What does AV standardization mean?
AV standardization is key to scalability, and both are important to ensure AV works for your organization, present and future. Most businesses already have standards in place, including standards in their IT departments. AV standards are an extension of this, outlining which technologies are used where, how they are used and how they fit into a larger enterprise network.
With AV standardization, businesses can provide a consistent AV experience for their employees, no matter where they access the system. There are multiple benefits to this approach, including enhanced scalability.
How can AV standardization improve scalability?
To achieve true scalability, a system’s value should improve as resources are added to it. Many businesses struggle with this, adding AV components to a system without getting a proper return. There are a few reasons why this is often the case. For example:
Compatibility issues reduce efficiency
A common problem for businesses and schools is relying on discrete pieces of hardware, instead of a cohesive system. This tends to happen in organizations where no one is directly accountable for AV purchasing. When standards aren’t in place, several people within the organization may unknowingly acquire incompatible technologies, resulting in inconsistent, feature-bare performance. This problem compounds with time as the system becomes less and less stable, so it places a major drag on scalability.
Users have trouble operating the system
This problem is related to the first because intercompatibility drives the user experience. If your AV technologies aren’t communicating properly, then it will be nearly impossible for your employees to communicate with each other using that technology.
Sometimes organizations have strong AV standards in place but are still having issues with user adoption and getting a return on their AV investment. When these issues are present, it frequently comes down to training. If users are trained on the system before it is integrated into workflow, those employees are more likely to adopt the new technology. Organizations cannot achieve scalability without this enthusiasm among users.
Maintenance issues cost more
If multiple departments are doing the purchasing, and this hardware comes from multiple vendors, it’s going to be difficult to respond efficiently when maintenance issues inevitably arise. If there is no one accountable for AV maintenance, the system may never be addressed.
AV standards ensure all maintenance issues are handled the same way every time, and with that predictability, there are a few benefits. That’s why many organizations opt for a maintenance plan through their AV integrator.
How does a maintenance plan help with scalability?
Part of standardizing your AV is standardizing your AV maintenance plan. A consistent approach to maintenance is essential, which is why many organizations opt for a maintenance agreement through their integrator. How can this help with standards and scale?
It ensures there is always an expert on hand
As soon as your organization enters into a maintenance agreement with an integrator, that integrator is the go-to expert for all things AV. That brings peace of mind and knowledge when it is needed most. For example, there may be a conferencing platform or new hardware solution available that would better fit your organization’s needs. An integrator will notice these opportunities before anyone else and ensure they are integrated properly.
It reduces downtime and extends system life
Maintenance plans offer more than reactive support, because preventative support can be added to a plan. During preventative maintenance, the integrator will send a technician to the client’s facilities. Once there, the technician will check system performance and stability, and if there are any emerging concerns, they are either resolved onsite or escalated to a higher level of support.
It helps employees report maintenance issues sooner
If there is a standard approach to maintenance in place, then there is no guesswork on the employee’s end. They don’t need to troubleshoot on their own if they’re not comfortable with it. A maintenance plan ensures the problem is sent to the right people, right away, which means the problem is dealt with sooner.
What are some additional ways an AV integrator can help with standardization?
Integrators provide more than maintenance and advice. They also provide a long-term plan for their clients, which helps organizations keep to a standard and scale their AV assets. When additions or replacements are needed, an integrator will choose technology that’s compatible with the existing system. An integrator can even manage this technology, so manpower doesn’t get in the way of scaling. In short, an integrator removes the inefficiencies from purchasing, installing, configuring and maintaining AV.
Organizations pursuing growth need AV solutions that will also grow efficiently. That means efficient planning, purchasing, installation, configuration, maintenance and refreshing. None of this is possible, though, without clear standards and accountability in place. Putting together clear AV standards is a challenge for many businesses, but an experienced integrator can help with that as well.
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