our customers. IES provides the same feel across the country because of our people, processes, financial stability, and safety record.

We place an extremely high value on employee development, and our commitment to quality is part of our culture to ensure IES standards exceed industry standards throughout every project, keeping us at the forefront of technology innovation.

Shed some light on IES Communications’ list of services and how are these making an impact on the industry and your clients?

Tony Griffiths: IES, an AV Provider of Excellence (APEx), maintains a professional, certified CTS staff that collectively represents a proven track record of leading industry knowledge and expertise. As a result, IES is a nationwide trusted provider of turnkey integrated audio-visual solutions, including consulting, design, integration, and customized maintenance services.

Our designers have over two decades of implementing innovative technology solutions to some of the most sophisticated digital facilities to help people collaborate, communicate, and work better.

Additionally, IES follows the AV9000 quality management process, and these services together provide customers confidence in delivery and superior performance enhancing their digital workplace.

Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on what impact has the adoption of modern technologies such as AI and machine learning had on the Audio-Visual solutions space and what more could be expected in the future?

Ryan Blair: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have made the products offered in the audio-visual space smarter, allowing for fewer time requirements from onsite field engineering staff. For example, autocalibration features in some audio systems include the production of low-level signals, similar to ‘Pink Noise’ for room tuning.

This low-level signal is used to pick up room reflections by the system and to adapt to necessary changes for the most authentic audio experience. The video camera system’s PTZ auto-tracking and facial recognition features provide a streamlined conferencing experience with less interaction required from in-room participants. AI and machine learning will provide less human interaction with audio-visual systems during the build-out and everyday use by the end-users.

Tony Griffiths: Artificial Intelligence has enabled much more reliable online conferencing. Today, most meetings are online through platforms like Amazon Chime, Facebook, Google Meet, MS Teams, Skype, and Zoom.

In addition, AI-driven analytics can predict performance problems and potential issues, provide real-time network performance analysis, and allow IT staff to correct these technology issues before online meetings are affected by a bad connection or something similar.

Taking into consideration the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face, and how did you drive your company to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?

Tony Griffiths: Our company saw an increase in our offerings as new technologies were being implemented to endure social distancing and safety measures in the cloud infrastructure space, healthcare, education, warehouse, airports, and public spaces.

Safety is a fundamental value that is integrated into our culture. IES took measures to protect our employees, customers, and partners by providing recommendations and placing safety protocols in place to create a community of resiliency, followed by maintaining business operations to meet customer needs.

At IES, these and other safety measures have become permanent ways of ensuring the safety of our employees and the communities we live in.

Ron Skaggs: The pandemic was an opportunity for the audio-visual team to practice what was preached for years prior with remote meetings and conferences. We saw people in remote locations purchasing and turning on webcams for the first time, knowing this may be the new normal.

It seems that the pandemic forced a quicker adoption for the remote work environments, including the fieldwork. In addition, the pandemic encouraged more virtual job walks and more documentation to and from the field.

However, the more significant challenges were the self-distancing of the crews in smaller workspaces and pulling on and off project job sites due to contact tracing and de-contaminating the site.

The IES Safety Department did a phenomenal job of putting safety protocols in place, continually educating our workforce, and providing proper PPE even when short supplies were in demand.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Audio-Visual solutions market?

Tony Griffiths: Keep your vision at the forefront, ensure that you are well-capitalized and hire talented audio-visual professionals.

How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in 2022?

Tony Griffiths: We envision a significant increase in business in 2022. We strive to continue our growth by investing in current and new employees by implementing cutting-edge technology and industry-leading training.

In addition, IES is expanding our reach into the marketplace by growing our geographic presence, adding new services, and seeking opportunistic acquisitions of businesses that serve our markets that strategically fit within our existing business segment. These strategies provide a well-planned and executed growth of our company in a way that best supports the evolving technology needs of our customers.

About the Leaders

Ryan Blair, CQD, CTS-D

Lead AV Designer

Two decades of experience transforming the way people live, play, communicate, and work by performing and perfecting cutting-edge audio-visual design and integration services. Ryan’s success is driven by his ability to orchestrate complex audio-visual solutions through creative, logical, strategic, and tactically design concepts with a demonstrated ability to work with the customer to improve their experience while ensuring the design and strategy align with their business needs.

Industry Certifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management
  • Atlas IED Globalcom IP
  • Audinate Dante Level 2 and Level 3
  • AVIXA CTS (Certified Technology Specialist)
  • AVIXA CTS-D (Certified Technology Specialist-Design)
  • Biamp Tesira, Vocia
  • CCP (Crestron Certified Programmer)
  • Crestron DMC-D, DMC-E, DMC-T
  • Crestron Master’s 2015, 2016, 2018
  • CQD-AV9000
  • Extron Audio Visual Associate (EAVA)
  • QSC Q-SYS Level 2
  • Shure Integrated Systems Level 2
  • SynAudCon (Sound Reinforcement for Designers)

Tony Griffiths, CQT, CTS

AV Department Manager

AV Department Manager with over 30 years of experience building potential sales, with a proven track record to manage and successfully lead national multi-million-dollar projects. Tony is driven by his ability to consistently improve strategic planning, operational initiatives, data-driven team productivity, and maintaining an uncompromising focus on high-quality standards by collaborating closely with the customer’s team members and key stakeholders to develop meaningful relationships and successful results.

Industry Certifications:

  • AV9000 – CQT
  • AVIXA CTS (Certified Technical Specialist)

Ron Skaggs, CQT, CTS

AV Estimator

A 27-year veteran designing leading-edge audio-visual solutions, including new AV/IT blending designs, forward-thinking, collaborative spaces, and providing a solid foundation for digital signage solutions. Ron’s success is driven by his uncompromising focus on high-quality industry standards by collaborating closely with the customer’s team members and key stakeholders to develop meaningful relationships and successful results, turning design into realities.

Industry Certifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – University of Phoenix, 2003
  • Associate of Science Degree – Riverside Community College, 1999
  • AVIXA – CTS Certification
  • AV9000 – CQT
  • Crestron – Essentials Programming Certification, DMC-D Digital Media Certified Designer, Master Technology Architect
  • Extron – Certified AV Associate, Certified Control Professional
  • Biamp TesiraForte
  • BSS – SoundWeb London
  • Cisco Certified
  • ClearOne – Certified Technical Specialist and Certified Product Specialist
  • Nitek – UTP Video Course Certification
  • Peavey – Media Matrix Certified
  • Polycom – Video Technical Certification and Video Sales Certification
  • Samsung – Digital Signage Certification
  • Sencor – Video Sales Certification