Collaboration Technology Principles

collaboration-solutions-1015By David Wolf
Video Architect at Capital One

Many in the AV industry are emphasizing collaboration standards focused on an professional IT approach keying in on specific strategic solutions. While this might be an easy approach to apply to collaboration solutions in organizations starting with small inventories or doing complete refreshes; I find this is a difficult approach in a large organization with hundreds of rooms and various funding sources. Still the need to provide consistence, cost effective, and predictable collaboration solutions, this space differs in that there are many complexities in AV, and applying a hard line approach to a standard may look good on paper, but it does not provide a holistic solution to meet the demands of all large enterprises. Instead I’m finding that building and socializing core principles that can align to meet the user requirements of any project by providing a flexible framework that will ensure effective adoption and ROI. These principles communicate the technology values and approach creating space to merge innovation and operational requirements.

User Experience

The goal is for the best achievable user experience; focusing on simplicity, consistency, intuitive operation and reliable up time, to follow the customer’s current UI design guidelines. The core goal is for a unified experience in all spaces and all aspects of the audio, video and control solution. Additionally the audio and video experience should focus on intelligibility, and view-ability, with consistent functional consideration. System control shall be intelligent, simple and aware of the user. This shall include automated actions to minimize the number of touches, touch points, and minimal amount of touch to task time. Never should system control allow user error due to a need for the user to understand, or be aware a device or system operating status. While innovation is welcome the user experience should take precedence.


Solutions are designed and installed in a typical manner with consistent operation and support, with consideration around how users expect to work with technology in spaces locally and across the enterprise, with as few solutions or “system types.” Innovation or new system types are to be approached to ensure the solution can replicate into future one or more solution categories.

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System design should pivot around efficiency, quality experience, independence, supportability, reliability and ability to replicate. All systems shall include documented resolution plans and hardware solutions that include proper resolution management. Solutions should include and degrade or take away from typical legacy quality and features, while ensuring a consistent user expectations and experience.

Documentation shall be organized by room not project, to include drawings, code, and system files. By allowing the customer to catalog solutions by room or space and not by floor or building, support and move/changes are more effective and efficient. Drawings should be in electronic format organized and compiled by room and or system type. These should be stored local to the system when possible, with a clearly documented storage and revision process.

Deployment and Support

Solutions should be carefully coordinated with the spaces they are being deployed to ensure the core principles are being met. Additionally key goals include industry installation best practices, access, simplicity, efficiency and system operation. The solution provider shall be responsible for proper configuration, function, and validation of all devices and the system as a whole per industry standards and customer requirements. This will include ensuring the solution can be supported with ease of access during times of service. Solutions should be installed in a simple manner without complicated numbering, labeling, and cable types. All solutions shall support integration with the monitoring, alerting, and reporting/analytic systems per customer requirements.

This blog was reprinted with permission from David Wolf and originally appeared here.

Image via Office of the Future