Steve Jobs once said something along the lines that some of the best ideas come out of late-night phone calls and hallway conversions.
But during the pandemic, that’s the one thing that’s been missing.
“It’s the one-to-one, that creativity,” said Jon Ottesen, Technical Director for Global Accounts Team at Creston at a recent webinar. “It’s also the thing to keep in mind that is going to be one of the biggest things when people return is wanting to get together.”
For integrators and IT professionals, creating that context for collaboration is now more important than ever and possible to happen from anywhere, thanks to the internet of things (IoT).
One could be in a meeting on their desktop computer and want to grab a cup of coffee in the middle and simply switch to the meeting over to their mobile device, all while still connected and listening to the meeting.
That transfer is seamless to everyone on the call. “That chain has to follow in as minimum actions with maximum impact,” said Ottesen. Similarly, that seamless experience is something that we’ve been experiencing at home and is now expected at work.
“The [videoconferencing] bar is set so much higher than what is was previously because we expect that perfect audio and video to come across,” said Alex Peras, product line manager at Creston.
“The nature of how we flow through our day is different, so the challenge is how do we get this platform, the technology, which was chosen some time ago, like Zoom or Webex, and take that user experience at home and transform that into the entire workspace and it needs to happen in a way that is transparent, ubiquitous and consistent,” said Ottesen.
Hardware and Software Programs
Every organization chooses a software program, which provides ubiquity and consistency across the organization, but when it comes to the actual hardware in the office, it must support it.
The hardware and software platforms must marry each other. The less names the better recommends Ottesen.
Integrators and IT staff must quickly learn how to best connect the systems, so they can be monitored and managed along with the rest of the technology in the organization’s portfolio.
Working With An Integrator
Peras recommends working with the IT team in a client organization and work with the person who is in charge of the technology decisions to determine how AV fits into IT department workflow.
It’s also best to contact an integrator well ahead of the project. If it’s just an idea, having a conversion earlier, oftentimes leads to better deployment.
An IT manager might say to an integrator, they need a system where one can simply click a button and start a meeting just like at home, except for in the office.
Before the installation project begins, it all starts with a need good needs analysis, recommends Peras.
A Good Roadmap
For long-term projects, “the technology is going to progress, there is going to evolution, there’s going to be revolution in some cases” said Ottesen. “The integrator brings those as roadmap items, but because they are familiar with what you have done, they know how it plugs in, whether it should, can, or what it helps.”
The integrator will have an idea whether a change needs to happen in 6 months to better service the project needs or desired outcome.
“The integrator acts as a line of continuity through the entire job,” said Ottesen.
IT professional should know when working with an integrator, they are going to be looking at how to maximize spend for the client’s budget and how much space the client has in order to get more for less.