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A Needs First Approach to System Integration

by SUMMIT on November 14th, 2014

A Needs First Approach to System Integration

The AV landscape is growing at a rapid pace, and every year there are more and more new products making their way into the marketplace. With so many products to choose from, it’s natural for enterprises to end up feeling confused as to which AV solution is the right fit for their business. The good news is that a qualified and experienced AV integrator can sail you out of this situation. However, choosing just any integrator at random will hardly give you the proper AV solutions that you seek. How to know the best integrator? That’s easy. A good AV integrator should prioritize your needs before anything else. They should be system agnostic, and focused on the specifics of your situation, your needs and how to deliver a recommendation specifically suited for you. This is what we call the ‘needs first approach to AV integration’ – a practice that ensures you are not only totally satisfied with your integration efforts, but that they do exactly what you need them to do.

The first step is to find the right integrator

While system integration is all about bringing together existing and often dissimilar hardware, software, and infrastructure, a good AV integrator knows the importance of aligning these as close as possible to the exact needs of their clients. So when you are looking for the right integrator for your project, here are three factors to consider:

  • Does the integrator have the necessary technological expertise to meet the demands of your project?
  • Will they spend enough time to understand how your business operates?
  • Can they be user-centric, visualizing the finished space and understanding how their recommendations will ultimately impact users?

A system integrator that answers all of those questions with a “yes” and who also comes with recommendations from satisfied clients, is absolutely the integrator you should hire for your project. Here’s more on how a proper AV integrator provides you with the right solutions.

They care about what ‘exactly’ you want

Other factors a system integrator will focus on are all tied directly to your individual needs. Things like whether a particular product or system fit within the framework of your organization, what you hope to accomplish within the room, what the entire scope of the AV solution you seek looks like (i.e. video conferencing, presentations, cable TV, Blu-ray players, and overall lighting and shading control, etc.) The integrator should be able to delve into these things early in the process, gauge your exact needs and suggest solutions perfectly tailored to you. Be wary of an integrator who leads with suggesting the hottest product in the market—that’s always a warning sign.

They discuss your business requirements

Just like two business processes can never be alike, when it comes to system integration, no two implementations are done in the same way due to a number of reasons. Therefore, understanding your business needs is a prerequisite before you go ahead with the integration. Having an integrator who sets aside some time to get an in-depth view of your business ensures that your integration requirements will be taken care of. There’s really no such thing as spending too much time when it comes to this step. The questions asked and answers provided all both an integrator and you, the customer, to really think about what it is you need, what it is you might need in the future, and how to best find the system that suits those needs and maximizes your investment and the ROI you get from that investment over time.

They understand your hardware/software requirements

The right AV integrator will have the insight to accurately evaluate the core hardware/software requirements of your business and they will suggest you the right products based on this understanding. Seems like that would be a given, we know, but it always bears a mention.

They proceed with a plan in mind

The root of a successful integration lies in proper planning. Choosing an integrator who plans on a broad scale taking into account all the minute specifications will ensure successful integration while reducing any chances of re-work. This saves time, effort and also helps avoid cost overruns.

So, to make the most out of your AV experience, it’s imperative that you have the right AV integrator walking you through the process. The ‘needs first approach’ not only equips your business with the right set of AV products and solutions but it also saves you a considerable amount of cost that goes into investing in unnecessary products.

Photo Credit: cweinercampbell via Compfight cc

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