Date Archives August 2015

See How a Company Creates a Positive First Impression

To make a positive first impression on guests, Catamaran worked with AVI-SPL to create a Customer Experience Center in downtown Chicago. There, visitors could use large interactive displays that let them engage with the technology that the pharmacy benefit management company uses to make it easy for customers to refill prescriptions.

Watch the Catamaran video case story >

AVI-SPL Lands in Top 50 of CRN SP 500

Numbers and acronyms make for concise blog headlines, but the one above could use some explaining so you know why we’re feeling a little taller.


Each year, CRN, which covers the technology integration industry, publishes its Solution Provider 500, a ranking of the top integrators, service providers, and IT consultants in North America according to services revenue.

For 2015, AVI-SPL has come in at #46 on the SP 500, five spots better than last year’s ranking.

From an insider perspective, the improvement is to be expected. The past year has seen a renewed focus on how we communicate our service solutions to the customer, not just in terms of what they are, but also in terms of value. We’ve made similar strides in explaining these services to our sales team, so they can take that knowledge and let organizations understand that we have the talent and experience to improve their operations with AV and video communication technology and build a roadmap for continuous improvement.

Our Virtual Meeting Room services are among the offerings we think have the biggest potential to make an immediate, positive impact for companies. Take a look and contact us to start the process of efficiently bringing your staff members closer together, wherever they may be.

Haven’t Decided on the Microsoft Surface Hub? Read This

Let’s assume you already know you want to make the Microsoft Surface Hub a part of your organization. In that case, here’s the link to our Surface Hub page, where you can order as many as you’ll need from the outstanding systems integration company I work for, AVI-SPL. We have elite partner status with Microsoft and are one of the few channels through which you can purchase the Surface Hub.

But let’s entertain another scenario. Perhaps you’ve heard bits and pieces about the Microsoft Surface Hub — how it’s been touted as “disruptive,” and that it’s going to make organizations change the way they operate, and how it was one of the best products at InfoComm, the annual tradeshow for the latest pro AV products. You’re wondering just what makes this so special, aside from the Microsoft name?

I’ve shared with you the list of features. Now let me present a picture: You’ve got many departments in your company (or school or agency). And within those departments, you have people that are — ideally — working toward a common goal. Rather, many common goals. And to reach those goals, and complete the projects that lead to those goals, department members have to work together. They may also have to work across departments. They have to give status updates, or propose plans of action, or brainstorm ways to reach a particular end result.

And so individuals need to meet, whether for a few hours or just a few minutes. Some may be in the office, while others might be working remotely from home or while at another company location.

This is where the Surface Hub reveals its value, because no matter where those team members are located, the Surface Hub brings them together via video conferencing, and provides them a digital canvas on which to share documents, images, videos — you name it — that all attendees can see and annotate. If you have teams that need to meet in large conference rooms, there’s an 84-inch version of the Surface Hub that you’ll want to get. But let’s say you have small conference rooms or perhaps no conference rooms. Maybe you work within an open office plan that has the meeting nook or huddle space. The Surface Hub works there too, because it also comes in a 55-inch size.

Head over to our Microsoft page, and see why the Surface Hub might be the best business decision you make all year.

Q&A on Funding for Video Collaboration

In this Q&A, Tracie Bryant, VP of Sales, State & Local Government, and Education, offers her insight into federal grant programs that can provide the funding for video collaboration systems for higher education. She also discusses the types of programs that qualify for funds, how unified communications is supporting school curricula, and the benefits of collaboration technology for communities.

Read this Q&A on funding video collaboration in higher education >

Polycom Offers Skype for Business Webinar Series

This week ushers in the first segment in Polycom’s four-part master series on Skype for Business. You’ll discover what Microsoft Skype for Business is, how it works, and why you need it.

Part 1: Skype for Business Overview
Thursday August 20, 2015 at 11 AM PT/2 PM ET

Explore Microsoft Skype For Business and learn how it can drive innovation, save money and increase your workers’ overall efficiency.  Paul Gurman (MCM) and Randy Wintle (MCM, MVP), Microsoft Solution Architects Polycom walk you through Microsoft Skype for Business features and benefits.

Part 2: Skype for Business Integration and Architecture
Thursday August 27, 2015 at 11 AM PT/2 PM ET

Microsoft Solution Architects Paul Gurman (MCM) and Randy Wintle (MCM, MVP) from Polycom walk you through Skype for Business architecture considerations and integration with your existing PBX. You’ll leave the webinar understanding best practices as well as next steps to assist remediation.

Part 3: Upgrade to Skype for Business
Thursday September 10, 2015 at 11 AM PT/2 PM ET

Planning to upgrade to Skype for Business? In this webinar Paul Gurman (MCM) and Randy Wintle (MCM, MVP), Microsoft Solution Architects at Polycom, discuss the technology needed to upgrade as well as the features and benefits you will gain. You will leave this webinar with an understanding of what it takes to upgrade and next steps to pilot and deploy Microsoft Skype for Business.

Part 4: O365: Uncover the Benefits
Tuesday September 15, 2015 at 11 AM PT/ 2 PM ET

This webinar delves into Microsoft Office 365 with Microsoft Solution Architects Paul Gurman (MCM) and Randy Wintle (MCM, MVP) from Polycom. They will walk you through Office 365 highlighting the features and benefits along the way. Learn what/how/when to move key UC workloads to the cloud for significant savings and learn how to balance on-premises solutions with Microsoft’s unique hybrid offerings.

Register to learn more about the Skype for Business Masters Webinar Series presented by Microsoft MVPs.

Contact AVI-SPL to bring the benefits of Skype for Business into your organization Reach as at or 866-559-8197.