India’s first AVIXA AV Provider of Excellence discusses the value industry certifications

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The Aesthetix Technologies India team (left to right): Kiran Ranganath, head of design, Sudan Mylsamy, managing director, and Sudheer Mani, sales manager

AVIXA has recognised Aesthetix Technologies India as the country’s first AV Provider of Excellence (APEx). We unpack how the Indian integrator managed this achievement and what it means to it in an exclusive chat with Sudan Mylsamy, managing director of Aesthetix Technologies India.

Aesthetix Technologies India is an Indian integrator with extensive presence in Southern and Western India. It has offices in the cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kerala as well as Mumbai and Pune. The integrator has become the first in India to be recognised by AVIXA as an AV Provider of Excellence (APEx).

Mylsamy talks about the core service that the integrator provides: “The market segment that we serve is typically large enterprises. Within enterprise itself, there are two main avenues where Aesthetix can step in and provide solutions to clients. Firstly, we can deliver the traditional wheelhouses such as fit-outs for boardrooms, meeting rooms, and other associated spaces for corporate environments.”

He continues: “The second area we excel in is client experience centres and Command & Control Centres. For these spaces, client expectations are completely different from regular AV setups and they want to showcase something unique and spectacular (client experience centers) or something is robust, reliable & secure with 99.99% uptime (Command & Control centers). The technology deployed for these experience centres needs to meet a whole new set of criteria and functional requirements. These are zones where AV is quintessential and expectations are rightfully very high”

He adds: “We don’t just deliver AV systems and collaboration software [for experience centres], but we deliver customised software solutions specific to the project itself. These can be as simple as platforms to make the systems easy to use with respect to operations or more inteligent setups like tracking users in a space, collecting metadata and then customising the user’s experience. For example, if they walk up to a display, the content displayed could be based on metadata collected or based on the identity of the user or various factors as determined by the client.”

Aesthetix Technologies India’s journey to APEx certification began with a conversation on how do we get everyone on a platform that will enable standardized optimal installs. Mylsamy details: “We had been contemplating it [applying for APEx] for about six months. Sudheer who heads sales was the first to broach this topic with me. While I was aware of APEX, the specifics however deemed investigation.

What followed was a process of discovery. Mylsamy says: “We found out and understood the various parameters for APEx which is not just about meeting a percentile of certified resources but constituted multiple avenues such as install standards, performance verification, project management,support and slew of other integral avenues that would ensure optimal deployment and support for our clients.”

He continues: “Every avenue was vetted by AVIXA including detailed project documentation, support methodologies etc. This was then validated independently and anonymously by AVIXA with our clients. This constituted feedback surveys and other modes of engagement between and our clients directly.”

Did Aesthetix Technologies India have to change significantly to attain APEx certification? Mylsamy says: “The answer to this question is both yes and no. Yes, we had a number of employees who were already CTS certified. But in order to cross the threshold for APEx, there were a few more employees that had to achieve CTS certification and that included me as well!”

He continues: “We were deploying AVIXA standards for our installs as required. But in terms of project management, we had our own methodologies for tracking project deployments & support. We were fortunate that these were more or less in line with what AVIXA recommends and didn’t have digress much to get things right. There were a few tweaks we had to implement so that we complied with their requirements, but most of it was already in place and that made our lives much easier. I’d like to have a special mention to Sudheer Mani who worked in tandem with the team to get this going ably”

Currently, Aesthetix Technologies India is leading the way in the Indian AV market with regards to education regarding the benefits of AVIXA certifications. Mylsamy says: “CTS is recognised in India to a reasonable extent. Some of the more informed clients are aware of it and even the distinctions between the various levels such as CTS-I and CTS-D.”

He continues: “However, APEx is something that is completely new in India for now. When we inform clients that we are APEx certified, their response usually is ‘what is APEx?’. We have to educate them and tell that that just like how CTS certifies an individual’s skillset, APEx is a great marker for a company’s capabilities in the AV industry. From perspective of APEx, we in the midst of informing the India market especially with clients as to what it entails. If the market becomes more aware of the value of APEx, yes it’d be great for us.”

With this in mind, the obvious question is to examine whether the process for applying and securing APEx certification was beneficial for Aesthetix Technologies India. Mylsamy says: “Does it help? From the point of view of securing projects in our market, no at this juncture. But I don’t look at APEx from that perspective. As an integrator we need to find avenues to constantly get better what we do for our clients. In my opinion, that should be the core driver of any business. If we can serve your clients better and better, everything else falls into place. APEx is a great instrument that helps us go in this direction. We believe in building excellence, and the key word is ‘building’ Achieving APEx is a milestone in our ongoing pursuit of excellence, signifying constant improvement and change for the better.”

Mylsamy goes on to illustrate the positive impact APEx certification has had on Aesthetix Technologies India: “Because we achieved APEX certification, there is a momentum that has been set in terms of how we can do better as individuals and as a company. Employees are looking to take the next step and it has changed the energy for the better. We now have a whole bunch of us that are starting to CTS-I certification and CTS-D certification, needless to say I’m glad to be part of this bunch. That process of betterment that APEX has set in motion is quite gratifying to say the least.”

To conclude he says: “AVIXA has done a marvelous job in doing what they do which is forming a trade association representing the professional audiovisual and information communications industries worldwide. We’ve got a great platform to serve our clients better. When we at Aesthetix engage with each other or our clients, this platform enables efficient & effective means to do just that”