Category Video Communications

Finding Common Ground: Can AV and IT Meet in the Middle?

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.

Cisco Unveils TelePresence Solutions for SMB Market

On October 25, Cisco celebrated five years of its TelePresence solutions with a 40-minute online conference call that looked back on the company’s advancements in the field of collaboration and looked forward to new offerings.

The presentation also made a point of countering the perception that telepresence is just for C-level execs of large corporations. That discussion offered a natural segueway into an introduction of Cisco’s TelePresence  MX300, a room-based system it plans to make available in Q1 of 2012.  The speakers touted its convenience and ability to be set up in less than 15 minutes, with one noting that the unit had been set up by a client in as few as five minutes.

Continuing that focus on value for SMBs,  the particpants also introduced Cisco TelePresence Callway, a hosted subscription service that starts at $99 per month and gives businesses unilimited calls to any TelePresence endpoint or standards-based video conferencing endpoint.

In addition, Cisco is offering Jabber video for TelePresence, a free software solution that would allow  users to join TelePresence conference calls from their desktop PCs, laptops and tablets. The beta version is set to be released Q1 of 2012.  

Are you using outdated systems to drive your company’s communications? Call AVI-SPL at 1-800-282-6733 or send an email to sales@avispl.com and find out how we can design a collaboration solution that fits within your budget.

Read the 2011 AVI-SPL Concept Catalog Online

Cover of AVI-SPL Concept Catalog 2011AVI-SPL’s 2011 Concept Catalog has arrived, but you don’t have to wait to pick up a copy of this handsome showcase of our recent AV integrations. Access the digital version of the 2011 Concept Catalog, and start reading case studies of some noteworthy projects and learn about the latest audio video innovations across multiple industries from our manufacturer partners.

The catalog includes our successful AV integrations across corporate, education, government, healthcare, hospitality and house of worship sectors. You’ll learn about solutions for live performance audio and lighting, control of AV devices over IT networks, digital signage, video conferencing and emergency operations centers.

You can also request a hard copy of the 2011 Concept Catalog.

Recording of October 18 Polycom Webinar on Video in Healthcare

AVI-SPL University Professional Series logoIf you missed AVI-SPL and Polycom’s October 18 webinar, or want an opportunity to review the material, the slideshow and recording of “Using Video for Collaborative Community-Based Healthcare” is now available.

During this informative presentation, Dr. Deborah Jeffries looked at video applications such as telestroke, radiology and cardiology; the challenges facing healthcare providers with regard to patient care; and examples of video-based integrations within the healthcare environment to meet specific needs.

If you have any questions about the materials within this webinar, or are interested in adding video collaboration tools to your healthcare environment, call an AVI-SPL representative at 1-800-282-6733 or email us at sales@avispl.com.

 

InfoComm Certifies AVI-SPL Training for Project Managers

Earlier this year, I wrote about the launch of AVI-SPL’s training for project managers, a self-directed initiative to ensure the quality of our AV integrations for customers around the world. Thanks to the hard work of Jay Paul, Joseph Thomas and Jennifer Schwartzberg, this ambitious training program was recently InfoComm certified. Training attendees can earn up to 35 CTS, CTS-D and CTS-I renewal units by attending the weeklong training.

The certification by InfoComm is a huge measure of recognition for AVI-SPL and a credit to the efforts of Joseph, Jay and Jennifer.  Since the beginning of the year, the team has conducted multiple successful academies.