John - 2/17 - Advanced AV

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So far John has created 166 blog entries.

Managed Services—Time to Make the Change

Comprehensive AV systems have become a necessity for many businesses in today’s marketplace. Sometimes, the management of these AV systems is overwhelming and complicated. Company’s in-house IT departments often lack the expertise to handle all parts included in an AV system. However, choosing a managed service provider (MSP) ensures a company’s AV system is run efficiently and effectively. Let’s explore all the benefits an MSP can offer your business.
MSPs Save Money
MSPs provide businesses with many benefits traditional IT teams don’t. While your IT professionals can provide a degree of AV system supervision, MSPs offer 24/7 monitoring and services from a remote location or in-house.  This added layer of protection can help prevent cyberattacks and save your company money in the long run. An average data breach costs a company around $4 million dollars, but with MSP monitoring, companies can hopefully avoid that expenditure.
Fast Maintenance and Service
MSPs also provide troubleshooting expertise and expedited help with repairs. AV systems are complicated, and with the level of intertwined pieces of technology, minor issues are bound to happen. An MSP can simplify or eliminate complications by troubleshooting problems from remote locations to get a system back up and running. Coinciding with the high level of monitoring MSPs provide, identifying current and potential problems within an AV system is simplified. Having an on-site MSP expedites the troubleshooting and repair processes further. An on-site MSP provides companies with experts on location that are backed up by remote help desks.

Managed service providers can monitor, troubleshoot, and repair AV systems, but the list of benefits MSPs provides businesses doesn’t end there. The 24/7 monitoring of on-site and remote MSPs allows for predictive upgrades. AV systems are often interconnected, and if one piece of […]

By |May 18th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Beyond Displays: Latest Trends in Digital Signage

Digital signage continues to grow in popularity as a powerful communications channel for companies and organizations. Digital Signage Expo 2017, the world’s largest international trade show and educational conference dedicated to digital displays, interactive technology, and digital communications networks, recently showcased the latest trends in Las Vegas. Among the innovations featured were the use of touchscreen technology, video walls, digital fabric graphics, and high-resolution content displays. As the technology surrounding digital signage continues to advance, traditional displays are proving to be less impactful and, increasingly, fail to capture the attention of customers. Let’s take a closer look at the latest trends in digital signage.
Basic Displays Don’t Work
Basic digital signage displays are becoming less effective at grabbing and holding your customers’ attention. More often than not, people who visit retail stores already have a mobile device in their hand and are so focused on their device that they overlook simple digital signage displays. In response to this challenge, many retailers are employing beacon technology that can push content or coupons to mobile devices which can drive the viewer’s attention from his phone to the digital signage display.

Digital signage is also showing a shift towards video walls. While traditional displays are limited in the content they can convey, video walls have the ability to share a more detailed advertisement or story about a brand or product. You can attribute the rising popularity of video walls to increasingly thinner and lighter bezels.
Digital Signage for All
Many believe digital signage is only for big business or corporations—it’s not. All signage is transitioning to digital signage. Billboards, restaurant menus, and highway signs are all beginning to move from traditional signage to digital signage. Digital signage has more appeal than traditional signage […]

By |May 11th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Digital Signage—Why and How to Create a Content Strategy

Digital signage has become a powerful method for companies to build brand awareness and promote their products and services. And now the internet of things (IoT) is impacting a broad range of industries—including AV. What is the IoT? “Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other),” writes Jacob Morgan, in a post for Forbes.

The IoT is already changing the way we do business and interact with the world around us. Using digital signage in conjunction with the loT is opening the floodgates and providing competitive advantages including an improvement in business intelligence, productivity, customer experience. “Today’s consumers have pretty high expectations from businesses in terms of response and reaction times. As such, the most obvious benefits of IoT with regard to customer experience would be the elimination of long wait times, faster troubleshooting, and immediate access to customer data,” says Daniel Newman, CEO of Broadsuite Media Group and V3B.com. “Your business’ customer engagement is rooted in your understanding of their needs. Your understanding will be enhanced by IoT,” he states.

However, for organizations to get the most benefit from their digital signage and IoT campaigns, there must be an effective content strategy. Let’s explore why, and how, companies should create a clear digital signage content strategy
The Value of a Digital Signage Content Strategy
Developing a content strategy for your digital signage campaigns is essential. “Without an underlying strategy, digital content is often no more impactful than a blank screen,” writes Brian Elles, for Digital Signage Today. “However, when leveraged properly, digital signage can serve as a dynamic brand extension, meeting a primary objective to create greater customer demand while helping to […]

By |April 27th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Why the AV Industry Should Care about the loT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is impacting almost every segment of business today, and the AV industry is no exception. It’s imperative for the AV industry to prepare for an interconnected marketplace in the very near future. For AV integrators, learning how their new and existing technology can be used in combination with loT to enhance business functions, will provide a competitive edge. How? Let’s explore the IoT’s impact on the AV industry.

