This year marks Clockaudio’s 25th anniversary since its founding by Jim Hallington, Managing Director for Clockaudio Ltd. in 1994.
Clockaudio’s dedication to the industry has been clear from the start, when Jim Hallington first opened the company with his wife Tina. Jim states, “When Tina and I started Clockaudio 25 years ago, we never envisioned it becoming such a success. Manufacturing always comes with challenges, but we have a great team that always comes up with a solution. It is an exciting and interesting business, and every day we look forward to facing the challenges and enjoying the successes!”
Robert Moreau, Clockaudio’s North American Managing Director shares some thoughts about the company’s vision. “Since we started, we have always been fiercely protective of the integrity of our products and the sound quality that they deliver. As we begin the next chapter of growth, we plan to stay true to these philosophies while embracing evolving technologies and a changing workforce.”
In speaking about the change in the industry over the last two and a half decades, Moreau cites a few catalysts. “Since the company started in the early 90’s, we’ve seen a tremendous change in the location and positioning of the microphones from being a central focus on the tables, to being able to retract into the ceiling and virtually disappear.” He notes that these changes came about from the need to provide adaptability for multi-purpose rooms, as well as out of a desire to enhance the design aesthetic and provide cleaner sight lines that did not require cutting holes in expensive conference tables.
For many manufacturers, product changes have directly been impacted by the consultants, architects and designers of corporate meeting spaces. The evolution of the conference room from the traditional boardroom to videoconference rooms and huddle spaces, have changed the office footprint, its functionality, and how people collaborate and work. Regarding product changes, Moreau explains, “We were first best known for our gooseneck microphones, and then we revolutionized the industry by designing our microphones to be RF-immune to cell phones. We were the first manufacturer to do this world-wide and to this day, I believe we’re still the best at it.”
Next came the Clockaudio CS Series also known as the Consultant Series. Here, the company worked with leading consultants to design products that specifically met the sound quality, performance and design criteria that clients were demanding. Some of Clockaudio’s other most popular products include its Retracta Series (low profile microphones that can virtually disappear below a table surface), the C303W-RF (a tri-element microphone that offers excellent intelligibility and great front to back rejection), the CDT100MKII (Clockaudio’s Dante Transporter), and the RGB Series products (control switches with unlimited color combinations for room status identification).
Moreau goes on to also speak about other factors that have changed the industry, such as the convergence of AV with IT. “This convergence has made us look at our entire family of products and how we can continue to evolve. For example, when we came out with the CDT-100 we thought how could we take this product into the future and fulfill the needs of our clients for years to come? That is when we came out with the CDT-100-MKII, which is completely compatible with Dante, AES67, and is also RGB ready. We have always been great advocates of using platforms that keep our products current and relevant. The CDT100-MKII is certainly a great example, which makes all our microphones Dante and AES67 compatible, not just a few models.”
Clockaudio understands that today there is a need to identify the tools and devices that will continue to mainstream collaboration. Says Moreau, “We belong to a high-tech industry that brings together old school and new school - the Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers, the Millennials and within a few years, Gen Z. We need to challenge ourselves to meet their divergent needs so that the products we make today will continue to be of value going forward.”
For anyone, 25 years is a significant accomplishment, but in a day and age where companies go into and out of business so frequently, there has to be a key to “staying power” and market relevance. When asked about this, Moreau shared, “We always try to listen to the end users and adapt to their needs. From day one they have always driven the company and that remains true now and for the future.”
Clockaudio often works with their dealers and end users to further their education on microphone technologies and to get feedback and insight into the products that they need. Says Moreau, “We don’t sell direct, but we do partner with our dealers, integrators and representatives to help end users best understand their options.” One of the ways that the company does this is by conducting live demonstrations so that clients can hear firsthand how Clockaudio microphones sound on the far end, and better understand the differences between polar patterns.
Moreau adds, “The entire sales cycle has been supported by an incredible team of representatives, dealers and distributors. All of which have seen how the company embraces new technologies, creates new products, enhances existing ones, and provides a customer service and technical support team that is always available.” When asked about one of the greatest highlights of the last 25 years Moreau says it is hard to pick just one. “I guess all the great people and companies we have worked with over the last 25 years would be one of the greatest highlights. From Space Agencies, Fortune 500, International Banks, Energy, Governments, and trend setting companies like Apple, to name a few.”
Clockaudio’s longevity is not about any one thing, as Moreau concludes, “I think it has been based on innovation, being good listeners, being able to adapt to an ever-changing market and world, and in our ability to create custom products. On top of all of that, we have a desire to stay true to ourselves and to continue to surround ourselves with great people. These are a few of the elements that have contributed to our success and will continue to pave the way to the future.”
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