There is always the temptation to cut out a perceived middleman and take on a project with minimal interference from other parties. This can make sense in some contexts, but in the corporate world, it is often a path fraught with pitfalls. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the A/V sector, where an inefficient solution can bring down the entire works. Yes, installing a corporate display may seem simple enough and easy to maintain, but without an A/V integrator’s guidance, it will quickly spiral into a massive time and effort drain. And worse, choosing a display off the shelves at Best Buy represents a missed opportunity. A/V communications are not about products, they are about solutions. Those solutions cannot be achieved without an integrator’s insight.
Stay Away from Best Buy for Corporate Purchases and Contact a Reputable A/V Integrator
Those digital displays at Best Buy are singing a siren’s song. “Look, I’m on sale! I’m refurbished and super cheap! You could have a snazzy new corporate display if you just plunk down a little cash.”
But it’s all too good to be true, for several reasons. For example:
1. Big box store products are secondary to A/V communications – This is the big one, and obvious to anyone who has attempted their own DIY A/V project before. Product manufacturers promise some heady things, and in the hands of an experienced integrator, their full potential can be realized. But a product is only as capable as the people who install and configure it, and a product is only one small part of the communications puzzle.
A/V solutions are multilayered and involved and require extensive planning and post-installation tweaking to get it right. Integrators approach every project with this mindset, working with their clients to assess their needs precisely, and then responding to them by selecting the right products, helping place and install those products, configuring them for maximum reliability, and providing tools to ensure their continued effectiveness.
When a company decides to confine their A/V projects to the shelves of a big box chain, they are blocking off many potential avenues to get more out of the technology. Integrators can provide novel ideas to meet a client’s needs, meaning they can offer technologies, room layouts and software options that their client would never have considered on their own. And these alternatives can provide superior efficiency, engagement and branding power.
2. Integrators forecast obstacles and sidestep them – That young whiz in the IT department may be handy with digital displays, but A/V communications are big picture investments and require long term support to get the most out of them. As soon as the display blinks off, or as soon as a display layout needs to be changed out, will there be someone on hand to figure the problem out?
Digital displays are among the easier solutions to execute, but they are also sensitive to poor handling. And worse, they represent a first-line of communication between the company and potential customers or partners. When technical and execution failures arise among the company’s digital displays, they immediately switch from asset to liability.
Integrators know exactly what complications to look for, whether they are strictly technical or migrate into the realm of budget and efficiency. And integrators can answer those questions before they act like a drag on the company. There’s nothing worse than beginning an A/V project without guidance, and it blowing up the budget while not providing the expected outcome. It’s a nightmarish scenario that is all too common in the professional world and should serve as caution against relying on big box stores for every A/V need.
3. There’s more to a display than the actual display – If a company is set on a single display that isn’t going to do much in the way of layouts or dynamic visuals, then connecting the display to a laptop might be sufficient. Here’s the rub, though – laptops aren’t optimized for corporate display purposes, and how embarrassing is it when the laptop crashes while the display is on? It’s amateurish.
In the world of A/V integration, displays are tied to a processor that is dedicated to the display and designed for long term performance. In other words, once configured, a display processor can be forgotten about, and the system will still run optimally. No random restarts, no popup windows, and no bulky PC to hide somewhere.
The larger the display, the more important the presence of a display processor becomes. Anything more than a couple displays, and it’s practically a must. Further, a proper corporate display also necessitates a software layer, which is something that Best Buy isn’t going to help with.
Digital display software is critical. For one, it ensures the display works the way it is supposed to, switching layouts at the proper times and ensuring the layout fits the display properly. Two, it allows users to remotely edit layouts, so mistakes can be fixed and messages updated without having to rip the laptop out and making the fix in person. And three, it maximizes a user’s creativity, by providing a simple interface and numerous prebuilt templates for easy configuration. It is impossible to nail a sharp, engaging display without versatile software under the hood, and Best Buy isn’t going to know the first thing about what software to consider for a corporate display.
An integrator, though, obviously has their ear to the ground here, and can offer a buffet of software options, tailored to the client’s wants and their technical prowess. Even better, an integrator can take a client’s goals and ensure the needed applications and software configurations are in place to execute on those goals. In short, the company won’t have to dedicate valuable personnel to researching and figuring out how to integrate social media, mapping or other functions into the display.
Hopefully it’s clear that what seems like the easy path to corporate displays is anything but. Buying the display is just the beginning, and integrators understand this, which is why they are able to craft custom solutions that truly meet a client’s comprehensive needs.