global presence alliance

global presence alliance logo.JPG

The Global Presence Alliance is a 10-year old international consortium of A/V dealers and systems integrators that offers an interesting business model, one that might be replicated in the lighting world.

As I understand it, A/V suppliers around the world organized themselves into geographically exclusive, non-competing territories.  Much like airlines run “code-share flights”, the Global Presence Alliance helps both customers and its A/V members to manage projects in foreign locations (e.g., where the design team is one location and the construction project in another), or global roll-out projects (multi-national corporations, retail chains, etc.).

According to their site:

The Global Presence Alliance was formed to help customers have one global source for all audio, video and unified communications solutions. We offer a combined talent pool of thousands of professionals, following the same protocols and procedures all across the globe. We also have tight alignment and partnerships around the world to deliver consistent, standardized services. The benefits of this alliance include:

  • Local, “in-country” specialists + global program managers
  • Vetted partners with NDA’s and global agreements
  • Standardization of engagement, project management, quality assurance, deployment and service
  • Financially secure, reputable and loyal partners
  • Global managed services, including AVNOC, asset management, video support and cloud services
  • Worldwide staging and demonstration facilities

I heard some additional tidbits that really demonstrate the thoughtfulness this group is instilling in its service offerings:

  • The alliance has organized its own CRM system that lets local A/V installers register and manage global projects.
  • They’ve all agreed on a standard 20/80% split for fees when one firm “wins the order” and another firm completes the installation.
  • They’ve standardized many behind-the-scene processes such as documenting installation procedures for repetitive projects so that remote A/V alliance members can complete projects quickly and efficiently.
  • They’ve created a formal approved-vendor program to further help standardize training, technology standards and global support offerings

I can’t help but wonder – why doesn’t the lighting design world get together and create something like this?  A closed consortium of lighting designers and other specialties (such as software developers, media developers, product designers, etc.) that can fulfill global projects, supported by a carefully curated vendor partner program that provides enhanced training, cost control, project management support, etc.   I wrote over 5 years ago that the lighting design community’s obsession with “independence” is costing the profession dearly in restricting these very sorts of novel business model opportunities.  The Global Presence Alliance is an excellent example of missed opportunity.