In business, data is king. According to the “Unlocking the Potential of the Internet of Things,” study published by McKinsey & Company, analysts project by 2025, data from connected devices will yield insights driving potential economic value of as much as 11 Trillion USD. This means that, as an integrator, the loT offers you new ways to share, store, and deliver this vital data—all in real time. Connecting the devices you work with to the loT will enable automated data analysis, which will provide you with more precise data, faster than ever before.

One of the examples of IoT usage in AV is the application of cognitive computing, like IBM’s Watson IoT platform. The Watson IoT platform’s cognitive engine can be used to develop customized, integrated solutions that pull data from connected AV devices. That data can then be used to optimize the user experience.

Sound crazy? It’s not. Multiple interfaces, sensors, connected devices, voice recordings, and textual interchanges all provide previous data regarding user preferences and can adapt without additional programming to engage with the user, as well as other loT devices. The loT using data to help you manage AV systems, learn from performance data, and improve your customers’ user experience is just scratching the surface when it comes to the potential benefits the […]

By |April 18th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Avoiding Collaboration Solution Overload and Adoption Failure

Today’s collaboration technology and platforms are transforming our communication habits. While collaboration tools can be a significant business advantage, it is possible to overload on collaboration tech? Adoption failure is a serious risk, and even if your company adopts and integrates a collaboration solution successfully, using it too often or for the wrong purpose can lead to real problems. Does your organization struggle with collaboration solution overload?  Here’s how to avoid it.
Why Collaboration Overload Happens
Collaboration solution overload occurs in the workplace for many reasons. First and foremost, the free flow of information that collaboration technology enables is making it harder for all of us to focus on tasks specific to our jobs. Multiple requests for input, or access to resources, and meeting notices, and other work-related communications combine to is distract us and make it difficult to remain productive.

Using collaboration technology to communicate and to work together is meant to be a boost productivity. Some companies are finding out the hard way that it slows things down and causes communication overload, which is only intensified when the business uses more than one collaboration technology.

Collaboration platforms are—among other things—intended to simplify and streamline day-to-day work communications and operations. However, if you are attempting to utilize multiple platforms, your collaboration tech is more than likely disrupting operations. For example, employees whose job entails handling an enormous amount of information—scientists, lawyers, etc.—use, on average, eight different collaboration tools every day to carry out their work. Imagine trying to use eight—or even four—different collaboration platforms just to perform daily tasks. Changing collaboration platforms that frequently could cause substantial workflow interruptions.

Another factor in collaboration overload is email. Organizations that invest in collaboration technology need to inform employees how and why […]

By |April 12th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Virtual Reality: Revolutionizing the World of Work

While many of us have heard references to Virtual Reality (VR), the computer-generated recreation or simulation of a real-life environment, we may not understand how it works or how it will impact the world of work in the very near future. VR stimulates vision and hearing; immersing the user in a simulated reality. Virtual Reality is created using a coding language called VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) which can generate visual images, and specify the interactions to go with them.

VR technology has already made its way into certain industries. But will virtual reality translate into real value in the workplace? Yes, it will. VR has the potential to revolutionize business and the world of work—within the next ten years. While the uses of VR in the workplace are still developing, we are already aware of many potential ways VR will benefit business. Let’s explore this further.
How VR Will Be Used in the Workplace
Perhaps one of the most intriguing uses of VR in the workplace is the way it can change the perception of space. VR can create a 3D office that incorporates virtual whiteboards and charts that teams can use.  Companies that adopt VR with the intention of creating 3D office spaces can customize the virtual office to their specifications. Since VR allows people to interact with objects in virtual offices, it will potentially provide a new way to work together within virtual offices as well. And, by allowing people to collaborate in a shared virtual space, VR provides significant benefits over today’s collaboration methods.

In manufacturing, the use of virtual reality technology introduces new time and cost-saving methods in the prototype and development stages. For example, Ford is using VR technology to create virtual models […]

By |April 10th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Facilities Manager’s New Role with loT

Smart devices are now a part of everyday life. They can interact and share data automatically, making life easier. Retailers have already acknowledged the multiple benefits the loT offers in their industry, but can the loT have a significant impact on other sectors? The answer is yes, absolutely.  In particular, the loT provides a multitude of benefits for facility management.

The connectedness of the IoT and its ability to monitor energy, predict maintenance needs, track inventory, and more is starting to draw attention in the industry. Let’s explore some these benefits and how they can impact facilities.
How the loT is Making Buildings Smarter
Smart building technology is expected to grow 34 percent annually over the next five years. That means by 2021, the total market for loT integrated smart buildings is predicted to be $24.17 billion. With the investment of that amount of money, smart buildings must offer a vast amount of benefits to companies. And they do. For example, the loT and smart buildings allow predictive maintenance in many forms.

