Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 10

PERFECTING YOUR CRAFT
Embrace AVoIP Without Fear
Utilize training, partnerships and in-house build-outs to bolster your confidence.
By Alesia Hendley
BOTH INTEGRATORS and end users are
becoming more familiar with AV-over-IP
(AVoIP) solutions. However, a large portion
of our industry is still not implementing
AVoIP. From an AV perspective, the initial
thought of adding IT can be daunting. I
remember my own first touchpoint with
an AVoIP solution. It wasn't until I started
approaching the overall design with a basic
signal-flow mindset that things began to
click. AV and IT teams must work through
bandwidth concerns, terminological
barriers and a general communication gap,
all of which make it hard to wrap our minds
around implementing AVoIP solutions.
In 2020, CI surveyed the integration
community, seeking to evaluate AVoIP as it
applies to our industry. Nearly 56% marked a
lack of networking and IT knowledge among
staff as the top barrier to integrating AVoIP.
Some 43% of respondents mentioned a lack
of staff experience integrating AVoIP equipment.
Meanwhile, 38% pointed to a lack of
understanding of different standards.
The world has changed a great deal since
2020. I believe that, likewise, we've seen a
change in how the majority of our industry
views AVoIP. So, how can integration teams
expand their knowledge base and grow
more confident in AVoIP solutions? By making
the time investment and embracing this
fact: The AV/IT convergence is here to stay.
They say, " Most people miss opportunity
because it's dressed in overalls and looks
like work. " Let's get to work, people! Want
to learn more about AVoIP? Utilize the tools
that are right in front of you! The internet
is one of the greatest tools ever created.
Many manufacturers have free online
training. Set up your team for success by
requiring its members to go through these
trainings. Hold each other accountable to
gain knowledge of the most widely adopted
AVoIP solutions.
For example, Audinate's Dante certifications,
Levels 1-3, are recognized around the
world. Obtaining all three certifications sets
10
Commercial Integrator APRIL 2022
your team apart, providing a solid foundation
to begin implementing Dante AVoIP systems.
QSC training is also recognized extensively
across the world, and it's free. If you pair
these manufacturer trainings with NETGEAR
Academy, it not only empowers your team to
be more self-sufficient, but also provides the
skills to equip your firm for the challenges of
today's networking-centric world.
Information can also be found in technical
documents, case studies, whitepapers, webinars
and YouTube videos. Many vendors
are leveraging video content that provides
information to help guide integrators and
end users to success. My two favorite YouTube
channels are BZB TV and HowToAV.tv.
Making all forms of technical training
available to your team should be a high-priority
initiative for managers and executive
leadership alike. Technology is constantly
evolving; so, too, is the way end users use
their spaces. Thus, we should evolve, too.
Training can be the driving force to keep
team members growing and prospering in
their individual careers. That growth, then,
can lead to less turnover. COVID-19 threw
a wrench into a lot of hands-on training,
especially with many of these trainings
usually held at large trade shows. But there
are alternatives. Manufacturers are getting
back on the road and attending regional
shows, as well as hosting training for teams
directly in their offices.
You might be surprised by the answer
you receive from a manufacturer if you
simply ask for a " lunch and learn " or a
hands-on training. All parties are starting
to see the value of hands-on training. And
I predict we'll see more of this training
coming back this year.
But, in the meantime, invest in your
team. Take the online training and couple
it with building out systems in the office or
warehouse. Many teams already build racks
before going into an install. Take that same
approach when it comes to AVoIP solutions.
Grow your team's confidence by building
NETGEAR's
Commitment
to Helping
Integrators Succeed
NETGEAR is committed to helping
you ease the pain of getting to know
AV-over-IP (AVoIP). We've had to get
to know AV, and we can now help you
get to know IT. We have hundreds of
switches (and we also make fantastic
Wi-Fi access points, by the way), and
we'll work with you to figure out the
best switches for your needs.
Sure, you can check out our
website, peruse the datasheets and
memorize all the specs. But, after you
do your initial research, let our free
Design Engineering Services team
help you make sure your network
design takes into consideration all the
uplinks, redundancy and more that
your job requires.
After you work with our team,
you'll be better equipped for the next
job because our team works with you
through the entire process. We want
you to succeed!
- John Henkel, director of SMB
product marketing, NETGEAR
out AVoIP systems in-house before bringing
them to your clients. Practice makes perfect!
And I get it: Time is in short supply. But
the upfront time investment saves minutes
(or days) when you go to deploy a client's
system. Building systems in-house is a proactive
method that sets up teams to succeed
before they ever touch a jobsite. And, if
time is still an issue, then partner! NETGEAR
has a free service, and they will design the
network infrastructure for you. Leverage
industry resources and partnerships, and
wake up and smell the coffee! Don't miss
an opportunity because you're scared to embrace
new ways of deploying AV systems.
commercialintegrator.com
http://www.HowToAV.tv http://www.commercialintegrator.com

Commercial Integrator April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator April 2022

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Commercial Integrator April 2022 - 1
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