technology Archives - Advanced AV

Is it Time for Upgraded AV Equipment? Five Red Flags to Watch For

Like all technology, AV equipment has a relatively short lifespan. Companies focused on agility and productivity need optimized AV systems. When was the last time you upgraded your organization’s AV equipment? An AV system needs to do more than run to help an organization reach its goals. Clunky and outdated systems tend to make a company look incompetent or sit unused in conference rooms. And as more businesses, clients, and even consumers grow accustomed to using AV technology in daily life, companies need to consider how their AV equipment works within the larger business framework.
Is it Time for an Upgrade?
Functionality alone does not inspire employee adoption. In 2017, an AV system needs high- resolution displays, clear sound, and the latest technology. Use the following red flags to determine if it’s time for an upgrade.

Wires and bulky hardware overrun the place. Older AV systems can feature complex setups involving large, boxy equipment and an assortment of black and brightly colored wires. If you need to hide your AV equipment with carefully chosen conference tables, shelving units, or cabinets, you may want to consider a newer system, which will provide space flexibility. Modern solutions often incorporate cloud technology for reduced hardware. Mounted microphones and speakers eliminate the need to huddle around a centralized unit during calls, and high-resolution displays and cameras remove the need for backup communication alternatives.

Employees reluctantly use the system. A clunky, outdated system complicates communication. When your employees don’t use the AV systems to their fullest potential, you’re sacrifice productivity, savings, and profitability.

The user experience is unreliable. For AV systems to deliver optimal results, they need a user-friendly interface and on-demand functionality. Frequent glitches, the need for constant IT support and […]

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

Five Ways to Use Interactive Technology to Create Great Customer Experiences

We tend to think of UX, or user experience, as a new phenomenon tied to the digital age. However, user experience has long been a driver of design. For example, more than sixty years ago, industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss wrote Designing for People, a classic design text that has had profound impact on the methodologies of design.

“When the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the has failed. On the other hand, if people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient – or just plain happier – by contact with the product, then the designer has succeeded,” states Dreyfuss in Designing for People. Dreyfuss describes many of the methods that UX designers employ today to understand and design for user needs.

User experience and the ideal customer journey have less to do with a device or screen and more to do with a user’s ability to interact with a product easily—be it through digital signage or real-world experience. When what connects the customer to your product or service causes friction, it’s a design failure that likely means a lost sale. When consumers feel comfortable because of a positive experience, they are simply more eager to make a purchase. It’s the same as it was sixty years ago; great user experience is the key to business success.
Leverage Interactive Tech for Positive UX
Interactive technology is how users access your product or service. Regardless of how well your product or service performs, great UX must drive your customers to its use or purchase. Interactive technology designed with the user in mind can transform the customer journey— taking your business to a whole new level.

Create memorable experiences that will keep your […]

By |January 9th, 2017|Blog|2 Comments

Unleashing Employee Creativity on Technology

Sparking employee creativity is a cornerstone of leadership in companies that want to grow and thrive. Encouraging employees to think outside of the box can help companies develop new solutions for existing problems. But creativity can go farther than just problem-solving. Leaders should encourage their employees to get creative with the technology they use.

Encouraging Mobile Usage

Mobile technology is more prevalent and powerful than ever. For the first time in history, people are using smartphones more than desktop computers to access the internet, and the gap just keeps growing. This is largely due to the widespread ownership of cell phones: 68 percent of Americans own a powerful smartphone, and 45 percent own a tablet.

As the trend continues, it’s becoming more and more important for businesses to adapt to the mobile world. It’s important to be accessible to customers, but companies can benefit from using technology for their employees too. In fact, mobile-first businesses are forging the way to more creative and loyal workers than ever before.

When employees can use mobile devices in their job, they are more productive, satisfied, and creative. Companies who are “mobile pioneers” (meaning they utilize mobile devices during work) saw a 16 percent productivity increase. They also saw 18 percent more creativity, 23 percent more satisfaction, and 21 percent more loyalty.

Beyond the quantitative gains, companies who utilize mobile devices also see an image boost. It’s much harder to measure these effects, but they should never be discounted. Employee happiness and retention are both heavily affected by image and relationships with employees.

Implementing Technology Effectively

There are multiple ways to unleash technology effectively, beyond utilizing mobile devices. One of the best strategies for businesses is to improve and utilize existing technology instead of buying new […]

By |December 12th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Accurately Predicting the Future of IoT

Year after year, each December and January we’re inundated with articles predicting what the trends will be in the New Year. Headlines, such as “What to Expect in 2017 From Your Technology” dominate. The most popular topic making waves in the business world these days is the internet of things (IoT.) How are business leaders going to predict the future of the IoT accurately? How will the rest of us prepare for what’s to come?

