AV & IT Trust: A Requirement for a Productive Workplace

What do projectors, room scheduling panels, occupancy sensors, and even power strips have in common?  They can all be connected to the network.  With the rise of IP-enabled AV equipment, it feels like more of what we install is being connected than isn’t.  Add these devices to existing video codecs, wireless sharing, and cloud services, and AV technologies start to take up a decent percentage of traffic.

So what do IT directors think of this?  Their two biggest concerns are security and reliability.  Because each additional device has the potential to pose a security threat, IT departments are hesitant to add anything that hasn’t been thoroughly tested.  And, without careful planning, all of these added devices can slow a network to unusable speeds.

Here are a few examples of common problems related to these concerns and what AV integrators can do to solve them:

  • Remote Troubleshooting: The ability to identify, and potentially solve, problems remotely is one of the biggest advantages of networked AV equipment.  It also presents its own set of challenges because of the need to connect another device to the wider internet. Potential fixes can include two-factor authentication or VPNs in order provide a secure connection.
  • Software/Firmware Updates: While keeping up with the latest updates can go a long way to boost security, the process has the potential to go wrong, especially in the case of auto-updates.  A problem with the update can cripple a room system before a critical meeting.  The easiest way to fix this is to manually initiate updates when you’re sure that there’s enough time to troubleshoot.
  • Strained Bandwidth: The sheer number of added AV devices can slow down a network, but content also plays a large part.  Videoconferencing and streaming video needs must be carefully planned for and tested.  Another possible solution is to work with IT to assign priority to certain traffic.  Services that are vulnerable to latency or packet loss—such as videoconferencing or streaming—should have higher priority than your other equipment. Of course, you might be overruled by the client’s critical

These are just a few examples of potential concerns and solutions.  To be successful, integrators need to know about these common problems, but more importantly, they need to have the technical knowledge to communicate with IT.

At Sensory Technologies, we’re able to have those discussions.  Our team has built on their foundation of industry experience and relevant training by keeping up with the latest trends and developments.  We’ve even expanded our offerings into the traditional IT world with our Meraki partnership.  Let us know how we can help you.  Click on the link below to get in contact with one of our technology specialists.

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