Atlona’s CEO Reflects on Anniversary and Plans for CEDIA EXPO By Jeremy J. Glowacki – Residential Systems
Atlona offers a portfolio of audio-video connectivity products that serve a range of residential and commercial applications, from multi-room AV distribution and custom home theaters to digital signage, education, hospitality, healthcare, and broadcast. Ilya Khayn founded the company in 2003, along with his brother, Michael Khain, who is referred to as the “solutions” in the company’s solutions-based product design and development process. Ilya received his technical education devoted to mechanical engineering in Russia, but he was inspired by Silicon Valley’s innovation. He immersed himself in retail electronics and then began to sell electronics out of his apartment, which led to the birth of Atlona. Both men are proud to be celebrating their company’s tenth anniversary this year, and Ilya paused to reflect on this milestone with Residential Systems.
As you look back on your first 10 years, what’s it been like being a successful part of this industry during some of its most turbulent years?
We’ve come a long way from where we started, which was basically selling components from my apartment. We knew we were on to something, so we invested all the resources we had in developing the infrastructure we knew we would need. The most important part of that was paying close attention to the industry pros to understand the ways in which we could innovate. This industry doesn’t let you stay still; you have to focus on future-proof technology and on ways to make it easier for customers to do their jobs, while supporting the quality that’s so critical to success. The success of our customers is our success; that’s never changed for us.
You’re celebrating your 10-year anniversary with a very ambitious 10-year warranty. What gives you the confidence to stand by your products for that long in a market where technical obsolescence is the norm?
Paying attention to the feedback that customers shared with us helped us to work toward more focused designs and making products that solve real problems. Our company and our products work for the people who need to solve those challenges every day. We aim for premium components andwe rely on robust quality control processes. We know our products work, so we have the confidence to offer the best warranties in the industry.
What’s your most successful product in the past 10 years, and can you point to why it sold so well?
We wouldn’t say it’s just one product; it’s our relationships that lead to successful solutions. No matter the product, its success depends on good relationships with our sales channel partners that allow us to stay current with the needs of the industry. This helps us to create products, add features and functionality, and offer the support that makes the “total picture.”
How is the way your company looks now different from how you imagined it would be when you started?
All of us at Atlona are very proud with what we’ve accomplished in the past 10 years. Both Michael and I always wanted to create a company that is focused on customers, innovative, and quick to market with products and new business concepts. This process wasn’t immediate; it took some time to develop before it became a reality. We are excited about the next decade ahead of us and open to new challenges and opportunities.
Looking ahead to CEDIA, what’s the primary product focus going to be for Atlona?
As AV infrastructure becomes more affordable, more responsive, and easier to install and use, it’s clear that the best solutions are the most versatile. At CEDIA, we’re proud to present several collections of matrix switchers that serve a number of uses: our PRO2HD offers distances of up to 328 feet to more zones; our PRO3HD features HDBaseT and power over category cable (PoCc) at an excellent value; and our latest, the PRO MXM, is a completely modular and customizable card-based matrix switcher that we’re really excited about. Our new wall plates allow for more elegant installations. In addition, we’re presenting distribution amplifiers that offer a complete AV routing solution for any home theater or small commercial application.
‘All of us at Atlona are very proud with what we've accomplished in the past 10 years.’ —Ilya Khayn, CEO and President, Atlona