AV & IT Merge at University Help Desks

At Montclair State University, Assistant Director for Academic Technology John O’Brien explains that the help desk is based on The Distributed Technology Support Model that was born out of Educause. When a call comes in, the responding technician will first assess the problem using Crestron’s RoomView. If they can’t solve the issue remotely, they will attempt to resolve it on site. If that’s not possible, they will send a ticket to the university’s central IT department, which then routes it to AV Services. And, finally, if AV Services has no luck making the fix, they will call the local AV dealer––with which the university has a service contract––so that repairs or hot swaps can be made within 48 hours.

Casey Foulds, higher education relationship manager at control systems manufacturer AMX, says that the separation between AV and IT at university help desks is less and less. “Most universities are now creating consulting teams to help get all tech support on the same page since more and more AV equipment becomes network-centric,” he stated, adding that good working relations between AV and network support is imperative.

  • “This can be accomplished by inviting members of the network team to AV discussion meetings and sharing documentation with IT networking personnel on how these network-centric AV pieces operate on the network,” Foulds said.

Carolyn Heinze is a regular contributor to AV TECHNOLOGY magazine. Read more of her higher ed tech coverage in the September edition of AV TECHNOLOGY.

Carolyn Heinze has covered everything from AV/IT and business to cowboys and cowgirls ... and the horses they love. She was the Paris contributing editor for the pan-European site Running in Heels, providing news and views on fashion, culture, and the arts for her column, “France in Your Pants.” She has also contributed critiques of foreign cinema and French politics for the politico-literary site, The New Vulgate.