How Managed Services Help IT Departments Modernize Workplaces
Managed Services Helps IT Integrate AV Infrastructure with Critical Business Systems
Once upon a time, there was an IT department and an AV department, and never the twain met. We jest; that’s not completely true. But they were typically separate departments, and the AV systems of the past had few dependencies on the technology stack managed by the IT department.
Over the past two decades, video conferencing started changing the paradigm. At first, video conferencing systems were expensive, proprietary solutions that depended on specific protocols needed to run inside company networks. Then, these systems started converging on standardized digital formats and protocols and becoming integrated into unified communication systems. As a result, the dependencies on IT-managed technology grew, but video conferencing was still about connecting one group of people in a meeting room to another one across a campus or the country.
What came next? Even if you know nothing about videoconferencing (but we know you do), you’ve heard of Zoom. To be fair, Zoom was long preceded by video meeting platforms like GoToMeeting, Skype, various Google products, and many others. These are or were cloud-based video conferencing platforms that democratized collaboration to anyone with a laptop or mobile device. Now that these applications ran on IT-managed devices and the network, AV was quite integrated and more deeply dependent on IT than in the past.
What does this all mean? IT has its hands full these days. Virtually everyone has their own videoconference facility on their laptop. With the pandemic going on for almost two years, nearly everyone uses videoconferencing. But those physical conference rooms, huddle rooms, and boardrooms in offices aren't disappearing. And contrary to some popular commentary, the world will not work from home forever. However, the future of work has been impacted by the explosion of this technology, and it will require businesses of all sizes to reimagine, modernize, and manage their AV technology. Let's explore further below how AV managed services can assist IT departments in Phoenix, AZ and elsewhere navigate this brave new world.
Managing AV Is Messy
Until recently, most AV systems were not designed for easy ways to manage remotely. To update or fix issues – at least the ones not about broken hardware or something physical – required a technician to go to the meeting room and reprogram a device or update the firmware. Some AV systems could be managed remotely, but often that meant implementing systems inside the company network that may have had significant security concerns for IT managers. The upshot? In many companies, installed AV systems never get updated or patched over their lifespan, which could be five years or more. In today's world of continually updated cloud collaboration solutions, the systems in rooms have to keep up.
Videoconferencing Needs to Be Everywhere
As businesses figure out the future of hybrid work where not everyone is in the office at the same time, easy connectivity and collaboration must be ubiquitous. That means that not all conference and meeting spaces are going to be elaborate affairs. Some will be, while other spaces need to allow for small teams to easily collaborate remotely with other groups and people working from home. That means more videoconferencing and unified communication solutions and more systems to deploy and manage. The challenge will be to deploy more facilities at less cost.
Experience is King
Now that everyone is used to the ease of collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, expectations for hybrid and remote meeting experiences are high. Few will put up with skipping audio or stuttering video and problems sharing files and screens. Moreover, features are being updated continuously on these cloud-based platforms. Integrating with these collaboration tools is critical in every meeting space, as people come to expect and rely on the features. That means your meeting spaces need to be up to date with the latest software and fixes to avoid incompatibilities and inequitable participation from all parties.
How Managed Services Models Help IT
IT departments are already challenged with staffing and supporting a heavy technology stack. Managed services can take the load off, providing the augmented staff, tools, and expertise to modernize and manage AV infrastructure while meeting requirements in security, budgets, support, and high user expectations for uptime and ease-of-use. Managed services from experienced professional firms are helping Fortune 500 organizations with a subscription-based model for complete strategy, design, deployment, and support services for AV technology that replaces major IT capital and staffing investments.
Want to know more about how managed AV services can help your IT department? Learn about flexibly outsourcing your AV technology needs with Level3 Audiovisual by reaching out to us here or click the chat box below to connect instantly. We look forward to working with you.