22 Sep 2010
Theresa Hahn, Marketing Director of Verrex, a global conferencing and audiovisual systems designer, integrator and managed services provider shares the benefits of enterprise-level solutions and managed services in accelerating deployment and adoption of an organisation’s vision for global conferencing and communications.
As business reliance on global video communication advances, mandates for new expertise in integration are emerging. These mandates include addressing all stages of an organisation’s audiovisual life cycle throughout the entire corporate structure, from strategic planning and assessment to integration and day two support. Most important, these mandates require quality management standards consistently applied regardless of number of locations or their geographic region.
With the industry’s broadest global footprint and suite of comprehensive services, Verrex has developed several best practices for successful globalisation of video communications, collaboration and presentation technologies based on a proprietary quality management process. This proven method allows duplication of design, installation and managed service standards globally, addressing uniformity and quality control as well as regional autonomy.
Create a roadmap
ROI in communication technologies is dependant on adoption, and adoption is dependant on aligning these technologies with business goals. To achieve the highest ROI, utilisation of conferencing, collaboration and presentation technologies must become elementary, supporting the day-to-day goals of the organisation. A company should seek strategic guidance assessing multiple elements collectively: business requirements, expansion plans, network optimisation, bandwidth allocation, technology inventory and the culture of how the organisation collaborates, to arrive at the most strategic deployment of AV technologies and to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support it. Verrex Professional Services identifies issues challenging broad adoption and maps a practical plan for cohesive global communications whether this requires ISDN to IP migration, implementation of a global dial plan or deployment of interoperable systems.
Define an AV archetype
A best-practice for enterprise roll out is to develop global templates for common room types that can be consistently applied from location to location. A company should start with a needs analysis to determine what characteristics are common throughout itís suite of boardrooms, conference rooms and other spaces. Analysis should include room conditions, table layout, audience size, what the system will be used for and other factors. Results of the analysis are a series of custom templates, for example, a Conference Room A that requires dual displays and a standard videoconference system or Boardroom B that requires a presentation system with speech reinforcement. Custom designed templates allow a company to deploy AV globally without each individual facility having to do the groundwork on their own and without deviating from established standards. Verrex works with Global 500 companies in designing custom templates. Corporate AV heads then simply select an established room model to be installed at any location around the world, streamlining and standardising the entire deployment process.
Implement interface standards
One of the most critical ways of increasing adoption across an organisation is standardising control system functionality and touch panel layouts. A user from the Milan office should be able to walk into the Frankfurt office, select designated buttons on the touch panel and launch a presentation without extensive downtime and without a translator. In order to accomplish, the user interface must be familiar and should incorporate control of the system and environmental devices such as lighting and shades. A user can then easily direct presentations, adjust audio levels and lighting scenes, all from an integrated touch panel. Verrex develops interface standards exclusive to an organisation’s enterprise needs. Control systems are designed to ensure interfaces are recognisable, intuitive and company-branded, regardless of geographic location.
Plan for day two
Post-installation support contributes greatly to adoption of audiovisual technologies. If end users are not capable or not comfortable using the system, or if usage of the system becomes frustrating, a company will not see a significant return on its investment. There are various scenarios as to why a system is under utilised, from poor network performance, to maintenance issues to failure to define support parameters if there is an issue. Verrex offers GMS, global managed services, as a suite of solutions designed to increase usage and simplify the operation and management of systems.
In addition to preventive maintenance and service agreements, Verrex GMS incorporates VNOC services and managed conferencing. VNOC (Video Network Operations Center) services are driven from redundant datacenters around the world, managing over 5,000 endpoints in over 50 countries to provide 24/7/365 helpdesk support, hosted and managed infrastructure, and endpoint monitoring and management. Verrex managed conferencing services feature a conference monitoring, scheduling and reporting tool, VNOC Symphony. This web-based interface provides full device management regardless of manufacturer and allows users to launch and use conferencing technology with confidence.
Outsource non-core competencies
As evidenced above, a high degree of adoption can be attributed to the accessibility of support resources. This includes an on-demand staff proficient in the technology. However, the realities of finding, training and managing AV personnel can be a labor-intensive function, which can distract from hiring tasks that contribute to a company’s core competencies. This process can become doubly inefficient without the depth of industry knowledge required to identify best-in-class technicians with the appropriate skill sets. Outsourced AV staffing can offer a cost effective labor model, augment internal resources and improve workforce efficiency. Verrex provides global AV workforce staffing and management as part of its Global Managed Services offering. Certified individuals are deployed directly to a client facility either as an in-house team support overlay or as the dedicated resource. Workforces are managed directly by Verrex with accountability for recruitment, screening and hiring, HR related matters, certification requisites and continuing education.