Use This Time Wisely
During this time when all are concerned about keeping our families and colleagues safe, the current situation creates an unexpected opportunity. With many teams working remotely, it is much easier to complete onsite tasks that are ordinarily difficult to schedule.
For organizations that in normal times use conference rooms, collaborative meeting spaces, or large-scale visualization systems all day, every day, now is the ideal time to consider upgrades and reconfiguration of both software and hardware assets. It’s also a time to consider training and troubleshooting so that when people return to the office, everyone will be immediately productive.
Here are three recommended activities to consider pursuing during this imposed down-time.
Some companies are using the break-in every day onsite activities to standardize their AV set-ups and simplify the systems used. Over time, it is easy to add AV equipment piecemeal and end up with an odd mixture of configurations and equipment. Whether it is speakerphones, projectors, or fully integrated videoconferencing systems, standardizing makes teams more efficient when it comes to using and maintenance.
It means that employees know what to expect when they are setting up for a meeting, and when maintenance is required, it can be efficiently performed across all systems. Standardization eliminates last-minute surprises and nerve-wracking situations when a meeting is about to start, and the equipment is unfamiliar.
A major oil company is using the time during the pandemic to standardize its AV equipment and set Zoom as its regular videoconferencing application. It is standardizing video conferencing equipment so that each room is consistent with the others. While the equipment is less frequently used, the company is also using the time to create documentation and training materials to help first-time or infrequent users with starting Zoom calls or accessing projectors and displays.
For organizations with advanced AV systems or visualization laboratories, now is a great time to refresh and upgrade equipment. In ordinary times it can be very disruptive for installers to get access to video walls and control centers that are critical to designers, researchers, and managers. So now is a unique opportunity and a good time to review the status of AV system components including displays, projectors, speaker and microphone systems, controllers, motion trackers, and more.
A university had an upgrade scheduled before the pandemic began, but having the facility shut down gave the integrator two months straight without interruption to get the job done right. The team ran into some unexpected challenges, which would have caused difficulty in normal times when scheduled events could have been impacted.
Older LCD Panel Arrays and rear projection cube wall displays are typically being upgraded with Direct View LEDs. LEDs improve brightness, color accuracy, and provide continuous, seamless imagery. They have a very shallow profile that enables a broad range of mounting options and they are ideal for areas with significant ambient light because of their brightness and their less reflective surface.
For organizations considering the total cost of ownership, LED displays are robust, reliable, and their long lifespan contributes to better value. It is a good time to consider upgrading to LED display systems while rooms are in disuse and now, because they are becoming more widely adopted, the cost for high-end Direct View LEDs is coming down.
Projector technology also continues to advance with more lumens, higher resolutions, and faster frame rates. Now is a good time to evaluate current projector performance and consider how an upgrade might enable more dramatic presentations and better decision making. For immersive display systems, the latest projectors are fast enough to enable multiple tracked viewpoints within a virtual environment.
3. Preventive maintenance
For companies that don’t have dedicated AV support, sometimes conference rooms and visualization spaces are left alone for long periods of time without any regular maintenance. It’s a good time for fine-tuning things like color balancing and alignment. With fewer people working onsite, less busy IT teams can run AV equipment through its paces and troubleshoot issues before they disrupt business as employees return to the office. The functionality verification process reveals if there are faults or problems and they can be resolved while the rooms are not in demand so that when teams return to the office AV systems are at their best and downtime is reduced.
Organizations that move forward with standardization, upgrades, or preventive maintenance projects during the Covid-19 shutdowns will reap the benefits when collaborative spaces are once again scheduled back-to-back. Having the latest equipment tested and up and running will improve productivity and bring long term value to the organizations that have the insight to use this time wisely.