As integrators, you’re in the business of solving customers’ business challenges with integrated technology. The coronavirus outbreak has created myriad new business challenges for many customers. Not all COVID-19 business challenges can be resolved with technology, but these solutions can help.
You’ve seen the headlines and read the stories: Retail stores are closed or have limited hours. Schools and universities are holding at least some classes online. Employees are working (or trying to) from home. Movie theaters, Broadway theaters, ballparks, stadiums, arenas, and convention centers often sit dark and empty. Broadband service providers are seeing unprecedented demand for speed as videoconferences, gamers, musicians, and TV viewers compete for gigabits.
As we try to control the pandemic while also attempting to resume normal economic activity, our clients still have urgent needs for AV support. But we can’t rely on the same solutions and products that served us in the past—not with government and medical restrictions in place to observe social distancing rules and minimize person-to-person contact and incidental contact with surfaces that might contain viral residues.
Consider meetings and classes. While there is ongoing debate about whether to have them in person or virtually, people still need to meet to discuss, share ideas, and learn. Ideally, we would use a wireless, touch-free platform to connect onsite participants while also providing secure, reliable communication paths for those joining remotely.
Watch Below: Clint Hoffman makes a case for cloud-based control
Cloud-Based Control and Navigating Jobsites
Control systems are another area of concern during these times. When it comes to COVID-19 business challenges, there are myriad health and economic reasons to install an AV control system that minimizes onsite labor for programming and troubleshooting and also retains flexibility for software updates and hardware replacement. The solution lies in the cloud—a cloud-based control system that makes extensive use of virtual programming, large driver databases, and broadband connections to make it all work.
With Kramer Control, there’s no need for onsite programming. Instead, a complete AV system program can be pushed over an Internet connection from anywhere in the world to the control system processor. No one needs to set foot in the meeting space other than for a hardware installation.
There are multiple advantages to a cloud-based control system. Remote access to the room’s user interface through a broadband connection makes it possible to train anyone who will use the facility without being onsite. Rooms can be custom-configured and monitored for clients who don’t have technicians on staff and lack the knowledge to maintain a control system on their own.
Specialists can log in and take command of the system remotely for diagnostics, much the same way remote terminal programs allow technicians to take control of a computer for troubleshooting. With Kramer Control, most operating issues and problems can be investigated, diagnosed, and repaired remotely. Programming can be thoroughly tested online. If a major issue requires an in-person service call, then the technician is better prepared to fix the issue upon arrival and minimize time onsite.
Clint Hoffman is CEO of Kramer Electronics U.S. As a 2020 Pivot to Profit Virtual sponsor, Kramer is helping NSCA lead business transformation conversations.
From 2020 P2Pv Sponsor Kramer:
Kramer’s VIA wireless presentation family of products is uniquely appropriate for COVID-19 business challenges. There’s no need to touch buttons to share your screen—you use whatever laptop or mobile device you brought to the meeting and control your presentation from your own screen. For remote participants on the same network, such as students socially distanced in multiple classrooms, VIA supports H.264 video streaming from one VIA device to another or to any other computer or device on the network that supports this codec. For students connecting remotely via wide area networks, VIA also employs Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) and RTMP-Secure to connect to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Kaltura, Panopto, and other live streaming services.
Kramer’s latest innovation is VIA Versa, which lets you run meetings using your own laptop. And you can travel light, as there’s no need to plug in any hardware in your meeting space. With Versa, you can improve the quality of your video and audio by making wireless connections from USB peripherals, such as cameras, microphones, and speakers, to your device using a software-agnostic application. Versa is a fit for distance learning, hybrid classrooms, and meeting with remote attendees.
VIA doubles as a content server. Between meetings, you can use it to display digital signage to update meeting, social distancing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines in rooms and common areas. VIA Site Management software lets you maintain and update all devices on your network remotely; there’s no need for an admin to travel to a room troubleshoot, reset, update, and reboot individual VIA devices. VSM also provides detailed analytics on which rooms are and aren’t being used so disinfecting crews can efficiently target high-traffic spaces.