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Study: Unified Communications Provides 4X the ROI

Looking for proof that advanced Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) technology is a worthy investment for your company? Just turn to the latest report from business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Sponsored by Verizon and Cisco, “Meetings Around the World II: Charting the Course of Advanced Collaboration,” introduces the industry’s first quantitative model for a return on collaboration investment.

Excerpts from the study:

  • Businesses and government agencies deploying VoIP soft phones, immersive video and fixed mobile convergence received an average return of four times their investment in deploying collaboration technologies in terms of improvement across business-critical areas.
  • The majority of organizations deploying (UC&C) are more successful than their peers compared to those not deploying UC&C (70 percent versus 47 percent).
  • Of organizations deploying UC&C, 40 percent plan to increase spending.
  • More than 80 percent of organizations that have not yet deployed UC&C tools plan to deploy some form in the next two to three years.

Based on this research, are you interested in developing a UC & C integration for your organization? If not, what are the key factors holding you back?

For more on the study, click here.

VariQuest Visual Learning Tools Increase Reading by Seeing

Reading doesn’t just happen inside a book. There are opportunities to practice students’ reading skills everywhere. Create a more print rich environment in your school by utilizing your VariQuest products – the Poster Maker, Awards Maker and Cutout Maker.

Encourage teachers to post banners and posters in the hallway, cafeteria, office and other non-classroom areas. While walking with elementary students to the library or cafeteria, stop at the posters and banners to ask them to read aloud. One of the great opportunities for reading everyday is to post the lunch menu. Select a different student each day to read the menu. The media specialist may want to have students contribute to book reviews each week. Again, this project could become an opportunity to read more – reading the reviews might inspire a student to read the whole book!

Create word walls to keep new vocabulary on the walls to help students learn their meanings. Use your Awards Maker bumper sticker templates to create sticky-backed labels to post to your word wall. Or, use the clear parking permit sticker and take advantage of the unused space on your windows. You can encourage your students to stare at the window! Keep the wandering eye engaged by sticking words and phrases from the lessons on the ceiling too – they’ll be learning something no matter where they look!

The Cutout Maker can make learning grammar enjoyable. With the Total Access Shapes CD, you have access to over 3000 shapes in the Cutout Maker library. Get started with a grammar lesson by cutting out some shaped nouns like a picture of a cat or a beach ball. Then use your fonts and the “connect letters” or “add bar” option to help create your verbs, articles, prepositional phrases, etc. Lay the cutouts on a table and ask the students to create sentences using the cutouts. Make it harder by asking them to identify the different parts of the sentences. Show how to rearrange sentences by utilizing commas. That portion of the lesson can help educate your students on comma splices and prepositional phrases. Learning how to remove prepositional phrases from sentences to check the subject and verb agreement is a skill tested on the SAT, so this is a great activity for high schoolers too.

Practicing reading everywhere gets students in the habit of understanding how important the written word is. Make reading a daily activity with your class and utilize your VariQuest products to help inspire your students to become avid readers!

AV Services, Maintenance to Simplify Facility Management

In Today’s Facility Manager magazine, AVI-SPL General Manager Patrick Britton highlights the advance of conference room technology:

“… The critical nature of AV technology in conference and meeting rooms has many facility managers (fms) asking themselves: How do I manage the use of these spaces? And how do I maintain the equipment to maximize life cycle and prevent critical failures that will impact my users?”

Want to learn how to increase the ease of your facility management technology? Click here to read more »

The Impact of the Cisco-TANDBERG Acquisition on Videoconferencing

By Michael Brandofino
Executive Vice President of Video Communications and Unified Collaboration

TandbergAnd then there were two. Today’s news about Cisco’s acquisition of TANDBERG should come as no surprise to those familiar with the video communications industry. Cisco’s leap into the video space with the launch of its Telepresence platform a few years ago was a clear statement that video communications was the target of future growth for Cisco. However, it was clear that while Cisco introduced a competitive high-end system, they lacked a full range of products to compete effectively against Polycom and TANDBERG . This acquisition effectively leaves two major players who make up approximately 90% of the market with a handful of others making up the rest.

This development continues to validate that video communications is quickly becoming a critical application for companies and is a key component of any enterprise’s Unified Communications strategy. AVI-SPL is positioned well to capitalize on these developments, as we have strong relationships with both Cisco, TANDBERG and Polycom. We continue to invest in training and certifications so we can be at the forefront of technology and will help our customer navigate through the changes in the market, and the potential changes in technology stemming from the acquisition of TANDBERG by Cisco.

Click here to read more on this $3 billion acquisition. »

For featured TANDBERG products, click here. »

>For more information on videoconferencing services, click here. »

Hillsborough County Students Improve Teamwork, Learning with SMART Table

photo by Andy Jones, Tampa TribuneAVI-SPL recently helped Hillsborough County students get their first look at the dynamic features of SMART Technologies latest innovation, the SMART Table. The fourth graders at Lee Elementary Magnet School in Tampa, Fla., are among the first students in the county – and state – to have access to this exciting technology. From math to social studies to art, the SMART Table allows the youngest of learners to take a fun, hands on approach to their activities. Best of all, it helps teachers create new and unique collaborative learning activities with minimal preparation time.

“AVI-SPL’s education market manager, Kristin Kraemer, has been great in helping us get the SMART Table at Lee Elementary and keeping me up-to-date on the latest information,” says Gregory Hart, magnet technology and curriculum specialist for Hillsborough County Public Schools. “The SMART Table is part of our 21st Century Learning Environment project, which involves increasing the amount of interactive technology in the classroom. I find that students learn better when they learn with each other, and that is what the SMART table does best.”

Software content can be customized with the SMART Table Toolkit, which is included with each SMART Table. Teachers can easily customize lesson activity content by accessing the Gallery in SMART Notebook, which contains more than 6,600 learning objects.

To learn more about the impact of the SMART Table at Lee Magnet Elementary School, click here»

Please contact us at (800) 282-6733 or email us at to learn how AVI-SPL can help bring the SMART Table, and other SMART Technologies products, to your school!

To subscribe to AVI-SPL’s “Bright Ideas Newsletter”, featuring the latest in education news, discounts and more, email us at

To view the SMART Table specs, click here »

To view featured SMART Technologies products, click here »