The loT receives data from multiple building functions to predict maintenance needs. By processing past and present usage, apps can identify problem areas and correct them automatically, or alert facility management teams of any potential issues in advance. Predictive maintenance like this isn’t limited to a single building function, either. For instance, IoT connected devices can monitor and communicate data from HVAC systems, lighting, elevators, and more. which saves more than just energy; loT predictive maintenance is estimated to save a company 15 percent of their capital asset spending.
loT and Simplifying Facility Management Problems
Smart buildings with loT capabilities not only predict maintenance needs, but they also diagnose and locate current maintenance issues. With every facility device reporting […]

By |March 29th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Improving Customer Satisfaction with IoT and AI Applications

Keeping customers satisfied is the primary goal of any business. CMOs and CIOs need to equip their employees with the right tools and training to be able to do this in today’s tech-obsessed world. Figuring out what technology can assist employees in making customers happy has never been easier.

There are many new developments in technology that are improving customer satisfaction—automation, machine learning, and AI are just a few. Let’s look at what CMOs and CIOs need to know about these technological advancements and how they are helping employees improve customer satisfaction levels.
Automation in Customer Service
Your organization’s customer service can make or break a buyer’s satisfaction. Thanks to automation, the world of customer service is getting a major overhaul. We are seeing new systems that can monitor and manage devices connected to the IoT. This automation features connected devices with dashboards that walk users through the process of troubleshooting common issues.

These automated troubleshooting interfaces can eliminate unneeded human interaction for easy problems, and free up human customer service representatives to address bigger issues. Chatbots are an example of automated customer service technology that can interact with their clients and solve common, small issues through text recognition. Automated systems like chatbots are just the beginning of improving customer satisfaction with AI applications.
Machine Learning Programs
In business, access to data is essential. Especially today. So too is customer satisfaction and customer service. AI has progressed immensely in the past two years, and machine learning has a range of potential benefits in customer service. AI, like machine learning, can hypothetically find the best customer service representative for any given customer. How? The process is simpler than you might imagine.

A machine learning engine can gather attributes from the customer calling—location, age, […]

By |March 21st, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Enterprise Application of AI Personal Assistants

Artificial Intelligence (AI) personal assistants are all the rage in the consumer market, and Amazon Echo and Google Home are making a name for themselves in that category. Right now, most AI personal assistants are sitting on consumers’ living room tables allowing them to order their favorite delivery food, play music, search the web, and perform other day-to-day activities.

Consumers are primarily using these AI personal assistants as in-home helpers, but can they transition to enterprise applications? If yes, what uses would they serve? Let’s explore.
Improved Scheduling
AI is already stepping into the enterprise by enabling voice-controlled scheduling. For example, Amazon’s Alexa can now add events to your calendar in Outlook. This update allows users to simply ask “Alexa, what’s my schedule for today” and the voice control triggers the AI personal assistant to list meetings, lunches, and various other tasks on the user’s schedule. Currently, Alexa is only compatible with Microsoft Outlook, and can only make calendar appointments at the user’s voice request. However, Amazon is updating and aims to make Alexa as universal as possible someday soon.

One reason Alexa demonstrates the AI personal assistant’s potential value in the enterprise marketplace is the compatibility factor. With so many different types of software already in place, most companies will only be willing to adopt AI that is compatible with existing software. The adoption of an AI that is self-reliant would call for a massive software overhaul for a company, so compatibility is essential for enterprise use. Another program in the marketplace, similar to Alexa, also has the ability to schedule meetings—startup X.ai’s personal assistant named Amy Ingram—but with one significant difference.

Amy is an AI assistant that has been programmed to scan and read e-mails. If any mention […]

By |March 17th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Five Ways AR and VR Are Changing Solution Selling

Deploying cutting-edge technology benefits businesses on many levels. From marketing to human resources, to sales, technology is improving operational efficiency across the organization. So, what’s the latest technology designed to helped companies exceed projections? The answer may surprise you.

While we commonly associate augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with displays and video games, they offer significant benefits for sales departments as well. Let’s examine in-depth how and why AV and VR are powerful AV technologies for companies and sales teams.
Five Sales Benefits of AR and VR

Increased Communication and Collaboration for Sales Teams. Communication within a sales team is a crucial part of their success. AR and VR do wonders to improve both communication and collaboration within a sales team. And, VR offers sales teams new ways to interact not only with each other, but as importantly, with clients and prospects. Imagine, instead of a conference call, team members and clients meeting in a virtual conference room with the ability to see and interact with each other in real time. Inserting others into VR can help sales reps read physical gestures and nonverbal communication, helping them better understand their colleagues and clients. Moreover, having the ability to read physical gestures also allows sales reps to deliver information in a clearer, more concise manner than through video chat or a traditional conference call.

Client Engagement. One of the most beneficial features of VR is that it allows potential customers to engage with products. Not only does this engagement through VR enable consumers to understand the product better, but it also helps in the research process along the path to purchase. How? Instead of relying on branded or user-generated content alone, VR makes it possible for […]

By |March 8th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments
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