Remember, we can discern quite a bit about the future by looking to the past. It’s important for business owners to stay forward thinking and to be driven by future possibilities. At the same time, it’s critical that we remember the past and don’t make the same mistakes again and again. Being mindful of the trends that have come and gone (as well as the predictions that never came to pass) will help you prepare for the year to come. 

Don’t Repeat History

A little more than two decades ago, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, companies like Whisper, CellNet, and Hexagram unveiled machine-to-machine networking. However, their inability to think about the future of technology resulted in their downfall, and those companies are not in business today. Their technologies were strictly proprietary and unable to support many applications. Additionally, their limited capacity also meant they offered insufficient security. They would not have held up in today’s market, where digital security is a top concern for just about every industry.

A reliable network needs lots of bandwidth, and cybersecurity can never be just an afterthought. Although many IoT networks have resorted to staying small, hoping that an insignificant appearance would make for less attractive targets for hacking—any system can become a target. When developing […]

By |December 1st, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

2017: The Year IT Embraces Shadow IT

The new year is right around the corner, and now is the time of year where we make share predictions about what’s to come in 2017. This, however, is less of a prediction and more of a plea: 2017 needs to be the year that IT embraces shadow IT. The term shadow IT describes employees using their own devices and software in the workplace without obtaining approvals from their firm’s IT department. According to TechTarget, “With the consumerization of IT and cloud computing, the meaning has expanded to include personal technology that employees use at work, or niche technology that meets the unique needs of a particular business division and is supported by a third-party service provider or in-house group, instead of by corporate IT.” Many IT departments grapple with the security issues this use of unapproved hardware and software creates. But the reality of the BYOD (bring your own device) workplace means that the issue isn’t going away. And there are positive aspects to consider. Here’s what shadow IT can do for your business:

Make IT Much Less Intimidating

Employees tend to be most familiar with their own devices, and—especially when a company rolls out new technology through digital disruption—they can be intimidated by new and unfamiliar devices and systems. When companies find ways to incorporate shadow IT and let employees take IT processes to their own devices, employees become more comfortable engaging with IT, and it’s can be a win-win situation for everyone.

Encourage Employee Innovation

By embracing BYOD and shadow IT, businesses encourage workers to innovate with new technology. Employees no longer feel tied to one type of device, platform, or operating system; instead, they may feel empowered to branch out and try different technologies to […]

By |November 30th, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

Roadblocks Smart Cities Must Overcome

Smart cities are becoming more commonplace as governments around the world invest millions of dollars in technology and infrastructure to make urban life more convenient, more efficient, and more reliable. Smart cities face particular roadblocks, not unlike those that organizations must address when they start technology projects. For this reason, implementing smart technologies will pose problems for municipal leadership. Let’s explore those.

Bridge the Digital Divide

In the same way that businesses must prepare employees for digital transformation, cities must address the social and economic inequalities that exist in urban areas. Those with access to the most current technologies will always have more, and it often stems from unequal access to education and decision-making power.

Technology is a powerful catalyst for change, but it is even more powerful when cities go beyond simply providing access to technology and work to create opportunities for their citizens to learn to use technology—both in and out of the home. Truly smart cities are providing equal access to education that teaches their citizens how to use technology to advance their home and work lives. 

Protect Rights and Privacy

Critics express concerns that smart technology does not protect the rights of digital citizens effectively. Most private sector companies that collect data aren’t legally bound to protect the users’ privacy. Many companies today harvest online data for resale. City leaders will do well to review and adopt the United Nations’ Privacy and Data Protection Principles, as they implement planning for smart city functionality.

Break Down Silos

Because most city governments are not unified entities and municipal agencies typically operate within silos, sharing data can be problematic. To work effectively, smart technology relies not only on the data it obtains from connected devices but the collaboration and insights that […]

By |November 15th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Keeping Up with Changes to Collaboration

In the world of technology, change is the only constant on which we can rely. And this constantly changing technology has a tremendous impact on the workplace and on how we work together. Today we’re able to do so much more than we once did, without ever leaving our offices. Advances in technology have made enormous changes to collaboration, making it possible to communicate seamlessly with a remote workforce.

Think of how we collaborated twenty, ten, and even five years ago. We’re no longer constrained by geographical boundaries. We can now communicate with team members and subject experts in multiple locations using video and other technologies. Even long email conversations are disappearing. Thanks to apps like Slack, we message instantly and over mobile. This evolution in communications technology is having a direct and positive impact on the bottom line.

Say Goodbye to Traditional Conferencing

Conferencing is one place where we’ve experienced a revolution in the workplace. Ten years ago, we would fly to physical meeting spaces, but new video collaboration tools now save us both money and time. Today, we’re on the precipice of another collaboration revolution: virtual reality. The recent adoption of VR in the entertainment and sports industry has made enterprises consider its potential.

Virtual reality gives the benefit of a face-to-face meeting without ever having to leave the building. VR headsets are becoming increasingly affordable, and soon we’ll see them in mid-sized and small businesses.

