What if competitive advantage comes from not competing with each other?
Exploring the idea of collaboration, and the way it affects the technology AVONIC develops
It can be surprising how many things we take for granted in the world of business. Even as our understanding of business psychology moves on, there are still some fundamental assumptions that tend to underpin how we approach operational structures and cultures. This is never more true than when we think about the idea of competition. After all, how many times have you heard the phrases ‘Survival of the fittest’ or ‘It’s a dog eat dog world’?
These phrases represent a line of reasoning and thinking that we are commonly led to follow in the world of business. It’s surely only logical – business is a zero sum game, if you have a customer, then I don’t. Right?
But we think that this traditional business paradigm needs to be challenged – and we’re not alone.
Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Collaboration is the new word of the moment, and it’s one we feel carries real power. In such a fast moving technology industry, we all must recognise that we build our empires on the shoulders of giants; Bacon and his original work on optics, Kily and Noyce and the first microchip, Berners-Lee and the internet (and even these famous names, who often are linked with these developments, only had their breakthroughs through collaboration with others).
Whilst people think that human kind is defined by its competitive nature, a real examination of our anthropological roots suggests otherwise. A long time ago, human beings had to look out for themselves. To survive, you needed to know how to hunt and grow food, build shelter, mend clothes and find medicine when you were ill. It was tough to learn all these skills, and even tougher to try and perform them at the same time. Perhaps your family would help you a bit, but ultimately, you had to rely on yourself.
Fortunately, as many anthropologists have discovered, what set humans apart from other mammals was the ability to communicate, and therefore specialize. If you could trust that Paolo was going to focus on growing the grain, then that gave you time to work on making better shoes, or develop medicines, or build houses. So long as you had the trust and communication to know that you would share resources at the right time, then you had a recipe for success. Trust, communication and collaboration are the building blocks upon which society has grown.
It’s this belief that progress comes from working together that informs one of the key principles of our business; the idea of interoperability. Avonic is an integrator provider meaning that we provide system integrators with the necessary blocks and parts to build systems. Rather than developing a homogenous, single-brand system which may or may not meet the specific needs of a client, we work hard to specialize in the development of exceptional cameras that form just one building block in a wider, tailored system.
The advantage of doing this is that it means that we can provide exceptional cameras, and we can allow collaborators (not competitors) to work in delivering the highest quality additional components, from audio capture to systems management. Indeed, this is why we’ve been working in conjunction with BOSCH recently to achieve full interoperability with the BOSCH CCS 1000D, DICENTIS wired and Wireless systems. This allows for live streaming to delegate devices, PTZ manual camera control and full automatic camera control (recalling presets), auto-discovery of Avonic cameras within the software and CCU, and full camera configuration.
And it doesn’t end with compatibility with BOSCH systems. Our products and integration solutions also work with systems such those developed by our business partners HRT (Huddle Room Technology) and Ubicast, along with a number of other conferencing, capturing and streaming softwares and hardwares. We build interoperability right into our products, so that integrators can be sure of zero-stress when building systems for their clients. We ensure that we create our products to the highest possible specifications, and trust in the strength of other companies to build complimentary products that can be combined to create a solution which maximizes its performance and specificity within every component.
One of the biggest developments we have made recently has been the creation of the CM40-IP PTZ camera and the CON300-IP serial- and IP-based controller for PTZ cameras. By creating technologies that operate on the basis of IP connectivity as well as maximizing the other connectivity options associated with each product (including the ability to integrate with legacy cameras) we further our objective of ‘collaboration’. We truly believe that success is based on finding ways to tap into the differing expertise of collaborating parties, and find solutions which deliver real benefit to the end user.
Essentially, the way we develop technology fits in with our wider approach to business. At Avonic, we believe we’re better together than alone…