How many times have you heard someone say, “The AV/IT convergence is here!” or that it has already happened?
How many articles have you read discussing the importance of IT in the AV world? And how many decisions do you struggle through in order to make sure that you and those you work with are prepared for this ongoing transition toward the network-based AV technology?
The transition to more devices occupying a space on a network has happened. It could be just populating a port for control, or perhaps it is actually using the network for signal transmission.
Without a fundamental understanding of network topology and technology it will be extraordinarily difficult for you or members of your team to communicate with the network administrator on the project to gain access to the network ports you need.
Fortunately, there are more resources and opportunities than ever for you and your team to increase your AV-IT knowledge and catch up, keep pace or stay ahead of the curve.
Preparing Your Firm for IT
So, how do you go about making certain that you, your team and your company are all prepared for the present, and the future, to provide the best products for the job in this day and age?
That was the question I had for the executives who were speaking at the CI Summit held in Orlando, Fla., in November. The final panel of the conference, “CIOs vs. AV,” put two senior-level executives on the spot to answer questions on how their companies deal with CIOs, network administrators, and other IT professionals.
The second day of the three-day Summit featured a panel on hiring and retaining the best employees for your company’s success. Two of the ways that were discussed to achieve success in this area were mentorships and apprenticeships.
You have qualified employees who possess industry experience and widespread systems knowledge. Why not put those people to use to help train the next generation? This practice has been around for centuries. The difference between the Middle Ages and now is the people looking for guidance chose this industry.
It was during the final panel that the important question was finally asked, “How do you prepare the existing employees you have for the evolution in technology?”
The answer was short and simple: “Training.”
By providing internal training programs to the employees, the continuity of knowledge is assured. Each employee is learning the same things. This means that you can standardize what you need them to know and focus them on how to use it to help the company complete successful projects.
Looking beyond the internal company training courses, though, there are also training programs that employees can attend or be completed online. For the company, this training is a continued investment in their employees to bring both a better product for the customers and show that they want the employees to have understanding for their future successes.
In any case, the employee will be the company representative in the field. Arming them with the skills and knowledge to show what the firm and its people are capable of is the key.
You Are Surrounded by Resources
With the elevated importance of having IT skills as we explore the future of AV, the next step is understanding what the training resources are and where you can find them. In sitting down with members of InfoComm, BICSI and NSCA, it is extremely clear that all of these organizations recognize the impact of what is happening and have taken actions to help prepare technicians, engineers, programmers and all other AV professionals for the future.
InfoComm International offers its complete suite of courses, Network AV Systems, to anyone interested, worldwide. This really developed years ago when during training courses attendees began saying that as AV folks, they were a little light on IT skills and in need of assistance.
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