Category AVI-SPL

Workplace Transformation Starts With a Goal

In recent posts, we’ve looked at the value of activity-based work spaces, how to calculate the value of collaboration solutions. We’ve also heard from experts in workplace transformation. In this post, let’s look at ways you can start to channel your efforts for improving the workplace. 

AVI-SPL’s 2019 Concept Catalog offers steps you can take at the beginning of project to improve collaboration in the workplace. Let’s briefly go over some of those points:

  • Assess the state of collaboration. Take an honest assessment of where your organization is with collaboration. Begin by asking employees about their work preferences and where they would like to see changes. Rather than implementing technologies or changing methods piecemeal, you will get a big picture of the kinds of changes you will want to make.
  • Uncover cultural challenges. Learn where the roadblocks to collaboration are within your organization. Outline what you want your collaboration culture to look like and create a plan that includes encouraging openness and rewarding collaborative behaviors.
  • Decide what metrics you will use. You will want to continually evaluate the value and effectiveness of your collaboration solution. To do so, the company needs to first identify and prioritize goals.

After defining these spaces, here are four considerations that can help you determine what type of room would work best in your organization. Those considerations include:

  • Employee work styles
  • Room and device intelligence
  • Management and maintenance
  • Equipment standardization

Each of these tips will bring up more questions, but for now you have an idea of the kind of questions and issues that need to be considered. Ask us anything if you want to dive deeper and go into specifics: sales@avispl.com or 866-559-8197.

Q&A on Supporting Productivity in the Workplace

Beau Wilder of Poly is an expert in what companies can do to shift their organizations toward the future of work. In the Q&A below, I spoke with Wilder, Poly’s VP of innovation waves and new products, about creating a workplace that enables people to be their best. 

Q: Why is workplace transformation so important?
Wilder: We’re all in this war for talent. The companies winning are the ones recognizing that their most important assets are their people.

We can work anywhere, anytime on any device using UCC technology. Those solutions have allowed work policies to be flexible, so we need spaces where we can make best use of that technology and its capabilities. If you don’t provide those spaces, people will vote with their feet and move on to a better situation.

Q: Considering the ability for people to work from anywhere, how important is the workplace?
Wilder: Even though research shows people are more productive at home, most choose to go back to work because they miss the collaboration. We want people to work together and feel empowered when they’re in the office. It’s that cross-pollination where new thinking happens. We’re always looking for the next big idea, and so we need to make it easier for people in the workplace to work together.

Q: How did the open office take hold as the new template for the workplace?
Wilder: We thrive as humans when we’re outdoors. The open office offers flexibility in creating an environment that mirrors the one outside. In these spaces, we’ve seen huge trends with health and wellness. Biophilic design that includes natural light and greenery sets people up to be their best. When people are happier and healthier, you have more productivity and creative output. But the open office comes with its own set of challenges.

Q: What are some of those challenges?
Wilder: Although companies have raced to open offices, some didn’t do it thoughtfully. It can be hard to work while people are collaborating near you. Therefore, we need to focus on a human-centric design in the office so we can be at our best by using technology that blends distracting speech into the background.

Q: What are the solutions for these challenges?
Wilder: Do your homework ahead of time and bring in your vendor partners early. You’ll also want to include your users in the journey toward workplace transformation. Focus on the human experience above the cost-savings. Collaboration in meeting spaces should be intuitive and easy. When you design for open spaces, consider the activity that will be happening and build in choice that allows for a personalized experience.

Q: What’s a realistic expectation for companies that want to transform their workplaces?
Wilder: Ask targeted questions of your staff. Find out where things aren’t working. As you design open spaces, let the technology do the heavy lifting. 

This process continues even after you’ve made the transformation. Understand that you won’t get your building right from day one. But by collecting data like occupancy and use of technology, you can be proactive in refining it.

How to Choose Collaboration Systems for Your Company

As mentioned in our 2019 Concept Catalog, creating a smarter workplace starts with understanding the way your employees want to work and the business outcomes your company wants to achieve. To achieve those outcomes and a better user experience, your organization may focus on technology solutions that give each user valuable capabilities like:

  • On-demand collaboration with in-room and remote participants
  • Wireless presentation of content
  • Simple control of room devices

As you work to improve the employee experience through better room design and technology, you’ll want to consider factors like how your employees want to work together, what is preventing them from working at their best, and plans for company growth.

Assess how they are currently working and identify areas that are efficient or inefficient. Form a task force that includes representatives from different departments so you have comprehensive insight into the ways they work. 

