AQAV, and InfoComm

On Friday I arrived in Orlando to teach the three-day AV/IT Integration class at the InfoComm Institute for Professional Development. The mixed class of AV and IT personnel from around the world are attending the class to gain enough knowledge so that the AV guys can talk intelligently to the IT guys and vice versa. My teaching partner is Max Kopsho, CTS-D, CTS-I, MCSE, the new VP, Business Development for Arrive Systems out of Dubai. Max is Arrive’s first U.S. employee and will be putting a team together to attack the marketplace with their elegant mixture of software and hardware to handle integration issues for a broad range of clients. His booth should be as popular this year as it was last year.

Our 30 class participants surprised me when polled as to what they were going to be seeking on the show floor. It was mostly the usual mix – new displays for conference rooms, classrooms, newer technologies like laser or OLED, matrix switchers, screens and rear projection, video conferencing, testing equipment, fiber, and, interestingly, iPad control of system components.

The surprise was what wasn’t mentioned – 3D, digital signage and pico projectors. Only when as I was walking back to my hotel did Greg Bronson, Classroom Technology Project Leader at Cornell, even mention a pending digital signage deployment. Near the end of class on Sunday we cover AVB and the AVnu alliance and its possible impact, followed by digital signage and its attachment to and delivery over networks.

Walking through the bar couple nights ago, I ran into Mario Maltese, CTS-D, CTS-I with Audio Visual Resources, Inc. Mario has been the biggest proponent and practitioner of commissioning in the AV industry for years, making sure the SYSTEM is right for hundreds of customers. We had an interesting conversation about a new non-profit corporation that he and a group of concerned individuals recently formed - AQAV, the Association for Quality in Audio Visual Technology, Inc.

The goal of this new organization is the creation of standards for qualitymanagement for audiovisual systems, looking at the teams that design and install the systems. Apart from commissioning, this would ensure that the customer will get what they want!

Where InfoComm trains and certifies individuals, AQAV will train and certify companies. Using the individuals InfoComm has certified, the goal would be to have a CTS-D sign off on AQAV installations.

The result is that a company can be hired to do a job and it is accomplished successfully with no “punch list”, because the company has the management systems in place to assure that everything happens properly. This wraps around the ISO9000 standard, with industry specific metrics for AV and would be named AV9000:2011 – an ANSI standard. This is to AV what Quest (a separate organization) is to TIA in the telecommunications world.

Interesting… (OR It will be interesting to see how the industry embraces this new push for quality.)

Mike Weems, CTS, MCP

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