Control systems used to be all about relays, IR and big buttons with lights. In a cutting edge solution, users touched their monochrome panel and the blinds moved!

What types of services do modern working and learning environments need?Today, the convergence of AV and IT has added another necessary level of knowledge and skill base when specifying, installing, project managing and maintaining AV systems.

We are now heavily reliant on network infrastructures. Programming of systems is a vital skill and the required code can be complex. But of course, for the user, the need is for an interface that is intuitive yet immersive. As our technical manager James Johnston says “If a touch panel needs a user guide, then you need to start again.”

It can be tricky to achieve a balance between technology capability and ease of use. We’re at a point where technology, space and workflows must come together to transform the workplace into a harmonious, productive environment. Work is now mobile, social, collaborative and ever connected and AV solutions must support this development.

So with group collaboration tools and flexible, connected workspaces as the new norm, AV services must deliver a standarised user experience that is repeatable, scalable, and delivers an outcome that encourages adoption and future use.

This demands services such as technical design to overcome potential issues such as challenging acoustics or lighting, or the correct positioning of camera and microphones for conferencing systems and video production.

As companies want to work more collaboratively, the integrator’s IT knowledge has to extend to connecting together collaborative platforms like Skype4Business, Spark, Call Manager and hosted Unified Communication solutions. Expertise is needed in data network topologies and software applications, which can be running complex IP connected devices. Supporting services for collaborative working within flexible spaces are needed, for example cloud services, plus the in-depth knowledge to guide and advise clients on how technology can support the changing ways of working.

Offering proactive management of systems, that minimises the time equipment is unavailable, has become increasingly crucial as dedicated meeting room space becomes scarcer and team working has become more dependent on using AV tools.

Do you have all the audio visual services you need within your working or learning environment? If not, what service would you like to see developed? Join in the debate by commenting below, or join our discussion on LinkedIn or Twitter.