Collaborating with AV/IT Manufacturers When Creating Your Global Equipment Standards

With possible offices around the globe, it is vital for today’s thriving global companies to develop a set of equipment standards for room types.  In doing so, CIOs and IT managers may want to consider engaging with the manufacturers of the AV/IT technology you’re considering.

Manufacturers understand the “why” behind the need for standardization.  Ease of use, consistency for your clients, ability to monitor usage, justify costs, and allow you to diagnose issues remotely, often even before the room elements become a problem. The advantages of room standards are many and as manufacturers, we “get it” and we want to help understand your goals and help you avoid some unforeseen (but common) pitfalls.

With many AV systems existing on internal networks, on their own networks or dependent upon standard network switches, it’s important to work with manufacturers to ensure the switching fabric is “certified” and proven to work with their equipment.  This alone could save hours of time and will help avoid the “finger pointing” related to troubleshooting, all of which are common occurrences in networked systems integration.

Believe it or not, different manufacturers often collaborate with each other so when your business partners with a manufacture, you are poised to take advantage of those multi-manufacturer partnerships.  When you provide us with the overall outline of your goals and equipment you’re considering, we can work with those you’ve outlined saving you time.  At our company we’ll work with other manufacturers to ensure that they have the information they need directly from us to interface and work with their equipment and these manufactures may want or need information that at an end user level, you may not think to ask.   Often times, we can provide you with direct internal contacts within other companies to ensure that you have a relationship that will serve you well as you work on your standards and needs.

I work for a manufacturer that works hard every day to earn the trust of our users.  We’re looking for you to share as much information as possible.  If you’re open to providing drawings and information of other equipment you’d like to use in the system, this is all valuable in helping us help you.

As you develop standards there are many things for you to consider.  A few are listed below:

  • Having manufacturers sign an NDA to ensure your information stays between the two parties and is only used for issues directly related to you.
  • How will design modifications be managed?  Version control of modifications may need to be shared as one small change can cause big issues.
  • How will designs and other documents be stored and accessed?   Many end users inherit rooms and projects without any of the “as built” drawings, which can  make life difficult.
  • Leverage technology that is future ready via software updates.  How will you manage software version control?
  • Consider technology that natively integrates with your IT infrastructure – leveraging IT standards without having to use workarounds will help you avoid many headaches.
  • Consider looking at solutions that are truly network based.  This can be important when software updates are available as well as so many other reasons.
  • How will you manage product lifecycles?  All products do have an end of life cycle – however this can all be managed if you plan for it.
  • Ask manufacturing partners about their ability to support your needs globally with service and support.
  • Availability of products – is there in country distribution and support? Also, consider currency conversion and various tariffs, importation fees and other taxes.
  • Will you provide manufactures with forecasts to ensure they can meet your needs?
  • Will there be in-country technical support or will this be managed remotely?  Cultural differences should be considered to ensure they do not become a pain point.

While our company enlists the help of a network of qualified resellers, we recently established a team that is 100% focused on the needs of the end user.  We view this team as your concierge service for your global company.  We work to fill in any of the gaps to ensure your voice is heard within our company.  This team is laser-focused on understanding your needs and goals.  Best of all, this team is not focused on selling.  It frees this team up to help as you work on new projects, or develop your global standards.  We are entirely open to you leaning on us because we learn along the way, so reach out and lean on us.  Tell us what we can help you with.