It is a simple fact that collaboration spaces, including huddle rooms and conference rooms, are key to getting things done in the modern work environment. But equipping those spaces with the right audiovisual tools to facilitate that collaboration is not always so simple. Budgets, use cases, and user preferences can all impact what types of AV tools and systems are best.
When making decisions about equipping collaboration spaces, many AV and IT managers are faced with the question of whether to choose each AV tool separately, or whether a bundled, integrated AV room solution is best. As with most decisions, there are upsides and downsides to either choice.
Are you currently deciding whether to bundle? Keep reading to hear what one of our PSNI experts has to say.
Integrated AV Bundles: An Integrator’s Perspective
For an AV integrator, bundled AV solutions can reduce the amount of time it takes to install a room system, while also reducing the number of compatibility issues that arise once people start using the system.
A bundled AV solution also makes things easier for integrators when clients want to scale their AV systems across different sized rooms and applications.
“A family of hardware and software components is guaranteed to work together with minimal configuration,” said Rob Smith, senior director, Integrated Systems for Western Europe at Shure. “This reduces the time spent by systems integrators tweaking and tuning. When that family of components can be reliably scaled to work in a variety of room sizes and situations throughout a facility, the installation process goes faster because technicians are installing a standardized package that they are more familiar with.”
Integrated AV Bundles: An End User’s Perspective
While bundled AV solutions make an integrator’s life easier, many end users worry bundled AV will make their lives harder.
“Customers sometimes fear that a bundled solution has to involve compromises or think that choosing the most well-known product in every category is the only way to create a system that achieves their goals,” Rob said.
But that is not the case. Bundled AV is often the key to easier meetings and collaboration.
“For end users, a bundled AV solution provides a consistent, intuitive, and rewarding experience whether they’re in a small, medium, or large room,” Rob said.
Implementing a bundled solution and working with an integrator who understands how all your components work can be extremely beneficial for end users. The integrator can act as a single point of contact for all trouble shooting and maintenance concerns. That means instead of calling five different support lines to resolve an issue, you only need to call one.
“For AV and IT managers, a bundled solution can eliminate the headaches that arise when ‘Box A won’t talk to Box B,’” Rob said. “This saves time during the commissioning process, reduces trouble calls and downtime, and simplifies day-to-day system management.
How Bundled AV is Changing the Integrator’s Role
Bundled AV solutions can improve the way organizations collaborate, and they can also improve the way integrators do their jobs. Just as taking a holistic approach to AV investments can help companies make better choices, taking a more comprehensive, long-term approach to AV design and installation can help integrators provide better service to their clients.
“Integrators are being called on to act almost as consultants, and to gauge how an AV solution impacts the customer’s business over the long-term instead of simply comparing short-term financial cost,” Rob said. “This means integrators need to look beyond the price sheet and think about factors like time, effort, and availability of support for their technicians, and subjective experience and ease of use for their customers. In many cases a mix of individual products with a marginally lower cost on paper might be offset by the time savings and increased customer satisfaction that only a bundled solution can offer.”
When integrators take the long-term approach, they help AV and IT managers as well as end users see that piecing together an AV system with tools from multiple vendors and manufacturers is actually the more complicated path.
“It’s important to remind users that a bundle of products from a first-class manufacturer with a broad spectrum of competencies may not entail any compromises at all,” Rob said. “Many times, problems arise from getting products from different manufacturers to work together.”
Ready to find the right combination of AV solutions to meet your organization’s needs? Find your nearest PSNI integrator today.