Category AV in Government

Hurricane Harvey and the Importance of a Coordinated Response

In light of the continuing and record-breaking deluge brought by Hurricane Harvey — as of this writing it lingers along Gulf Coast and continues to flood wide areas of Texas and Louisiana — I asked Brad Herrick, vice president of the Control Room Group for AVI-SPL, for his thoughts about the importance of command centers as hubs for coordinating emergency operations in order to rescue those stranded or threatened by catastrophic storms.

“We know at least one Texas agency whose emergency operations center we designed, integrated, and continue to service that went active over the weekend,” said Brad. “And one major federal government EOC that we designed, integrated, and service went active as well, all in response to Harvey.”

The images we’ve seen from Texas show the immense damage that Harvey has caused and continues to cause, and how important emergency responders are at a time when resources struggle to cope with the enormity of this disaster. Response teams from across the nation — the Texas National Guard, the Coast Guard, FEMA, local police, and a host of other organizations have converged to rescue those trapped by the storm.

That urgency is perhaps enhanced by the forecast that Harvey will track back over southeast Texas on Wednesday. Before it dissipates, weather forecasters expect it will end up soaking the area with more rain than Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Andrew combined. By Thursday, the Houston metro area will have likely received more than 50 inches of rain.

“Tragedies like Harvey call upon those heroes who serve in emergency operations to save lives and then help rebuild communities,” said Brad.  “It is an honor to serve these customers and support their mission in this capacity.”

Brad also recommended a LinkedIn post about the storm,  where Jon Litt of Christie Digital noted, “We have been in contact with our customers in the greater Houston area, including regional emergency management, law enforcement, traffic management, government regional communications, utilities, medical, and more, and the reports we are getting back are that the Christie Control Room solutions are working beautifully and helping a great deal.”

AVI-SPL’s Control Room Group integrates modern, advanced solutions like those from Christie so that agencies can receive the live feeds and data they need to understand disaster situations and coordinate response teams. Is your region’s emergency response team prepared for a crisis like that posed by Hurricane Harvey? Contact the Control Room Group at 888-619-9083 to speak to one of our experts about your challenges.

Sign Up for Microsoft Surface Hub Training

Sign up for remote or onsite training, and give your staff the confidence they need to use the many collaboration features of the Microsoft Surface Hub. Take a look at our training flyer to see which type of session is right for you and your group.

Contact us at sales@avispl.com to schedule your training event.

The Surface Hub comes in 84-in. and 55-in. displays sizes, each including features like:

  • Windows 10 operating system
  • Motion-tracking technology
  • Skype for Business

Visit AVI-SPL’s Surface Hub page for more details.

View the AVI-SPL Concept Catalog 2016

AVI-SPL’s Concept Catalog for 2016 showcases a handful of companies and organizations that have recently benefited from AV and collaboration tools that we’ve integrated  The digital version is up on our site, and it includes AVI-SPL’s award-winning work for two of these projects.

You can also request a print version. >

Have a project similar to what you’ve seen in the catalog? Let us know. You may also contact us at sales@avispl.com or 866-559-8197.

Because Doing Business Is About Listening

The article in EdSurge is directed toward education tech salespeople, but it could apply to just about any salesperson, marketing department, or company in general: before you sell your product, show the customer you care about addressing their needs and solving their challenges.

“Nothing aggravates university administrators more than a sales person coming in with a ‘solution’ to a problem the university may not have. A better approach is to ask questions about what administrators and faculty think could work better at their institution.” –Bridget Burns, “The Tough-Love Advice EdTech Needs to Hear,” EdSurge

I imagine that a lot of university people who read that article felt a wave of “right on” wash over them. As well they should: we’ve dealt with people whose laser focus on making the sale means browbeating us into submission with emails, phone calls, and promises of presentations and demos that will change everything. Before we’ve even told them what we need.

I’m in a position to hear about our own approaches to working with clients, and I’m always pleased that they frequently sound like this:

“AVI-SPL understood our needs and brought in technology partners to build a solution that met our specifications and exceeded our expectations.” –Jan Odegard, Rice University‘s executive director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology

“I had other vendors who told me what I needed, and didn’t listen to me telling them what I needed. AVI-SPL listened.” –Arlen Sanders, project manager, L.A. Metro

They’re great quotes for case studies; they’re also great testaments to the approach AVI-SPL takes to its clients.

If you’re in the business of making sales, read the EdSurge article and find out the right way to get an audience with a decision maker, and what to say when you do.

If you’re seeking to improve some aspect of your organization involving meeting rooms, collaboration technology, and audio-video solutions that connect people with ideas and information, reach out to us: sales@avispl.com or 866-559-8197. We’re here to listen.

April 27 Webinar: Workplace Transformation

Still not sure what workplace transformation means or how it applies to your organization? Hear experts from Cisco and AMX discuss this timely topic Wednesday, April 27 at 1 p.m. EST.

Cisco’s John Franklin will explain what’s changed in the workplace in terms of collaboration, workloads, and the technology that brings people together to work on projects. Bob Sharp of AMX will offer his insight into the control systems that streamline and automate meeting functions like room scheduling and setup. He’ll look at the value of the enterprise IT network in managing an array of workplace source devices and endpoints.

Some of the topics to be addressed include:

  • Challenges to collaboration
  • Factors driving workplace change
  • Why you need to care about workplace challenges
  • Benefits of Cisco and AMX solutions in fostering positive change

Register for “Workplace Transformation with Cisco and AMX by Harman.”