Audiovisual Installation Archives - Level 3 Audiovisual

Audiovisual Installation

Modern Work Styles Have Changed. Can Your Spaces Keep Up?

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Conference Rooms Are Out.  Huddle Spaces Are In.  Here’s Why

A lot has changed in the workplace since the days your grandpa or dad put on a tie, suit coat and hat and headed out the door to the office day after day. Every day is casual Friday and employees are just as likely to work from a coffee shop as a desk. And there are other, more significant changes that go deeper than the surface. The way people actually do their work—and want to do their work—has evolved as well. To get the most creativity, innovation, and productivity out of your workforce, you have to create an environment and corporate culture that matches employees’ preferences and expectations.

Many companies have discovered that huddle rooms are the key to letting employees work how they want, which in turn means companies get what they want out of their employees. Below are some key ways work styles have evolved and how huddle rooms can help you capitalize on those changes.

Huddle Rooms and the Rise of the Impromptu Meeting

Regularly scheduled status meetings where the purpose is to update everyone on the work you’ve done are being replaced with impromptu collaborative meetings where work actually gets done. That change requires different work spaces and tools. In today’s fast-paced corporate culture, employees want to gather the team the moment inspiration strikes or a question arises. Instead of letting hot ideas cool off or simple questions turning into full-blown issues because there is no way to address them quickly, huddle rooms equipped with collaboration tools can become incubators where creativity and innovation thrive.

By replacing large conference rooms with smaller huddle spaces, you create more room for people to meet how and where they want. Instead of tying up a big boardroom for just four or five people to get together, these smaller huddle spaces are tailored to the smaller teams that tend to dominate today’s work landscape. Huddle rooms also lend themselves to a relaxed layout (many huddle rooms are designed more like lounges than formal meeting spaces) that better match the less formal, ad hoc way employees prefer to hold meetings.

Flexibility or Bust

Millennials represent 50 percent of the workforce and that number is growing. And while previous generations put an emphasis on loyalty and predictability in the workplace, according to Wainhouse Research, 90 percent of 35-year-old workers consider flexibility in the workplace to be more important than anything else.

For starters, that means flexibility to work where they want. Approximately 3.9 million employees currently work remotely 50 percent of the time or more, and up to 90 percent of employees would prefer the option to work remotely.

But modern employees want more than just an updated telework policy. They also want the flexibility to work how they want. Millennials prefer to work in teams, and they want those teams to be empowered with the same kind of intuitive collaboration and communication tools they use in their personal lives. A recent study found that 32 percent of Millennials collaborate on phones, tablets and smartwatches, 40 percent of Millennials prefer online meetings, and 45 percent of Millennials would rather use email, text or chat to communicate with team members.

A properly equipped huddle space can meet all these flexibility expectations. Video conferencing solutions allow remote employees to collaborate face-to-face with their team members in the office, and wireless connectivity allows in-person team members to share content with the group from their personal devices. Collaborative apps and platforms paired with tools such as interactive whiteboards and displays allow remote and in-person employees to see and interact with the same content in real time.

What’s in It for You?

Unused and underused spaces that do not align with employee work styles cost money. Many companies have found that optimizing their physical space reduces real estate costs. But perhaps most significantly, by tailoring your work spaces to your employees’ work styles, you can improve employee engagement and increase productivity and innovation within your organization. Understanding exactly what your employees want is the first step to getting it right.

“In designing any spaces, it’s important to talk with the end users who use the respective space,” said Maria Cody, VP of Sales and Business Development at Level 3. “Ask them what works, what doesn’t and what they wish they had to make them more productive. All that information helps drive the solution.”

To get an idea of the solutions available to you, and which ones might be the best fit for your employees’ and their work styles, browse the Level 3 Huddle Space Catalog.

Download the Catalog

How to Design a Training Room That Delivers Results

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Designing a Training Room? Here’s the AV You Need

Your corporate training team has spent weeks preparing for a company-wide training event. The invitations have gone out, the presenters have been confirmed, the PowerPoint slides are ready to go. But is your training room equipped to handle what’s coming? If participants have to wait for the training to start while the presenter struggles with the technology, or they miss what is being shared because of low-quality AV, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your training material is. People will remember the impact of the bad tools more than the value of the good content.

So how do you make sure you have the right technology to make every training session a smooth-running success? Start by choosing these three tools for your corporate training rooms.

The Top Training Room Must-Haves

  1. An interactive display. Having the right kind—and right number—of displays ensures everyone can see the materials and learn from your training content. An interactive display has the added benefit of encouraging collaborative learning. Further enhance collaboration by adding video conferencing and content-sharing capabilities that support BYOD.
  2. A professional audiovisual system. If training participants can’t see a presenter or hear what’s being said, they won’t learn. An enterprise-quality AV system is critical to your corporate training room design. A well-designed room equipped with beamforming microphone arrays will ensure participants can hear presenters no matter where they are in the room. Video conferencing hardware and software will help you accommodate and involve remote participants.
  3. An intuitive control hub. Remember that old rule from your college days—if the professor is 15 minutes late, the class walks out? Well, being late isn’t the only way to waste valuable class time. It takes an average of 15 percent of a meeting’s total time, or nine minutes of a 60-minute meeting, just to get the video conferencing system and other room technology up and running. Participants might not walk out, but they will start to lose patience and interest. A touchscreen control panel lets you get your room ready and your technology running with the push of a button—all before participants have even found their seats.

Next Steps

According to Deloitte, spending on employee training and development programs has increased by 25 percent over the past decade. But more money doesn’t automatically yield better trainings. A qualified AV integrator can help you put that money toward the technology tools and solutions that will best meet your organization’s—and employees’—training needs.

AV Busting Your Budget? An Integrator Can Save You Money

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AV Busting Your Budget? An Integrator Can Help  

Have you ever started a home improvement project by uttering these famous last words: I bet I can do that myself? Only, you later discover after multiple trips to the hardware store, a string of unforeseen complications, and a lot of swearing that it would have been faster, easier and cheaper to hire a professional in the first place?

Now, have you ever been tempted to start an AV integration project the same way? Before you find yourself cursing at your video conferencing system, consider this. Just like you need the right skills and tools to install a new toilet, you need the right skills and tools for a truly successful AV integration and AV integrators have them. Involving them early in the process can help you avoid mistakes and missteps that will be time-consuming and costly to fix later. For example, according to industry standard expert AQAV, the cost of fixing poor quality AV can approach 20 percent of the total cost of the system, while monitoring and maintaining a good quality AV system only costs 2.5 percent of the total purchase price.

Start Saving with an AV Integrator

Here are three key ways that partnering with an AV integrator can help reduce the overall cost of your AV project.

  1. Integrators help you choose the right tech—and show you know how to use it. You know what functionality you need from your AV tools, and you might have even found what looks like the perfect solution. But is it the most cost effective one? AV integrators are familiar with the wide variety of solutions on the market and can likely find you something that delivers the same results for a lower cost. AV integrators can also provide training for your employees—including IT staff—so everyone knows how to use the technology in a way that maximizes your investment.
  2. Integrators improve purchasing partnerships. Your purchasing department is a key member of your integration team, but if they are kept in the dark until the very end of the process what they buy and what you need might not be the same thing. Integrators can act as a liaison to your purchasing team, helping to leverage technology you already have and making sure any new technology purchases are compatible and meet your needs. Integrators also have strong vendor relationships they can leverage to get you the best pricing on commercial grade hardware and software.
  3. Integrators can minimize unforeseen expenses. Just like multiple trips to the hardware store can add up, so too can going back to fix avoidable problems in your AV installation. Worldwide, the cost of lost work and rework caused by poor quality AV exceeds $15 billion. Full-service integrators like Level 3 provide a multi-disciplinary team that can help you through every phase of an AV project, including design, engineering, integration and aftermarket support, so you know your project is getting done right the first time. This is especially true of Level 3—as an AV 9000 certified integrator we adhere to the highest industry standards for every project.

Next Steps

No matter the type or size of your AV project, a qualified AV integrator can help you get it done faster and more cost effectively. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.

A Crestron and Zoom Partner for a New Meeting Room Solution

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A Crestron and Zoom Partner for a New Meeting Room Solution

There are plenty of times when less is more, including when you are making decisions about your conference room technology. The best meeting room technology is a simple, one-stop, unified solution. But many conference rooms today are cluttered with technologies, including conference phones, USB speaker phones, flat panel displays, laptops or desktops running meeting applications, and lots and lots of cables. Some technologies might be compatible while others aren’t, and integrating personal devices such as mobile phones is complicated at best and impossible at worst. Meetings can already be a drag—a poorly equipped meeting space only makes it worse.

The Crestron Mercury was developed to address those common—and annoying—problems with the typical meeting room user experience. And Crestron’s new partnership with online meeting platform Zoom takes meeting efficiency to the next level.

What Is Crestron Mercury?

The Crestron Mercury includes the capabilities of conference phones, cables, and computers—in one tabletop box. The touch screen console includes a main conference phone and Bluetooth compatibility to support mobile phones, built-in wireless presentation capabilities, and a unique petal-shaped speaker array and integrated microphone for optimal audio quality. The Mercury is also compatible with any web-based collaboration application, so committing to the Mercury doesn’t also lock you in to a proprietary collaboration solution that might not meet your needs.

What Is Zoom?

Zoom is a cloud-based video and web conferencing service that is compatible with multiple unified communications systems and audiovisual hardware applications. It works in any environment any time. This means you don’t need to undertake a costly hardware upgrade to improve the quality and flexibility of your meetings. Unlike other video conferencing solutions that only operate with specific hardware configurations, Zoom will work with various audiovisual hardware components including desktops, laptops, projectors, microphones and digital screens. That means you can use Zoom in a large conference room with multiple participants and not sacrifice audio coverage or video quality. And the same is true for remote participants. Integrated cloud provisioning means remote employees can join meetings from wherever they are using a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone and the Zoom app or website, promising audio and video quality to be the same as if they were in the room. All of this translates into money saved on employee travel and technology upgrades, as well as time saved trying to get meetings started and/or frustrated employees dealing with poor and sometimes complicated meeting room solutions.

Crestron Mercury now integrates Zoom for an improved meeting experience.

A Match Made In Collaboration Heaven

Each of these technologies are useful on their own, but when it comes to meeting room technology, two isn’t better than one. This is why Crestron and Zoom have partnered to simplify the collaboration and meeting room experience for the user. They have integrated Zoom capabilities into the Mercury solution and called it Zoom Room. Instead of connecting a separate laptop or desktop to run the Zoom meeting app, users can run it natively through the Mercury console. And when running Zoom meetings through the Mercury console, you benefit from its superior audio capabilities, as well as wireless AV presentation, room scheduling and meeting control. Other key benefits of the integration include:

  • Single-touch meeting control
  • Content-sharing—including HD video and audio—on any device
  • Improved audio, mic mixing and noise reduction with built-in microphones and speaker
  • Meeting recording capabilities

Setting Up Your Zoom Room

An improved user experience and cost savings sound great but what about installation? If a system is expensive or cumbersome to install, the benefits can be quickly cancelled out. In the case of Zoom Room, Crestron and Zoom have done most of the heavy lifting for you by putting everything you need together in one simple-to-install kit. The Zoom Rooms Crestron Kit includes:

  • Crestron Mercury with the latest firmware update
  • Zoom Rooms license
  • Computer with Zoom Rooms for Mac or Zoom Rooms for Windows installed
  • Mac Mini or a Mini PC
  • Conference room camera

All you need is a flat-panel display, an internet connection, and you’re ready to go. And if you need a little more help getting your new system up and running, there is an AV integrator nearby to help.

AV Technology Warranty and Maintenance 101

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AV Technology Warranty and Maintenance 101

If your presentation system stops working four days before an in-house conference, you likely have better ways to spend your time than digging up warranty information and troubleshooting the source of the problem.

Researching technology investments can be a hassle, but managing and maintaining them for years can be a big commitment. How do you ensure that your audiovisual (AV) equipment, in particular, runs smoothly for years to come? You don’t have a crystal ball to tell you what’s going to go wrong, but the next best thing is to partner with a service provider that will make sure you have the right plans and agreements in place.

When a customer purchases and installs new technologies, they will receive warranty information and offers to maintain their new system. The customer, the manufacturer, and the service provider are three sides of the triangle that will keep your equipment running optimally. However, “that triangle is sometimes difficult to understand,” says Mark Teifert, Director of Service and Support at Level 3 Audiovisual. Buyers may not know what’s included in warranties or who will be responsible for what. Here is a simple breakdown of terms to make sense of it all and feel confident about the long-term care of your audiovisual investments.

What’s What

Here are some basic definitions of terms you are likely to encounter during a purchase discussion. It’s important to note that warranties can vary greatly, even among products from the same manufacturer. And contracts and service level agreements (SLAs) can always vary widely from provider to provider.

Warranty: The warranty is a commitment that the manufacturer provides to the buyer, detailing what they will repair or replace, under what conditions, and for what given length of time.

Maintenance Agreement: This agreement specifies the ongoing services a provider will perform for a customer.

SLA: This agreement spells out the services that a provider offers and their responsibilities.

Know the distinction between AV warranties and maintenance agreements.

What’s Included

Warranty: A warranty includes the specific timeframes covered as well as details of the hardware/software that will be repaired or replaced.

Maintenance Agreement: This includes information about what’s included in a preventative checkup and the frequency of those visits, and it could include other agreed-upon services like maintenance of device subscriptions.

SLA: This will include pricing, response times, the type of support provided, including remote, help desk, on-site, and break/fix. It can also set expectations for communication methods, as well as next steps and escalations.

Service Methods

Terms vary by provider, but an established provider will likely offer on-site service in most major cities and will partner with reputable providers in other areas. Some support may also come in the form of remote monitoring or phone and email support.

What Else a Service Provider Can Do

Even though the warranty is between the buyer and the manufacturer, a service provider can help you initiate a warranty claim. They can also keep track of equipment information, service dates and details, etc. so you don’t have to.

How to Use Your Service Agreements

Prevention goes a long way and can often keep issues from arising before they disrupt work at your company. With most maintenance agreements, there’s not a lot you have to do since the purpose of such a service is to take the burden off your organization. You probably want to be available during these calls in case the provider has questions or requires access to equipment.

If a service issue arises, you can contact your support team via their specified channel. Sometimes you may simply need help troubleshooting. In fact, complete breakdowns aren’t that common, and some of the most common issues need simple fixes like adjusting the power supply or resetting system reset.

Choosing a Service Provider

A quality service provider will be knowledgeable, experienced, accessible, and responsive. They will also be flexible in their offerings and in accommodating customer needs. They’ll be willing to answer your questions about their services and work with you to find solutions and services that meet your organization’s needs.

What to Expect from Level 3 Audiovisual

Level 3 Audiovisual provides a range of comprehensive support and maintenance services, customizing SLAs based on customer needs and goals. Even if there is not a Level 3 Audiovisual on-site technician in your geographic area, Level 3 Audiovisual has created partnerships with top-level service providers around the world to ensure the customer receives the same level of service and professionalism.

Even though the warranty is provided to the customer by the manufacturer, Level 3 Audiovisual will help customers figure out whether an issue is covered by the warranty and will even act as the go-between between the customer and manufacturer. The Service Department offers a range of services, from ongoing on-site support to help desk support for basic troubleshooting and a customer portal for resolving complex cases.

“At Level 3 Audiovisual, customer care is paramount,” adds Teifert. “That also includes what I consider customer comfort. So much is put into fixing the issue—whatever the issue is—and that’s important, but that’s only half of what we do. The other half of what we do is making sure that customer goes, ‘Ah, I know I’m in the hands of a professional—I know it’s going to get done.”

What’s Next                                                           

If you have more questions about the maintenance and support of AV solutions, check out our Service and Support page here.

Downtown Phoenix Audiovisual Installation at ASU Beus Center for Law

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Downtown Phoenix Audiovisual Installation at ASU Beus Center for Law

Level 3 Audiovisual is Arizona’s leading AV integrator. Working with large, enterprise clients in the Phoenix area, we are transforming the downtown area into a technological powerhouse.

Below, we take a look at one of the AV projects we recently completed in downtown Phoenix.

The Beus Center for Law and Society – 111 E Taylor St. Phoenix, AZ 85004

The Beus Center for Law and Society (formerly known as the Arizona Center for Law and Society) is the new home to the Sandra Day O-Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, as well as several other organizations. ASU is ranked among the top 25 Law schools in the nation as well as being ranked in the top 20 nationwide for job placement. The BCLS space which covers six floors and 280,000 square feet was designed to be inviting, engaging and accessible to anyone of downtown Phoenix’s guests who want to learn more about the law, it’s effects on our daily lives, and the services and resources available through ASU and other BCLS partners.

This Project recently won the “Best Higher Education Project of 2017”

Best Higher Education Project 2017 - Level 3 Audiovisual - CI Magazine

 

Level 3 Audiovisual was the chosen integrator for the ASU project and did the following work:

Executive Conference Center

  • Featuring a large elliptical table with custom curved projection screens on the inside edge, allows face to face meetings while viewing presentation images on the screen from 20 blended projectors.
  • Three recessed ceiling mounted cameras with voice location automation technology that focuses in on whomever is speaking in the room for video conferencing.

Great Hall

  • 150 seat lecture hall with a 36’ wide motorized projection screen. Two projectors blended to show multi-window imaging capabilities.
  • The great hall is also used for appellate court sessions and live TV broadcasts.

Nanolumens LED Lobby Video Wall

  • Corner wrapping 11.5ft tall by 33ft overall width.
  • Brightness adjusts throughout the day to combat the glaring Arizona sun so the video wall can be seen by people walking down the street.
  • Multi window capability with live video streaming.

Interactive Lobby Video Wall

  • 2×6 interactive video wall.
  • RP Visual swing mounts for easy maintenance.
  • Multiaction interactivity.

Multi-purpose Room (544)

  • Divisible space that opens to outdoor courtyard.
  • Courtyard audio connected to MPR system for overflow or background music.

Courtroom

  • Full mock courtroom with three motorized projection screens and recessed projector lifts.

Lecture Halls and Classrooms

  • Fifty seat to one hundred and twenty seat, teaching spaces with dual projection screens.

Conference areas

  • AMX room schedulers for students and faculty to reserve rooms for meetings.
  • AMX touch panel control systems for one-touch room start up and shutdown.
  • Recessed ceiling mounted projectors.
  • Recessed projection screens.