We also use video conference technology more frequently thanks to mobile. The “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement has helped create a seamless workflow in which we can collaborate from anywhere. The BYOD movement has also contributed to making our workforce more widespread. Indeed, telecommuting and flexible scheduling have never been more […]

By |October 20th, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

Why Your School Needs a Systems Integrator

Educators today have a full plate, made over-full, perhaps, by the increase usage of education technology in the classroom. Education technology has many moving parts, from hardware like Chromebooks and iPads to software and applications. Staying on top of all of it, and of its upgrades and download, can feel overwhelming, which is why your school needs a systems integrator. A systems integrator will streamline your processes and manage all aspects of your IT, enabling your teachers to dedicate their time to what they do best.

Create Smooth Technology Workflows

Technology has completely changed the way we think and work. When we integrate it into the curriculum successfully, we improve the learning process. We know that the right technology improves performance outcomes and helps teachers by allowing students to become creators in their learning—they’re no longer just consumers of content.

Tech solutions in the classroom also teach students valuable 21st-century skills, from personal and social responsibility to knowing how to identify which software or hardware is best to complete a task. We stand to gain a lot from tech, but only when we use it effectively.

In some cases, tech workflows are simple. For example, one student may take notes on a computer and share with another student. Others solutions are complex: A teacher’s capture and re-sharing of images from digital microscopes to students’ iPads through mobile apps so the students can annotate and capture images for future use.

In these scenarios, smooth technology workflows are paramount. A systems integrator will manage your tech workflows and ensure that schools are using the right tools to their full potential.

Manage All Your Technologies from One Place

Project management and execution are two different skills sets, and a good systems integrator has both. Systems […]

By |October 11th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

Digital Transformation Shifting How We Communicate

It’s no secret that digital transformation has impacted every aspect of operating a modern business.

We know that the digital age affects every department in an enterprise, from human resources to c-suite execs—but we hear less about how it shifts an organization as a whole, and even less about the ways in which it communicates. Mobility in communication creates the greatest change, as employees are more connected than ever before. With business right at our fingertips via tablet, smartphone, and laptop, how has the digital transformation affected internal and external enterprise communication?

Changing the Way We Communicate Internally

The digital age has a profound effect on the way we conduct business within an organization. A recent survey by Omobono shows that, in terms of communication, departments are becoming increasingly less siloed. An average of 62 percent of a business’ internal communication budget was for digital, among the highest of any department. Intranet remains a primary mode of digital investment, but interestingly, so is social media. Internal communications are changing in subtle ways as well: we use Slack instead of email and intranet instead of paper and physical mailboxes.

The way we collaborate and conduct meetings is also changing. Rather than holding phone meetings, we meet via video conference. This kind of collaboration allows for the nuances and facial cues of a face-to-face meeting without the travel time and expense.

The digital transformation even affects the way we train employees. Instead of gathering everyone in a single conference room, workers can attend webinars right from their cubicles or even their couches. Today’s technology allows businesses to communicate and collaborate more efficiently within the internal space.

Improving Your Communication with Customers

Just like employees are more connected, so are consumers. As such, contemporary consumers […]

By |September 6th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments

How Video Technology Is Changing the Workplace

The way that we conduct business is changing at the pace of technological advancement. Telecommuting is becoming a mainstream option for employees, incentivizing business leaders to invest in technology that binds mobile workforces together. According to research conducted by Quora Consulting, 77 percent of companies surveyed have a culture that is conducive to challenging current workplace practices, while only 19 percent reported that they haven’t implemented “forward-thinking strategies.”

Video technology can to revolutionize the workplace, but only if it’s implemented wisely. Information technology departments and business leaders should take steps to ensure that technological innovations are intuitive and easy to adopt. The right technology has the potential to change the workspace—streamlining work processes, maximizing worker efficiency, and driving innovation. 

A Mobile Workforce Presents Challenges (and Opportunities)

The ways we conduct business have gone beyond the brick and mortar office building. Our businesses are becoming more globalized, allowing human resources directors to recruit top talent from all around the nation (and even the globe). With a mobile workforce, information technology leaders need to be creative when it comes to bringing their employees together. A cohesive workforce can help achieve innovation that spurs growth.

Video technology offers a variety of solutions for improvements in the workplace:

Most of us carry video-enabled technology in our pockets. Encouraging employees to use their mobile technology to tap into live-streaming video or virtual meetings can keep your workforce connected, no matter where they are.
Virtual (Reality) meetings. Devices such as Google Cardboard are cost-effective ways for employees to achieve the authenticity of a face-to-face interaction without leaving their homes. What was once only imagined on the TV series “The Jetsons” is becoming a reality for business leaders.

While the mobile workforce has its advantages, it also […]

By |July 29th, 2016|Blog|0 Comments
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