INAVATE MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS FINTAN MC KIERNAN ON IDEAL'S EXPANSION INTO THE AV MARKET

Fintan McKiernan, CEO of Ideal Systems SEA, is responsible for the integrator’s business activities in the Southeast Asia region. He manages the broadcast, live production and AV divisions. According to him, the focus of Ideal Systems has become clear: “Our core business today is systems integration be it broadcast or AV or even more generic ICT. We design and build systems and solutions.” 

Ideal Systems knew that the move into AV integration would not be easy. McKiernan says: “While being similar, broadcast and AV are different. Creating the separate division allowed us to focus and recruit AV specialists, and when the AV team is supported by our existing broadcast and software engineers, interior designers and wiremen, it all locks together very well.”

How well did Ideal Systems’ hard won broadcast expertise translate to the world of AV integration? McKiernan explains that the answer may not be clear-cut: “It’s not so much that broadcast skills translate to AV, but that our broadcast engineers and architects can learn the AV technologies quite quickly. The language and technology is similar, even if it’s a parallel universe.”

However, the trends shaping broadcast and AV are similar and McKiernan says: “This is a convergence story, broadcast is well on its way from Baseband to IP and the AV business is also on a migration path to IP. This is where our broadcast and AV skills will join.”

 IDEAL’s first project that was to use the combined effort of the Broadcast Division, Interior Design Studio and the AV Division.

IDEAL’s first project that was to use the combined effort of the Broadcast Division, Interior Design Studio and the AV Division.

Ideal Systems’ approach to the business of integration also meant that it walked into the AV world with a point of differentiation. McKiernan says: “We were already pretty unique in the broadcast systems integration space, where we were unique in having our own in-house interior design team, who can design everything from control rooms to studios. We even design and make our own media consoles for control rooms. “From broadcast we already have years of experience in technologies like 4K and 8K and migration to IP. For years we have been building broadcast facilities, but when you look at them today, they are data centres, and not majorly different from the data centre that we might build for a hospital. Both are security sensitive, mission critical and can never go offline.” 

 IDEAL’s AV project - LCD Wall

IDEAL’s AV project - LCD Wall

The fact that Ideal Systems has a footprint across all of Southeast Asia has meant that its AV division was able to start from a wide base. Mc Kiernan says: “We are a multinational SME. Broadcast is a boutique business and in each country there aren’t many broadcasters. So to grow our business we had to operate in more countries. But the same challenge, the fact that there are not many broadcasters, made us very conscientious of our quality. In a market with few customers, you can’t fail to deliver, you don’t have many bridges to burn. So when we take this customer first approach into AV we believe our customers will appreciate it.”