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London, 04 March 2020 – Solotech has expanded its global operation, extending its well established video department into the UK and has opened new offices in Central London.
Solotech is a global leader in audiovisual and entertainment technologies and acquired SSE Audio Group, the UK’s largest pro audio services provider in 2018. Now as part of Solotech’s expansion strategy in the UK they have appointed Ian Woodall as Director of Video and Paul McCauley as Video Business Development Manager in the UK and European markets.
Ian Woodall, or Woody as he prefers, has a CV that includes working at XL Video where he was Sales Director and in recent years has spent much of his time as a freelancer, designing and building AV systems in European venues and as a touring video engineer on projects including Nile Rodgers and Chic who have been with Cher for the past year.
Keeping up the preference for nicknames, Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley has extensive experience in the both the Live Events and integration industries. Macca moved from audio to video when he worked as Senior Project Manager with Woody at XL Video over 10 years ago.
Woody commented, “We decided that it was important to build on the huge reputation of Solotech for video in Canada and the US and therefore necessary to start organically, building it from a clean slate so that we can maintain the same Solotech service across the UK and Europe.”
“Initially there are three key facets to our business that require equal attention. Firstly leveraging the contacts and expanding the scope of the UK Sales and Integration divisions within SSE Audio and Wigwam. We will bring our new offering of video services to the project delivery teams and existing customer base, alongside the development of new business that Macca and myself can introduce under the banner of the new Solotech UK Video department.”
Macca continued, “Then there’s Solotech’s huge video touring business. As a global company we need to locally support our customers. As our clients visit us from the US and Canada, we can provide the necessary technical assistance to support each tour. Having this infrastructure within the same organisation on both sides of the Atlantic is a not only rare in today’s market, but a necessity. ”
“Finally, we have our own local touring clients. While this is no less of a priority, we are planning for structured growth as we want to ensure that we increase capacity at the right pace, providing every client with the same expected premium level of service. We have the worldwide backing of Solotech, which enables us to make significant capital investments on equipment so that no project is too big or too small.”
Mickey Curbishley, President Live Productions Division at Solotech is delighted about the company’s latest offering in the UK: “Projects across the board now increasingly call for a 360° service, where a single vendor supplies sound, lights and video. This is equally applicable in both live production touring and the sales and integration markets. Our ultimate aim is to become the preferred 360 vendor in the UK. Delivering the right equipment, with the right people at the right price will enable us to achieve that goal.”
The expansion of Solotech’s video department coincides with the opening of a new Central London office. Situated close to Covent Garden tube station, 100 yards down the road from the Royal Opera House, the new location comprises of open plan offices and meeting rooms.
Alongside several permanent staff, including the video team, there are a number of hot desks available to clients and visitors from other offices to use when in central London. The meeting rooms feature state of the art video conferencing facilities that can support virtually any video conference client such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime etc.
Manager Director, UK Sales and Systems Integration, Alex Penn explained, “The central location is perfect for meeting with clients, whether from the UK or further afield. There are four airports all with good links into the capital and Kings Cross International is three stops away on the tube. We hope that making our team more accessible in the city will help us to develop our contacts and open new doors to us.”
“We’ve invested in the technology infrastructure providing exceptionally fast internet and custom built desks with built in wireless charging for mobile phones so everyone can work seamlessly here, when away from their regular office. Video conferencing means we can reduce unnecessary travel, increasing productivity, whilst remaining environmentally conscientious, and also provides a show case of what we can deliver to the corporate market as an integrator.”
Philip Giffard, President for Sales and Systems Integration at Solotech explained the company’s approach to the UK operation: “The new offices and the video department are key to us delivering the Solotech offering in the UK, alongside growing and developing the businesses of our UK brands.”
“Solotech first took a foothold in the UK pro audio market with the acquisition of SSE Audio Group including SSE Audio, Wigwam and Capital Sound in November 2018. Since then we have taken a measured approach in the UK, taking time to learn the synergies and differences of the businesses on each side of the Atlantic before making any alterations to the operation.”
“We added Hampshire based BCS Audio in September 2019 and then came the biggest change to date, that of restructuring the senior management of the UK Group in January 2020. This is testimony to Solotech’s desire to build on the UK business and expand into new markets.”
Founded over 40 years ago, Solotech is a world leader in audiovisual and entertainment technology with 15 strategic locations in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Thanks to an inventory encompassing over 300 renowned manufacturers, Solotech is the single source for audio, video, lighting, rigging, soft goods, control and collaboration solutions & services. The company is internationally recognized for its expertise in Live Productions and Systems Integration in various markets, namely music, sports, business, culture and education. Solotech employs 1,550 professionals in its offices located in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saguenay.
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Ian ‘Woody’ Woodall
Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley