How then, as an integrator, can we help our customers meet their objectives and get a return on their AV investments?
The first and most important step is to understand the client’s business and the drivers behind the technology needs.
Perhaps by putting people on-site who help operate the technology and provide support? Or by providing specialist services, such as bridging, so the customer can make the best use of their videoconferencing system. It may be as simple as nurturing the organisation’s knowledge base and experience by providing services such as guidance and advice.
Integrators need to look at what a customer is trying to achieve and to guide them through the ever changing technology trends – then blend together all types of services into a plan that meets the customer requirements.
With heavily used rooms and multipurpose spaces, technologies are evolving to work in a variety of different environments. Each department will each have their own needs. System design requires an extensive knowledge about a vast number of products and technologies, but also demands an understanding of how these integrate together and fit into bespoke spaces, for a multitude of different users. As Raj Dattani, our senior technical design engineer observes, one of the most important questions is “how will this space be used?”
There is a growing need for strong project management on installations, to communicate and liaise with the expanding number of client departments and third parties. As Paul Stevens, our senior PM says “my role is to remove the fuss and solve any challenges on projects, while driving them forward so they meet the deadlines.”
Looking at the technical design point of view, we now have to consider many different platforms and technologies for example, analog is now digital/analog, services are being delivered over IP and connectivity for multiple devices (BYOD) is becoming key. AV is seen to be mission critical rather than a luxury.
From an installation viewpoint, equipment is getting lighter and smaller with less cabling involved. Fault-finding is becoming more difficult and requires a wider knowledge. Programming and IT integration expertise is a growing requirement and integrators need to be certified for programming and commissioning by all the major manufacturers.
And of course, the ongoing maintenance of installed systems is one of the key services that an integrator can offer. Elements of this range from on-site technicians, online fault logging, remote servicing or access to field service engineers, backed up by the ability to conduct in house repairs when needed.
In conclusion, our industry is vibrant and fast moving, and servicing the AV market is an exciting opportunity with the constant need for training and developing service staff. This is evident in the words of one of our graduates who is just starting his AV careers –
“Trainee Engineer is everything I was looking for; the chance to work with technology and to begin building a real career in a growing and vibrant industry.”
Which of your integrator’s services do you find most useful? Here’s what our Technical Manager and Programmer, James Johnston has to say.