We Are Doing It All Wrong!

How Can We Do Better? In this new world of “Return to Office,” we are faced with an interesting question… what exactly is RTO/what is the “New Normal” and how do we plan for the future of work in that new paradigm. In looking at the landscape, we seem to have companies firmly planting flags […]

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Videoconferencing Is Terrible! So What Can We Do About It?

OK … put down the pitchforks. There’s a method here. I have had the unique experience of having a front-row seat regarding videoconferencing (VC) over the last 30 years. As I have watched it evolve, I have seen not just WHAT changed but, more importantly, WHY it changed. At the same time, I have also […]

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Finding the Blue Sky in 2020 (and Beyond)

When looking back on last year, the best description that neatly wrapped up our collective experience in a bow was from Leslie Jones on a 2020 recap show on Netflix. Her character said, “I’d say it was a train wreck and a s*&tshow, but that would be unfair to trains and s*&t.” Seriously though, let’s […]

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Collaboration — Is It What You Think It Is?

Collaboration. It’s not what you think it is … Whenever I hear someone in the AV industry mention collaboration, I am reminded of the words of the legendary Inigo Montoya in my favorite movie. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I was looking at job […]

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Part 4: What an AV-Driven Interpretation of ITIL/ITSM Will Bring Us

How an “AVSM” mindset can supercharge growth in the AV industry. In the last few articles, I talked (ranted) about the gap between the AV world and our customers. This gap has been the source of misunderstanding, poor experiences and lack of relevance at the big kids’ table. I recently saw an article discussing how […]

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Part 3: ITIL, ITSM and AV — The Benefits of Benchmarking

In the last article, we discussed how adopting ITIL methodology can fundamentally change how we align our products and services to meet customer needs. As the AV industry continues to grow and evolve, we need to ensure that we find better ways to execute and continuously improve outcomes. The fundamental ideas behind ITIL are about […]

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Part 2: How the 5 Books of ITIL Can Relate to AV

In the last article, I gave an overview of what ITIL/ITSM are and how a similar methodology could be beneficial in the AV world. In this follow-up, I want to discuss the five volumes or books of ITIL and how they can translate to AV. A repeat of the disclaimer: I am in no way […]

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Products, Perceptions and Jupiter Systems

Over the years, I’ve noticed an odd trend with companies and products. Simply stated, everyone and everything gets pigeonholed. As users, we tend to focus on the same companies when it comes to certain types of products. Even within categories of products, we tend to use the same ones all the time and rarely reach […]

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ITIL, ITSM and the Challenge Confronting the AV World

I want to preface this column by saying, first, that this is intended as a call to action. It is to suggest new strategic initiatives that can transform how we do things. This article has nothing to do with products; it has nothing to do with how we design systems. It’s about processes and a […]

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Shifting to a Remote Collaboration World

With everything that is going on around us, we are seeing plenty on the news and about folks having to work remotely. Over the coming weeks and months, we will see quite a bit about how we’re not keeping up and that business continuity is failing. Based on what I am observing first-hand from my […]

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UI vs. UX: The Battle for Happier Customers

Like most folks out there, I spent many years not understanding what UX (User eXperience) was and, more importantly, what the difference between UI (User Interface) and UX was. Over time I came to realize that what was being commonly delivered as a UI in the AV world did not translate to good customer experience. […]

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The Importance of Language and Communication in Technical Industries (Particularly AV)

For this article, I wanted to step away from AV and all that fun stuff and talk about a far bigger issue, which is communications. One thing that became very clear to me very quickly when I moved from being a long term “AV guy” to being an end user is that we have some […]

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The Sensor/Data/Analytics Footprint

This is part four in a four-part series Christopher Gillespie has been writing about the relationship between end users and integrators, particularly with regards to corporations or educational institutions that have a large number of conference rooms. See part one, his introduction, here, part two on the AV bill of materials here and part three, […]

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The ITSM Architecture

This is part three of a four-part series from Christopher Gillespie. Read his introduction here and his piece on the AV bill of materials here. Years ago, maintaining and reporting on the inventory was a matter of many spreadsheets, maybe a home-baked database, perhaps it was some hybrid, or maybe it was Crestron Fusion or […]

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The AV Bill of Materials (BOM)

Standardization… the holy grail of the corporate customer. Years ago, when building out a technology space, enterprises relied 100% on the expertise of AV integrators and consultants. This worked well when the spaces consisted almost exclusively of just a few really big complex ones (auditoriums, boardrooms, EBCs, etc.), but over time, starting in the early […]

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A View from the End User Side of the Fence

The good folks at rAVe [PUBS] reached out to me and have kindly asked me to contribute on a more frequent basis around here. As it happens, I had something that I was working on that I would like to start with that’s a little broader than what I have written previously. I mentioned something […]

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Standardize the User Experience

Everybody says they have standards… but what does that even mean? Are we talking about a locked bill of materials? Did you mean that certain gear is non-negotiable but other stuff you have the flexibility to substitute (you mean whatever manufacturer you have the best back-end rebates from? yeah… we know)? How tightly are those […]

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The Cost of a Meeting

So after about 17 years working as an integrator, as a rental staging guy, and as a manufacturer, I got my first job working as an end user. I figured that based on my background and experience that this would be a no-brainer. I mean how hard can it be? I know all this stuff. […]

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Conference Space Stakeholders — Trying to Please Everyone

In my last article, I spoke of the need to design the spaces we deal with not by thinking about the tech stack, but instead from the perspective of an experience. But in order to do this, we need to understand WHOSE experience we are referring to. For the most part, when we design a […]

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Don’t Bring Me Gadgets… Bring Me Data!

By and large, our industry has four players… we have manufacturers, we have dealers/integrators and consultants (let’s be honest though, they are really two sides of a coin) and then we have the end user.Twenty years ago, a user would come to a consultant or a dealer and say… “I need a room built out!” […]

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The Evolution of Technology Spaces

Evolving how we understand and design collaborative spaces One of the most consistent things we see in corporate facilities/classrooms/lecture halls worldwide is that they have been equipped with some manner of technology package that is there for the users of that space to better communicate with others. And one of the most consistent things about […]

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