There’s value to a can-do attitude, but some tasks steal time and energy from actual job responsibilities.
As a technology manager, you're used to taking on a lot of extra work. You perform a variety of do-it-yourself tasks, including production, workarounds, training, and integration. But are there times you wish you could call another professional to take some tasks off your plate as well as help you make the most of your time and investments? Audiovisual (AV) partners can take on a variety of complex AV-related tasks and can simply make your life easier by reducing worry and a heavy workload.
So how do you know when you should do it yourself and when you should seek out a professional AV partner? Here’s how:
When to Do It Yourself
When all you have to do is plug in a solution. If it will take more time, effort, and cost to seek out an AV partner, you can consider doing it yourself. However, this advice comes with a couple of caveats:
- Only do it yourself when you are 100% sure you can do it right
- Ensure you don’t want other services like advice, integration, maintenance, monitoring, training, etc., beyond the basic installation
Tips for Doing It Yourself
If you decide to take on a DIY project, remember the adage, “buy cheap, buy twice,” meaning if you don’t choose a quality solution, you’ll end up replacing it sooner rather than later. Other important tips include:
- Read the directions
- Follow manufacturer recommendations which often offer helpful hints, tips, and additional resources
- Address user adoption. Even if the solution is high quality and installed correctly, users won’t take advantage of it if they don’t know it’s there, what it does, or how to use it
When Do You Need an AV Partner?
You need an AV partner when:
- The solution is complex
- It must work with other solutions
- You aren’t sure you can install it correctly or quickly
- You want to ensure ROI
- You need to maximize adoption
Some solutions require a high level of expertise, while others may be moderately difficult but take up valuable time to figure out, so they divert resources from daily duties and other projects.
Alex Bisset, VP of Platform Strategy at HB Communications, says, “It’s not just an issue of technology complexity but it’s also critical to consider the platforms that will support the user workflows. Choosing from the various appliances that are available for audio, video, and content collaboration can be a complicated process unless you first give serious consideration to how your meetings will be scheduled and which platform will be used to host your appliances. Once you’ve built consensus in your organization around your collaboration platform strategy, choosing the right peripherals is much easier and far more prescriptive."
The Value of a Partner
The value of an AV partner extends far beyond simply installing an AV solution. Alex explains that “the value of a partner begins with the customer discovery process which helps you to determine the scope of your users’ needs and then extends to post/installation services and support with an emphasis on user adoption services to ensure you experience a full return on your technology investment.”
Also, well experienced partners take a big picture approach that considers the entire space and user experience, not just the technology. “The tech is subservient to user needs for flexible and seamless audio, video, and content sharing support. The most efficient user interface is the one with the least number of buttons to push and one that remains fully user transparent. We believe that by considering the full collaboration platform scenario in advance, a partner can help their customers to create the simplest, most user transparent AV system which will support the users’ needs with the least amount of complexity possible,” Alex adds.
Ideally, a client will include the partner from the beginning of the project. When they are part of the planning and design phases, they can help you make the best purchase decisions. But even if your project is well beyond that point, a partner can provide expertise and resources that can help.
HB Communications is a proud member of Professionals Systems Network International,
an alliance of elite technology integrators, manufacturers, distributors, and service partners around the world.