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“Excellent customer service and tailored solutions are what make us a bit different to other audio visual companies”
Andy Russell, Managing Director, Innovations


News

25th May 2012

IT and AV converge – is it good or bad for customers?

AV and IT are converging more than ever. AV equipment is increasingly going digital and is being incorporated into network infrastructures. This is particularly true of video conferencing as part of a unified communications approach that is more and more common in the corporate world.

As a result, AV is often the remit of the IT department. They are left to sort out things like poor audio quality, user errors and system upgrades. The trouble is, integrated AV systems are quite a specialist area. This is why many companies use external suppliers to design, implement and maintain their boardroom systems. Traditionally, such companies have used specialist AV companies like Innovations, but there is a growing trend for a one stop shop approach to buying AV services with IT services. Is this good or bad?

Views are mixed on this. Traditional AV companies, those that haven’t moved with the times struggle with the wonderful world of IP addresses, firewalls and VPNs in the context of building a boardroom system. This is where the IT expertise becomes critical. However, IT bods often struggle with the technical side of AV; the challenge of delivering audio and video across data networks, bandwidth issues, projectors with hard drives introducing all sorts to the network!

The best of both worlds is an AV specialist with networking skills and knowledge. This ensures that clients get the best image and sound quality alongside flexibility of integration with the company’s network. Innovations’ engineers have been working in this field from early on and have built network AV systems that can be controlled by a simple tablet, iPad or smart phone on site or remotely. Remote access to the network enables our technicians to dial into the boardroom control system and troubleshoot problems immediately.

Often, it is something simple like a power cable coming loose, but the system can show connectivity issues, cabling problems or faults with hardware. Many issues can then be dealt with over the phone or, if it’s a programming issue, remotely.

Andy Russell, Director at Innovations feels there is a future for AV companies: “Clients that are serious about having a good quality audiovisual system that integrates with their existing network will continue to use companies like Innovations. Of course, the onus is on us to keep up with networking technology, but there is no substitute for a proper experienced AV engineer that really understands how to get the best picture and sound quality.”

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