Widgets Magazine

Control in the Higher Ed Market

On the December episode of A State of Control, Steve Greenblatt an I were able to talk with a group of technology managers. Greg Brown from UCLA, Scott Tiner of Bates College, and Ernie Bailey from University of Arkansas joined us. We talked about how technology managers utilize control systems as well as programmers (both independent and those who work for integrators).
Here is what I cam away with. If you are a technology manager, please take advantage of manufacturer’s training. Learn all about the programming language for your particular control system. It doesn’t matter if you use AMX, Crestron, Extron, Aurora, or anyone else; learn all you can. Then, when you have a job that is too big for you to do, and only you and your supervisor can make that assessment, hire it out. This is where you can have a conversation about independent vs. integrators.
An independent programmer is great when you know what you need and the system you want. Again, this is just my opinion, but when you are shopping around systems or you aren’t sure what you’re doing, go with an integrator. However, when you know what you have or want, go to an independent programmer and they can help you see the entire depth of the manufacturer you have chosen to work with.
Again, if you’re shopping around, let’s go with an integrator. They will have unique experiences with each of the product lines. They will be able to give you the strengths and weakness of each one.
Which ever direction you decide to go with, make certain you get the code. The uncompilled code. Now, I’m not going to get into who owns it or whatever. That is another conversation for another day. Just make sure you get the code so you are able to make changes like the DVD player simply and easily.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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