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It’s time to move conferencing to the cloud

Video as a Service
There has been a lot of chatter lately in the world of technology about migrating away from physical devices. Our IT counterparts are well ahead of the AV industry in this regard, having spent the better part of the last decade migrating sprawling data centers and costly servers into tight, compact, and easier to manage virtual environments.

While this isn’t a completely fair comparison, as the majority of audiovisual equipment can’t be virtualized, there are AV applications that must be modernized, and move away from physical devices into the 21st century. The easiest application to migrate, that offers the highest return on investment, is a no brainer: videoconferencing. Though many users have trepidation about using the enigmatic “cloud,” migrating conferencing can drastically cut costs and help maintain sanity.

It’s time to ditch traditional videoconferencing equipment. It is expensive, can be difficult to use, and without an incredibly costly, dedicated support staff at meeting time, meeting organizers often have trouble using the system. It also requires compatible services at each location connecting to join the meeting. Continuing to design and install traditional videoconferencing systems can be costly and frustrating to users and support personnel alike, and yield a lower return on investment than originally hoped for.

Continue reading It’s time to move conferencing to the cloud on AV Network

Note: When deciding to write on this topic I really wanted to include this mostly not-appropriate-for-a-publisher’s website video of a character from the TV show “The League” talking about the cloud. I find it especially funny, as many users don’t always understand the concept of the cloud, and are somewhat apprehensive about adopting it as a core strategy. I, for one, don’t think any of the users I’ve come across in the industry think it refers to a cloud of smoke, though; I guess that’s a good start.

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Small but Significant: Are Huddle Rooms the Right Fit?

Huddle Room

Huddle Room Technology featuring Vaddio GroupStation

Over the past few years colleges, universities and corporations have adopted a more agile approach to meetings and working in groups. One of the ways companies are making this change is by implementing huddle rooms, which allow for more flexibility, and better opportunities to collaborate or to meet, whether it’s a decision making meeting or a group brainstorming session.

Huddle rooms, or small conference and meeting rooms, are designed in such a way as to reduce the clutter, so to speak. These rooms are often smaller than a traditional conference room and feature a small table, and likely a flat panel display. Users can walk into the room, plug in to a cable cubby, or connect to a wireless display appliance and they are off and running in just a few seconds; certainly streamlined over a traditional conference room or boardroom setting.

There are a number of available options when it comes to sourcing hardware, or software, for huddle room presentations. Seemingly every manufacturer in the switching and control market has a huddle room product, and from the number of press releases I receive on a daily basis, the quantity and quality of huddle room technology is only going to increase. Whether the application is for presentation, group study, collaboration, or even videoconferencing there is no shortage to the supply of huddle room solutions.

When thinking about potentially outfitting a huddle room, there are solutions that run the gamut from simple plug-and-play options, to wireless technology, to small solutions that incorporate full control systems as well as videoconferencing capabilities. It’s imperative for technology managers to evaluate products not only on the quality of the technology, its consistency, reliability, and ease-of-use but also to make sure the solution meets the application.

Continue reading “Small but Significant: Are Huddle Rooms the Right Fit on AVNetwork.com


Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2014  AVTechnology Magazine 

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InfoComm Pre-Show Roundup: #InfoComm14 #AvSelfie song, my preview and more

InfoCommInfoComm is literally around the corner, as in less than a handful of days away, now. This time tomorrow, I’ll be in an airplane headed to the desert for a few days of relaxation before the frantic trade show. So I thought I’d make a list of what I’m most interested in seeing, from a practical, ready-to-implement standpoint, this is a shortened list and you can read my full InfoComm Preview on New Bay Media’s AV Network.

Full BYOD support: Looking for simple, easy to use switching and videoconferencing for smaller conference rooms. I think Vaddio’s Groupstation could be a real winner here.

Microsoft Lync compatibility: Looking to see more options and better quality lync integration- Crestron RL, PolyComm’s CX8000 to name a few.

Big data: Looking for the evolution of data-rich remote management systems- what will the next versions of Extron, Crestron and AMX’s remote systems offer?

Micro speakers: Looking at line array micro speakers, premium sound with a near invisible footprint.

Lampless projectors: Looking to see higher-lumen, better quality from lampless projector manufacturers.

If you’re going to InfoComm, I’d love to hear what you’re looking for this year. Also, be sure to attend the AVNation/RedbandAV tweetup to meet fellow AVTweeps, I’ll be there. If you’d like to get together outside of the tweetup, I have some free time and would love to chat, feel free to contact me.

Also, I’ll be posting daily, sometimes multiple posts a day, at AVNetwork; be sure to stay up-to-date with AVNation daily podcasts which you can find on AVNation.TV. One big thing to keep your eye on will be the AvNation/Redband exclusive Net Neutrality panel featuring panelists from LifeSize, Avaya and Blue Jeans Network, you can find more information here.

And finally, one thing that will be taking the show by storm is the #AVSelfie, if you’re wondering what is is or why its a big deal, you should probably read all about it here. In that vein, Phillip “HiPhi” Cordell, of TheAVProfessional.com did what he does best, and recorded the AV Selfie Song, which you can play below. The original can be found here.

image courtesy of blog.infocommblog.org

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