Thursday, 15 October 2015

AV MARKET HANDLE IT - As organizations continue to deploy new collaboration spaces such as audio visual integrated rooms and huddle spaces, there is an upcoming trend around the consumer of these offerings. But what does you understand exactly? The AV world has seen more and more users bringing consumer devices to work and even using consumer based services to get their work done (file sharing, video conferencing, etc). A similar trend is starting to occur on the AV side.

Users are now opting for same video equipment’s and putting them into the meeting and boardrooms to make the presentation done. Further, some organizations have taken simple off the shelf devices (USB web cameras, microphones, etc.) that they can buy at Best option or other retailers and are using those to build their collaboration rooms.

So, is this a good thing or a bad thing? It really depends upon your formal needs. In some cases these consumer technologies provide a decent audio or video experience. In this case, the quality can be “good enough.” And in some cases it’s enough works for people.

A person who has been looking for work told me a story about his online meeting with a recruiter. He was asked to join a Video call to discuss his qualifications and previous job experience. Immediately upon joining the call he was not able to watch the face of the recruiter because the video was so distorted. Her audio was bit better but was difficult to hear. During the course of the interview, he felt less confident and had a hard time concentrating because he was not able to see whom he was talking other than a few blurry pixels.

The recruiting example is a case of when “it’s good "is not optimal

On the other hand, the ancient AV approach has been to develop with an AV vendor and have them design and implement a professional solution based on the business needs of the customer. The result is a perfect solution that provides a high quality user experience with business level technology. This often proves to be the best solution when quality and experience matter most.

There is an upcoming trend now where professional AV OEMs are bringing some consumer opted properties to their requirements. Manufacturers are now offering AV solutions in an assembled way. Essentially these products provide a complete room solution from hardware to control system and all the programming in between. These solutions are easy to buy and easy to deploy for an AV solution provider and do not require the time or money associated with designing a solution. These solutions make the challenges of designing audio and video solutions much faster

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Av in its matter Now imagine that you are watching the same presentation but this time you are at home on your computer either watching the event live or a recorded version sometime after. In essence that is exactly what synchronized rich media is all about, the ability to transmit an A/V stream and synchronized some other data channel to it.

For most of you this should be nothing new, the technology has been around since the late 90′s and there are a multitude of companies and products out there that will carry out this process in one way or another.

Now as you should’ve twigged by now the main thread of this blog is about pulling things together. Having little islands of excellence inside an organization is a gross undersell of a capability and severely hampers its uptake across the business. Nowhere does this become more apparent than synchronized rich media platforms. The root of the problem is that unlike say VC there are no standards dictating how these platforms work.

In essence a customer is at the mercy of their chosen vendor as to how a system does what it does and whether it continues to do it that way. Or it takes a radical departure midway through its life leaving you with bucket of  legacy content. So how do you help your customer decide what is the best solution for them in this brave new world of holistic video strategies?

The best place to start is with the process itself, capture, delivery, storage and portal access.   How do you want to capture the presentations and what options do you need? Is it a dedicated piece of equipment or can you use a PC for instance? Do you need to support other contribution technologies such as UC or VC clients? Is there an option for creating per-recorded material from the component parts – video file and a PPT slide deck for instance?

How do you want it delivered? Is it your infrastructure? Are you renting space on someone else’s? Or is it a mixture of both? What client devices do you to have to support and how many?

Do you need to edit the content afterwards to increase its shelf-life? What skills do you have in-house to do that? What else does it have to interface with, AD, existing CMS or LMS for instance? Where do you want the content stored? If it is being hosted for you what do the long-term costs look like if it grows significantly in size or becomes hugely popular? What’s the process for porting your content somewhere else if you choose to change provider in the future? Finally how do you want your users to access the content? What sort of portal, security, and account management do you need? How is the content tagged for searching purposes? Do you have to support multi-tenancy in your business for instance?

All of these issues should be taken into consideration before you choose any vendor over another, even if it is only for a pilot. Remember no matter how small something is to begin with, the moment you start recording you are potentially committing to a format.