Biamp Amps up Australian Presence
Biamp CEO in Brisbane recently to celebrate Australian R&D expansion.
An informal ribbon cutting in suburban Brisbane signalled an important expansion of Biamp Systems in Australia. Rashid Skaf, President, CEO and Co-Chairman of Biamp, did the honours in his first post-pandemic visit down under. The ceremony marked the completion of a renovation which will accommodate a significant expansion of the local engineering staff.
Afterward, Rashid explained the significance of the development as he mingled with staff and an invited audience of leading integrators, consultants, and representatives from Biamp’s ANZ distributor, Jands. Rashid is a well-known and popular figure in Australia, having previously served for over a decade as CEO of AMX.
Clearly at ease and amongst friends, he was bullish about the future of Biamp’s presence in Australia. “Four and a half years ago when we acquired the business, this was an office that was less than 10 people,” he noted. “Now we are passing 30 and our goal is to continue to invest and grow.”
“I don’t think that a lot of people in Australia realise that we even have a presence here,” Rashid continued. “But a lot of our major technologies are actually developed in Australia or have fingerprints from the Australian team, which is something to be proud of. Innovation has been key for us here in Australia, not just from an individual standpoint, but also from an engineering and leadership level across the world.”
Biamp CEO Rashid Skaf was in town to wield big scissors. Daniel McLean, Director of Software Systems Engineering, shares the honours.
The Australian team now includes two Engineering Directors, responsible for products and engineering groups across Biamp, both of whom were happy to discuss their contribution to the wider company. Daniel McLean, a 14-year veteran, manages a team of 30 engineers as Director of Software Systems. He is passionate about the role of his teams in developing and supporting Biamp’s product.
“Software is what brings the electronics to life, right?” Daniel says. “It can be a key differentiator for Biamp in terms of customer experience just as it is for any consumer electronics products. The quality of the software, the ease of use, and its ability to make repetitive or challenging jobs easier, are all pretty important. And so we do pride ourselves on having that excellent customer support.”
Equally passionate and driven is William Done, who started with Biamp in Brisbane before moving to head office in Oregon and then back to Brisbane as Director of Engineering – Amplification. Like Daniel, William has wide-ranging responsibility for the many different lines in Biamp’s ever expanding portfolio.
“My position is overseeing all amplification products,” he reveals, “from finding solutions for amplifiers in soundbars all the way through to large installation amplification. It’s not only the products, but it’s also the standards that we design to and all the initiatives involved. So whether I’m recommending a supplier, whether we’re designing a part, whether we’re designing a whole platform or product, anything essentially to do with increasing of signal and amplification comes back through me and my team.”
I’m going to use this as a leverage point for my whole Asian operation, not just for Australia itself
Rashid Skaf is not one given readily to hyperbole but he is clearly bullish about the future. “Our goal is to continue to invest in Australia as one of our developing markets,” he explained. “We have a great partner with Jands on the sales side, but we still have our own R&D and our own support that serves both Australia and Asia. We are expanding our brand awareness across Australia, but also across Asia in general. I’m going to use this as a leverage point for my whole Asian operation, not just for Australia itself.”
As well as expanded space for the engineering teams, replete with powerful dual and triple monitor workstations, the new fitout includes three meeting rooms that feature the latest Biamp products. Rashid himself was keen to show off the latest Parlé VBC 2500 videoconferencing sound bar — a product that draws on expertise from across the various Biamp divisions.
“The speaker side is developed by the guys who developed speakers at Apart and Community,” he enthused. “The microphone side started in Australia and has developed in Portland as well. The amplifier started here with the POE amplifiers and has been advanced in in the US, but also in Belgium from our team there. The camera is something that’s totally new for us as well. So bringing all these solutions together has been just tremendous.”
Rashid is confident that this product will be the best of breed: “I will guarantee it. I’m betting the company that this product is going to be an amazing success.”