Widgets Magazine

The Friday Five- August 21, 2015

Thanks for bearing with me, I’ve had an exceptionally busy last few weeks. One of the things that makes this such a unique site is all the writers are AV professionals and unfortunately, sometimes AV professionals get too busy to write. My apologies.
The Complexities of Extended Warranties
Whenever we talk about warranties or guarantees I can’t help but think about the incredibly convoluted scene in Tommy Boy-*where Chris Farley’s character talks about warranties and guarantees – it’s funny. This post from NSCA, a non-profit association representing the commercial electronic systems industry, talks about the ethical dilemma surrounding integrators educating customers on manufacturer’s extended warranties. Sure, the part is warrantied for five years in some cases, but that doesn’t take into account the time it takes the integrator to have the issue resolved. Take a really good look at it, especially as extended warranties and advanced replacements become a competitive advantage for some manufacturers over others.
Read More at NSCA
5 Ways to Make Working Remotely Actually Work
Sure, at this point it’s almost undeniable that working remotely really doesn’t come with many downsides and offers a number of upsides. As AV pros we know the technology exists and it’s easy to use to connect remote workers (video conferencing, chat, email, conference calling etc). The largest impediment remains human behavior; equally, the behavior that insists all workers should come into a brick and mortar office, those who use “sneakernet” as their main form of communication, and behavior that doesn’t really know how to be productive working remotely, managing distractions and prioritizing work absent an office environment. This article, from Fast Company, lists five ways to make the remote worker more productive. These five tips are fantastic for workers in an office environment as well.
Read More at Fast Company
10 next-gen tech trends you should know about
Here’s a cool list of 10 next-gen tech trends that are either coming of age now, or soon to be taking the world by storm. Tech trends that offer answers to problems, and not meaningless tech for the sake of tech – although there certainly is some of that in this as well. Some of it is geared toward consumer technology (BT LE for instance) but as we all know it is the consumer industry that eventually winds up driving the pro AV market, the definition of the tail wagging the dog, but I digress. Have a scroll through this short slideshow based article and see all the cool stuff that eventually people will be expecting in their board rooms.
Read More at Tech Radar
AV/IT Convergence: Memoirs of a Black Box
Lots of chatter in the industry about moving from being the industry that sells boxes and pieces of equipment to being the industry that sells services and platforms. Sure, there are pretty amazing boxes in the marketplace, boxes that do incredible things and have remarkable capabilities, but the industry is transitioning towards services and platforms. Don’t believe me? Look at the recent trend to adopt computer and cloud based videoconferencing, software based wireless video transmission and video over IP instead of dedicated audiovisual infrastructure. Steve Olszewski (honestly took me twice to spell that) has a pretty good read on it.
Read more at AV Network
The Research Is clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and For Companies
There are days where I feel I could work from 6 am to 8 pm and still not really make a dent in my overall workload. Yes, I get things done, and yes there’s always more to do, but that doesn’t mean that working more hours constantly is the way to address all of my work problems. Besides diminishing productivity returns there are other effects that are damaging for employee and employer alike – burnt out workforce, higher turnover, just to name a few. Rather than name all of them, take a look at this Harvard Business Review article which uses research and facts and all that good stuff instead of anecdotal information.
Read More at HBR.org

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