How AV Consultants Deliver Value to Organisations How AV Consultants Deliver Value to Organisations • konnectus

How AV Consultants Deliver Value to Organisations

Stuart:

Welcome to another edition of CresTV. My guest this week is David Allara from konnectus, a Sydney based AV consultancy firm. Welcome, David. Thanks, Stuart. It’s great to be here.

So obviously, technology has changed a lot. You and I have been doing this for a long time. Has the role of consultants changed over the last few years?

David:

I think there is from some, like the great consultants. The sorts of things they offer is start at the beginning really. They try to really understand the business that they’re working with, the end users that they’re working with. Trying to look for problems that maybe need to be solved, which may or may not require technology.

Stuart:

And what’s driving the needs of the customer these days? What’s on the top of their list?

David:

I think, not much has changed there. It’s ease of use has always been at the top of the list there. I would also say trying to own a little bit more about the whole environment.

So, not just a project or an installation, but thinking more about after the installation. They want to know, okay, these things are going to break, how can we service and maintain and maybe take ownership of that?

The trend I’m also seeing is these equipment on their network now, and they’re thinking well, on my current I.T network, I’ve got devices which I can monitor and look out and get data from, and I want to do the same thing with my AV and I want control of that.

Stuart:

Over the recent years, and I guess Microsoft Teams and Teams Rooms has even brought this model before, AV has become the front of house of I. T. I always think of it in many ways, and people are using more of it.

And of course, There’s a lot more of it in people’s buildings these days, I guess it’s looking at the investment they’ve made and saying, “How are these things being used? Have I spent my money well?” Is that the of things they’re concerned about?

David:

Oh, 100%. And I think that’s been a struggle for years with with customers, They just can’t really get a grasp on the return that they’re getting from these investments they’re making. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s not, but they don’t really know. But having proper data to tell them “Oh yes, actually, that’s that room or that system is being used in this way, and that one is not how we expected. So how can we tweak it to match the data?”

Stuart:

Is COVID going to change any of those things or highlight any of those things as people come back into the workplace?

David:

Perhaps in the short term, I think it probably will. There’s obviously social distancing and there’s that talk around AV at the moment about not touching things and coming up with solutions to not touch devices and exploring technologies around. Maybe, talking to the technology, or maybe using your phone to scan a code and you can control systems that way. Sure, that’s all potentially useful. But I think that’s more short term, to be honest.

Stuart:

Well, we all hope it is. We hope we just get on to a normal life, right? Coming back to the original point, is one of many things over the years is, I think, as an industry, we’ve been very clever in the way we’ve done things. But the adaption of technology has often been poor, right? It’s always been a “Hey, look how clever we made this room”
and then you go back and has someone actually use the room, Well, only one guy knew how to use it. He left, etcetera, etcetera.

So, does Microsoft’s involvement now in this world, kind of, help that along?

David:

I mean, by having their own standard interface. I would say yes. Obviously, in workspace, in those Teams Room systems, I would say yes, because it is standardised and that’s always been one of our objectives when we’re working with a customer to try and make a standard user interface and to make it easy to use. And I can say the Microsoft Teams room system interface meets both those things.

Stuart:

So, one of the changes that I hear about around the industry is that consultants are more being involved with, perhaps, controlling the programming or perhaps being involved with an SLA. Is that something you are seeing as well in the market?

David:

I’ve actually done quite a bit of research on this, this year. I’ve been interviewing some of our major customers just to get a feel for what their experiences with service and maintenance and what they’re actually looking for. I can tell you definitely there’s a real need for, on their side at least, wanting to have that visibility of the data. So, just like in their I.T. They’d like to be able to monitor see what’s happening in a room. What’s offline, what’s not.
What’s online and also what the usage of actual products and what the rooms is. Now, taking that data and interpreting it into actual business changes, I think there’s a role for a consultant there. What we would normally do is, “okay, this is how you’re using the spaces, could be used in a slightly different way to get better outcomes for your business”.

That’s consulting, but I think the actual ownership of the day to day monitoring I think that’s Client side.

Stuart:

I think that’s what they want, and I think that’s what we see with Crestron XIO, everything going
to the cloud as it’s a natural progression because that’s people’s expectations on your I.T world. And then I think for the dealer, they want to be able to deploy and manage the firmware and software upgrades remotely through XIO.

But again, from the client’s point of view, it’s about how am I using these rooms, what can you tell me? What are the learnings for the next project? I think that’s important because ultimately that comes back around to our initial subject, which is adaption of technology. This is what we learned. This is what’s working for us. This is what’s not.

David:

Exactly and how we’re getting the most out of our investment

Stuart:

Thank you, David. My pleasure. Thanks for joining us on CresTV. We look forward to seeing you next time.