As I ponder each day’s occurrences in the audio visual industry, the one thing that has come to mind lately with all of the articles and blogs I read, as well as podcasts that I listen to, is whether the industry really has an understanding of where it actually is in terms of that so-called convergence. AV/IT/ IT/AV? None of the above?
Here is an AMX AV/IT integration video from 2012:
I wrote this blog back in December 2013, AV/IT — An Aerial View Assessment, in which I pointed to a LinkedIn discussion thread concerning the state of communications in the AV industry that eventually turned into a skirmish between those who drove the importance of AV in projects vs. others who talked about IT as the be all end all.
I decided to side with those who were defending the AV turf, even though I had worked in both AV and IT in the past although as stated, once discussion had become AV vs. IT, I gravitated toward the side of IT (with AV still in mind), as I saw the market approach to be trending at that time toward IT technologies and innovations. I also spoke about likely being the only AV person present at a Government IT conference (when I had my company DC Smart AV/IT) which had recently taken place in Washington, DC — a huge hub for IT-related conferences.
In the blog I also referenced the Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) credential, awarded to those Information and communications technology (ICT) industry professionals who have demonstrated knowledge in the design, implementation, integration and project management of telecommunications and data communications technology and related infrastructure. I talked about how AV integrators should look into Bicsi membership, one that I had at the time. My question is — since then, just how many have?
Now, over two years later, the concept of the AV/IT convergence has gravitated towards more of an IT/AV perspective and in certain respects an AV as subset of IT. In my blog con·ver·gence — Part 2: Going Way Beyond the Talk from April 2015, I referenced a statement by InfoComm International executive director and CEO Dave Labuskes:
“We are well past the time where we should be talking about convergence and AV/IT and acknowledge the fact that AV is a specialty that lives within the information technology and IT communications community…. AV is a specialty that focuses on people and the experience, so you can have the Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything, AV is still about bringing the message to people and that requires specialized knowledge and specialized expertise.”
I went on to say that it appears AV no longer “simply” merges with IT, in certain circumstances it resides within information technology, where knowledge in certain realms of IT becomes highly beneficial to a company’s solutions and even organizational approach. Thus, the “so-called” convergence in truth appears to be a full merging (or say even integration as detailed in the AMX video) of AV and IT which benefits overall industry approaches in communications, collaboration and then some.
In doing some research, I came upon this — IT@Cornell AV Design Consulting which is supported by Cornell University IT (CIT): Services and Support. The description:
AV Design Consulting (formerly Classroom Technology Consulting) is responsible for leading and supporting activities that integrate the use of audio-visual technologies in Cornell’s meeting, learning, and research facilities.
Learning and Meeting Space Design: Get advice on technology integration in a new building or room renovation to enhance learning and/or conduct video conferencing. Learn about design guidelines and best practices.
Technology Direction: Learn about new products and technologies being adopted in classrooms, research facilities, and conference rooms.
They also provide options for collaboration:
- Video and Web Conferencing
- Video (Web) streaming
- Digital signage systems
- Video distribution (Send or receive high quality audio/video to or from a facility)
And General AV Design Guidelines under AV Standards.
Here as a matter of fact is IT/AV representation in a Leviton Network Solutions brochure IT/AV Systems Enterprise-grade infrastructure for high-quality audio and video.
We as an industry must be aware that IT, in terms of the CIO and IT manager in the enterprise and higher education, is fast becoming the bearer of responsibility toward determining, defining and even disseminating information concerning AV along with IT specifications for the organization or institution. Whether looked at as AV/IT or IT/AV now, the audio visual industry has certainly come to that crossroads where it needs to once and for all be as fully defined as possible. Or perhaps just viewed as a case by case integrated approach.
So with all of this being said:
- Is it still AV/IT?
- Is it now IT/AV?
- Has AV become a full subset of IT?
- Should it be approached as a case by case integrated approach?
We take on this topic in the next AV Power Up Episode 53 — let’s see how your answers match our guests. I’ll also be exploring this topic further prior to, as well as at InfoComm 2016.