Carousel VP: IT Integration Key To Success In Video Services Market

Bill Thompson, Carousel Industries
Bill Thompson, Carousel Industries

There's an emerging opportunity around videoconferencing technologies, but in order to take advantage, solution providers will have to take a step back and focus on the IT integrations and services, Carousel Industries Vice President of Video Services Bill Thompson said.

"We perceive a gap in the marketplace," Thompson said. "What it really boils down to is that as the trends to BYOD and unified communications have expanded into heterogeneous environments and increased the need for integration, combined with pervasive video for multiple options."

Exeter, R.I.-based Carousel started as pure AV integrator and has grown its capabilities into a $370 million company whose offerings also include virtualization, voice, IP telephony, cloud and more. While other companies offer similar technologies, Thompson said Carousel sets itself apart by filling a gap it sees in the video market for IT integration services.

"We don't have creative license in the space, but we are unique because we are the company we are: we're an IT integrator," Thompson said.

Thompson said cloud managed services is one way the company sees to fill that gap in the marketplace. Most recently, the company launched Simplicity Video, a cloud-based managed video conferencing platform, as well as announcing a partnership with Level3 Communications for hosted video, voice and data solutions. The solution is particularly appealing to SMB clients, who are demanding enterprise-grade quality that is easily consumed and at a competitive price point.

"That's our differentiated product that's disrupted the marketplace," Thompson said. "This marketplace is in transition and Carousel is leading the way with a new set of solutions because of the integration we do and the customization we do."

While other companies are working to jump into this market, Thompson said there is a high barrier to entry from a cost perspective. He said he expects it will be nine to twelve months before other companies are able to fully jump into the market, though he said he will ultimately welcome the competition.

"I look at it as competition really helps drive innovation and I look to the organization as well as myself to be a visionary in the marketplace and help drive business solutions that are meaningful," Thompson said.

"There's room for lots of providers in the marketplace," he continued. "Quite honestly, I really enjoy the competition and I welcome it. I enjoy being a part of driving the industry forward.