I recently attended the AV Users Group meeting in New York. The group is a fantastic set of people who are responsible for the audio-visual infrastructure at some of the world’s most successful companies. It was a great set of discussions but the biggest takeaway for me was this: in light of the ever-increasing appetite for technology to support the workplace, the pace of adoption has outrun our ability to understand its impact. An afternoon panel at the event spent quite a bit of time trying to tackle the issues around measuring and ensuring quality deployments. What does success look like when a conference room is transformed from a wood-paneled, traditionally wired presentation space into an open, collaborative, wireless war-room that embraces mobility? When a new floor full of 4K displays, intelligent pant-tilt cameras, and occupancy sensors have been deployed – are the people using these systems happy? What’s the impact on productivity? How can quality in AV be measured and, hopefully, improved?
AV managers are having a hard time keeping projects deployed on time and existing users happy. There is little time to step back and evaluate how well a product, system, or room meets the needs of stakeholders. There is some work being done to standardize acceptance criteria, process, and quality metrics.
I encourage my readers to take a look at the AV9000 standard and even look at taking a management best practices class from AQAV. If you’re a reseller or integrator, it’s not optional reading – your customers will likely demand it.
But this isn’t only a problem for AV integrators and end-users. Product companies should also play a role. I’d like to see software and systems providers (including Mersive) take responsibility for delivering quality products in the first place. Products that can self-report and track success for our customers. Analytics and configuration monitoring systems as part of any AV deployment are a start. If you’re a company that supplies tools to the workplace, ask yourself how success is measured, capture the appropriate data, and report that data to your customer. You’ll find that your customers will appreciate it.