Enlist the help of consultants and experts in the digital workplace experience. They can help you notice the fine details you might otherwise overlook when it comes to designing collaboration spaces and AV solutions. They’ll also work with your IT department to create a plan for onboarding solutions to the network and to explain the importance of support services so they can fulfill their core responsibilities.

The 2019 Concept Catalog includes steps you should take to make sure you’re building the right collaboration environment. It also includes a long list of topics — like technology roadmaps and change management — you can include for discussion with your partner for workplace success

Webinar: Workforce Readiness Through Technology

Over the next 10 years, millions of jobs will require skilled workers, but the number of skilled workers is dropping. To meet the challenge of matching jobs with qualified people, some communities are working to grow and retain their skilled workforce with workforce readiness programs.

Join us on October 29 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET to hear how educational institutions are outfitting their learning spaces with technology to help students — young people, career-changers and mid-career experts — prepare for or continue successful careers in high-growth areas like healthcare.

This interactive, 60-minute webcast will:

  • Explore how educational institutions are using technology to attract students and keep them employed in the community.
  • Examine how smaller communities are upgrading their workforce readiness programs to better compete with larger communities.
  • Investigate how strategic investment in simulation and other technologies can result in better communication, collaboration, and training outcomes.

Register for “Confronting the Growing Labor Shortage: New Approaches to Workforce Readiness” >

About the presenters

Dr. Kecia Ray, Principal, K20 Connect
Dr. Ray is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and is past president of the ISTE Board of Directors. In 2013, she was appointed by Tennessee Governor Haslam to the Advisory Council on Alternative Education and in 2014 was appointed by the Tennessee Commissioner of Education to a Personalized Learning Advisory Committee. In 2015, she was invited to serve on a U.S. Department of Education technical working group focused on evaluating education technology. Dr. Ray currently serves on the board of Learning Bird Inc. and holds advisory positions with Mackin, Inc. and H Institute Award for Excellence in Education.

She is a five-time recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award and has earned the ISTE ‘Making IT Happen’ Award. Dr. Ray was named ’20 to Watch’ by the National School Board Association, Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, one of the top 10 EdTech Leaders by Tech and Learning magazine, and most recently was named a Top 100 EdTech Influencer by EdTech Digest. She leads K20Connect and other passion projects supporting K20 education around the world!

Jordan Myers, Regional General Manager, AVI-SPL
Jordan Myers is the Regional General Manager for AVI-SPL’s Tennessee region. AVI-SPL is the largest AV integrator in the world, providing audio-visual and collaboration solutions for corporate, higher ed, healthcare, and federal clients across the country. His team’s higher education clients include University of Tennessee, Loyola, Auburn, ETSU, Clemson and others. Previous to AVI-SPL, Jordan was a manager with Interactive Solutions, which was acquired by AVI-SPL in 2018. He also worked for DePaul University in enrollment management.

Based in Memphis, TN, Jordan has a B.A. in Public Relations and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship, both from DePaul University in Chicago. He has his CTS certification from AVIXA, the professional AV industry’s foremost trade association.

Steven Zink – Moderator
Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Education
Steven Zink is an emeritus faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he served as the university’s first vice president of information technology, while simultaneously serving as dean, university libraries. During his lengthy tenure at the university, Zink assembled a vibrant hybrid organization of information professionals, ranging from specialists in instructional technology to librarians to information technology professionals. In 2008, the physical manifestation of the organization was realized with the opening of the widely acclaimed 300,000-square-foot Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. From 2011-2016, he served as vice chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education, the coordinating body over all public institutions of higher education in Nevada.

Webinar Recording: Devices That Improve Cloud Collaboration

In this session presented by Sherri Pipala, you’ll learn how Poly devices bridge the gap between platforms and how they ensure the best collaboration experiences for your users. You’ll also learn about:

  • The prevalence of UCC solutions in the workplace
  • What people expect out of their workplace meeting experience
  • Top three collaboration pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Poly solutions for Amazon, Microsoft, and Zoom
  • How the AVI-SPL Symphony user experience application manages and monitors the Poly devices that drive your collaboration

Get the recording for “Why Devices Matter: Realizing the Full Potential of Your Cloud Collaboration Solutions” >

About the presenter
Sherri Pipala joined Polycom in 2008 and has held numerous sales leadership roles.  She currently leads the Poly Field Alliance Team, where she’s focused on alignment and joint solutions with Poly’s Strategic Alliances. Sherri has over 25 years of experience marketing and selling collaboration solutions and advanced services for the enterprise and global account markets.  She focuses on executive relationships, business development, and partner enablement to support the best solution engagements. Sherri brings a “voice from the field” perspective to ensure product solutions, marketing and support drive customer success.