Widgets Magazine

Working together with IT

This past week I was a part of a presentation for Utelogy, the software platform that allows you to monitor and control your AV systems from a server level. After the presentation a round table discussion took place. There were AV integrators, IT companies, designers, reps, end users, and a couple of us from the press. It was an interesting mix of AV professionals. The conversation was focused on where we are and need to go for IT and AV to work together.
I’m not a big fan of this word in the AV space any longer. We should stop saying “convergence is coming”. It’s here. From Randy Klein from Crestron to Dave Labuskes of InfoComm, industry leaders have made the point that we are no longer in the “AV” business, we are in the technology business. This applies to everything; control systems, DSP, and video. Yes, we have a ways to go as far as getting both the IT space and the AV space to work together but let’s be honest, it has happened.
“We’ve seen this before”
That was one of the statements from an IT contractor. We have seen this shift before in the phone industry. In the late 1990’s as phone systems were being put on the network in the form of VoIP. The IT companies at the time thought they could simply slap it on the network and deal with the 1’s and 0’s. They didn’t take into account all the nuances that telecommunications professionals had learned over the last hundred years or so. The same is true in AV. Yes, there is a fair amount of digitizing and packeting happening with our AV components and the IT teams do a great job of handling that information. However, there comes a point when even the digital is converted back to analog for human consumption. These are the skills AV professionals have spent decades sharpening.
Conversation is Key
Whether that is with your local IT company or as an industry we need to continue the conversation with our IT counterparts. This will make them better, us better, and give the client a system that is an exceptional experience.
Regardless of where you started in AV or where you are now there will come a time when you are working with the network. It would be best for all parties if we continue to work together and learn from each other. The IT group know how to have high level conversations about network with the CIOs of the world. We know how to make systems work together and create great user experiences. This round table group I was a part of will be working together so keep an eye on this space for some pretty cool things coming down the pipeline on how we can all work together and win.
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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