Getting the Most from Your AV Budget - Part 2: Defining Your Requirements
Working from home unexpectedly hit first place on virtually every business agenda over past weeks, for those of us who were caught off guard, the inevitable transition from band-aid video conferencing solutions to a seamless, company-wide collaboration experience has probably reared its head.
To share some insight on this process and relieve some of the headaches you might experience while you navigate through these often murky waters, we are publishing this short blog series. If you haven't read The Future of Zoom and Working From Home (Getting the Most from Your AV Budget - Part 1) you might want to start there.
If you're all caught up, let's get started.
Trust me when I say the biggest value management decision you can make with your AV is defining your requirements. I'm not talking about what sort of camera you need, how many displays, or which speaker and microphone combination is going to work with your space and budget. That's our job, if you're not an AV product expert you should let your integrator make these recommendations.
I'm talking about requirements, not solutions. So, what do requirements look like?
"We need to review spreadsheets with employees working remotely." or
"Our staff need the ability to attend and participate in group training sessions from home."
You might be thinking "Well, that's obvious, we're a finance company." If your audio visual team is going to be great at one thing, you want it to be AV - so don't assume they know how your business operates. Requirements like this give your integrator key performance criteria to build a system around. Your sales rep already gets these details from you one way or another, but if you understand the gravity of focusing on your own requirements in terms of what you do, you can maximise value by applying your own industry experience to your decision-making and allowing your integrator to apply theirs.
Gardens Room at BDO in Brisbane's CBD integrates Skype for Business with their existing multi-purpose space utilising Crestron Flex with the existing Digital Media (DM) and 3-Series architecture.
Where to start?
Focus on your companies normal working habits.
Think about your current technology- what works for you and what doesn't.
Get creative. Try scheduling a Zoom meeting (or whatever platform you're using) and invite employees from key user groups to discuss the ways you collaborate - a video meeting is the perfect setting to explore this topic. As you work through the meeting, think "what would be really useful right now?" Rest assured, your sales rep has an arsenal of sleek and sophisticated solutions up his sleeve- for now, just keep focusing on your own workflow.
As you note your requirements, use descriptors like "easily" if your past experience has been difficult or clumsy. Remember, you're not writing a technical brief, just a series of personal notes to help you get your point across when you begin talking to your integrator. Effective communication here will help your sales rep empathise with your goals. A good rep will take your bad experience and run with it - knowing what doesn't work for you means one less step in the process of finding what does.
So you've scheduled a meeting and your requirements are well on their way to being defined (don't be intimidated by this word - the main point is that you have some notes). Now what?
Innovate. It's a buzzword for a reason.
Stay tuned for the next installment in our Getting the most from your AV budget series, Part 3: Innovation.
If you're keen to dig a little deeper into professional AV and collaboration solutions, be sure to check out our website hartautomation.com.au if you haven't already.