Sennheiser focuses on global business comms

Nial Anderson speaks to Andy Niemann of Sennheiser about its recent shift in product development methods to cater for the business communications market.

Growing up in a family of technicians set Andy Niemann on the path to career in pro-audio, although it was the business side rather than the technical side that he was really interested in. Having started vocational training with a distributor in his native Germany, Andy went on to become a project manager for a systems integrator in Hamburg. He and ran his own electronics business for a short spell before joining Sennheiser in 2011.

After serving as a project manager in the installed sound division focusing on audio guide systems, Andy moved on to an international role supporting sales teams in the UK, Baltics, Nordics & Middle-East before leading the marketing department. At the beginning of this year he was appointed head of the newly created Business Communication division in the global installed sound division.

Andy says that while market research bodies such as GFK, Gartner Research and Infocomm provide useful information when it comes to developing new products, there were limitations in what this could offer.

“We figured out it that information across each and every market doesn’t really matter, it’s more important that you focus on your particular markets and talk to the end users to understand their delight and pain points,” he explained. “And of course in parallel we’re talking to the systems integrators, the most relevant group of intermediaries and channel partners. These issues are key for us to understand.”

Among Andy’s responsibilities are to overlook R&D and do high level steering on the development of Sennheiser’s Business Communication products. These include group address systems for meeting rooms and speakers for presentations. Product development, he said, was driven by end users who in the corporate world are increasingly seeking a solution they can roll out globally.

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