Category AVI-SPL

Webinar: Bluescape’s Cloud Collaboration

Join us on Wednesday, May 25 at 1 p.m. for our webinar on Bluescape’s cloud collaboration platform. Chris Bledsoe will lead this look at how Bluescape is making it easier for your teams to work together with a solution that is probably unlike anything you’ve seen. Sit it and find out how to:

  • Create effective remote team interactions
  • Collaborate effectively with remote teams in real time
  • Reduce unnecessary travel
  • Make team decisions faster

Register for “Work Productivity With Bluescape” >

About the presenter

Chris Bledsoe, senior director of partner solutions with Bluescape, loves to show people how to work better together, whether it’s in person, online, or remotely.

Crestron Masters and the AVI-SPL Programming Awards

Today’s post is part three of David Thorson’s look at the Crestron Masters event. David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture, and a recognized expert within the AV industry. Read part two of his entry here.

Programming Awards
To keep the fun rolling in this reflection on the Crestron Masters event, let’s look at the AVI-SPL programming awards. This was a first-ever event for AVI-SPL. To be fair, the categories were kept a secret up until this event. If you know any programmers, then you know they will find a way to get creative with systems to work in their favor. Manipulating data and technology is the definition of a programmer. This year’s awards went to:

Master Debugger. Keeping up with Crestron Support.

  • Tim Fauser (Calgary)
  • Albert Sottile (Seattle)

Master Commutator. Always willing to chime in and share expertise and feedback.

  • Brian Troy (Northeast-Philadelphia)

Master Behind the Curtain. Supporting others remotely in times of need.

  • Sean Kemp (Boston)

Master of Multithreading. Supporting numerous continuous projects throughout the year.

  • Larry Kuehner (Houston)

Master of Version Control. Keeping the source code repository and libraries well maintained.

  • Colin Denig (Northeast-New York)

Panel Discussion
Next up on the agenda, AVI-SPL and Creston participated in a joint panel discussion. The topics ranged from open APIs enhancing systems interoperability. Network security within an AV deployment. And Crestron Fusion adapting to the Cloud.

Participants

  • Jason Muldon Crestron Technical Director, Midwest
  • Jon Ottesen Creston Director, Cloud Solutions
  • Nic Milani Crestron Exec Director, Sales
  • Toine Leerentveld Crestron Technology Manager, Control Systems
  • David Thorson AVI-SPL Sr. Manager, Programming Architecture
  • Kerry Myers Programmer AVI-SPL TSG
  • Larry Kuehner Sr. Programmer AVI-SPL Houston

In part four of my recap of Crestron Masters 2016, I’ll look at the final session with Crestron, which looked at the underlying software and hardware programmers use every day.

Crestron Masters and the Spaghetti Challenge

Today’s post is part two of David Thorson’s look at the Crestron Masters event. David is AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture, and a recognized expert within the AV industry. Read part one of his entry here.

This year at Crestron Masters, AVI-SPL extended the momentum to bring all of AVI-SPL’s 32 Crestron Certified programmers together. The time together consisted of team building, programming awards, panel discussion, targeted Crestron training, and AVI-SPL specific topics and an open discussion.

We kicked things off just after the Crestron Masters closing ceremony. As programmers we’re queuing up for their Crestron give away AVI-SPL was just getting started.

Team building
To break up the classroom overload that we just survived, we started with a fun teambuilding activity: the Spaghetti Tower Challenge! If you’re not familiar with this activity, let me set the scene. Each team consisted of three programmers, one Crestron technical director and 30 minutes on the clock. Each team had to gather the following supplies and given a limited set of instructions.

Supplies

  • 20 sticks of spaghetti
  • One yard of tape
  • One toothpick (flagpole)
  • One piece of paper (flag)

Instructions

  • Build the tallest tower
  • Create team flag
  • Tallest tower wins

Each team gave their best shot at building the tallest tower. We saw a lot of creativity and ingenuity. As the clock approached the deadline teams were still feverishly working. A few did not hold up to test, others pushed the rules, and the majority constructed a tower to be measured. The winners of this challenge went to:

  • Kevin Rusch (AVI-SPL Detroit)
  • Mario Roman (AVI-SPL Detroit)
  • Stan Pawlowski (AVI-SPL TSG Crestron Developer)
  • Jason Moulden (Technical Director Crestron Midwest)

So why a tower made of dry spaghetti? This exercise was more than just way to bring people together. This was about building something fast. Demonstrating that it’s important to learn from mistakes early. And proving that continuous iteration to improve a solution pays off.

In part 3 of my recap of Crestron Masters 2016, we’ll look at the winners of the first-ever AVI-SPL programming awards, and touch on the joint discussion panel between Crestron and AVI-SPL.

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.

Why You Should Listen to this Talk on Workplace Transformation

Combine changing demographics, what-I-want, when-I-want-it technology trends, and new ways of thinking about work, and you have the forces that are shaping what is being talked about as “workplace transformation.”

The term carries a considerable weight — its two words implicitly promising something better than the cubicle farms that are a shorthand for the worst of office culture.

The good news is that with a little determination, unity of focus, and technology, we don’t have to settle for that kind of culture. And even a passing familiarity with business trends will confirm that plenty of businesses have evolved.

For our recent webinar on workplace transformation, representatives from Cisco and AMX by Harman offered their thoughts on why work is changing and talked about the technologies their companies specialize in and what they do to create environments where we can collaborate with those in and outside of the office.

In less than an hour, you’ll learn about the video collaboration and networked AV technology that is making it possible to create workplaces that are responsive to your needs, and to the needs of your colleagues. Some of the topics our speakers address include:

  • Importance of video collaboration
  • What is meant by a connected workplace
  • Technology that engages visitors
  • Advantages of networked AV
  • Solutions by Cisco and AMX that make improvements possible

Review “Workplace Transformation With Cisco and AMX by Harman” >