In our exploration of the AV/IT space, we checked in with Joe Andrulis, vice president of global marketing at AMX. His expertise is extensive, and includes over 20 years of experience in marketing and business development of image processing, communications, and monitoring and control systems. In addition, Andrulis has authored several articles on the AMX blog in which he reviews the trends and challenges of finding middle ground between the worlds audiovisual and information technology applications.
In his AMX blog article, “AV Convergence with IT,” Andrulis notes:
Managing a global enterprise of these environments requires tools that support IT expectations of scalability and extensibility. Whether the resources are internal or outsourced, support personnel need immediate alerts to trouble nodes and direct ability to remotely initiate resolutions.
He also adds that tools for AV/IT convergence must be built from the following baselines:
- Network Centric – Components and tools must adhere to IT expectations
- Open Standards – Avoid proprietary implementations and protocols
- Scalable – Management tools must support server farms for global deployments
- Reliable – High availability and rapid break-fix support tools
- Centrally Managed – Tools must be accessible globally for follow-the-sun support
- Secure – LDAP integration for access control
In chatting with Andrulis, he had the following to say on this hot industry topic…
Q: For AV professionals, what do you think is the biggest hurdle in working towards AV/IT convergence?
A: The biggest challenge for many AV professionals will be accepting that the IT world’s priorities are different than those of professional AV. AV professionals take pride in delivering the highest performing systems that a project permitted. In contrast, to support the enterprise-wide deployment of IT, the IT professional has had to prioritize standardization, maintainability, and cost management above performance. To achieve the same widespread adoption IT has achieved, AV will need to shift its priorities in a similar way.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge for IT professionals?
A: IT professionals struggle with the reality that pro-AV is not currently governed by industry standards tothe extent the IT world is. That is gradually changing, but has some way yet to go. As a result, the inability to deploy and manage AV in ways familiar to them causes them to adopt it less aggressively than they should.
Further, pro-AV has to account for the interaction between the AV system and the environment in which it is deployed to account for acoustics, lighting, and other environmental effects that have a tremendous impact on the quality of the deployed system. IT has largely avoided any similar problem by standardizing the deployment environment in ways not really practical for AV. I can control all the important parameters of my datacenters much more easily than I can for all my conference rooms and auditoriums.
Q: How can end users ultimately benefit from this joint effort?
A. Once the best aspects of IT and AV are combined, AV capabilities will be much more widely available,more uniform in their operation, and more reliable than ever before. Ultimately, this will allow AV to become the same kind of core enterprise capability that IT is today.
Adds Andrulis: I think becoming more accepting of standards is one of the most important and difficult values for pro-AV to adopt. For vendors this means greater cooperation and finding other ways to compete beyond unique and proprietary features. For dealers this means moving away from full custom systems and deploying more uniform system designs, behaviors, and interfaces to permit simpler training and wider adoption.
Thank you for sharing your insight with us! Readers, please feel free to send us a line and let us know what you think about the industry’s progress towards AV/IT convergence!
Learn More at AVI-SPL’s Technology Expo Next Month
AMX’s Joe Andrulis is currently set to present on the topic of AV/IT convergence at AVI-SPL’s Technology University series in Washington, D.C. (Nov. 9) and Long Beach, California (Nov. 16). To learn more about these events and to register, please visit http://www.avispl.com/events/default.asp.