Renowned for its nursing program, the College of San Mateo in San Mateo, CA houses two main nursing labs where students learn their chosen profession. The college recently upgraded its legacy control system to Atlona’s Velocity solution in an effort to provide instructors and students with the capabilities to leverage the classroom equipment that was already in place.
“Instructors want to do more today, and we really had a desire to give them more flexibility to access our Samsung UF 130dx document cameras and Apple TV devices over the network,” Alexis Arreola, IT support technician at the College of San Mateo, explained in a case study on the project. “At the same time, they were used to a fairly simple control setup. We needed a system with a true networked approach to control, without added complexity in operation. We didn’t want to install a system with an overabundance of buttons that would intimidate users, or require an extended learning curve.”
Velocity is made up of three main components: Velocity Cloud, a centralized (online) tool that enables remote configuration, monitoring, and management; Velocity Control Gateway, an IP-based processor with automatic failover; and Velocity Touch Panels, touchscreens measuring either 5.5 or 8 inches. The Velocity Control Gateway addressed another one of Arreola’s major concerns: deploying a system that would support scalability. Currently, the college uses an IP-based server appliance that will interface with up to 250 devices, but he expects to move to a cloud-based software license hosted on a central IT infrastructure, with up to 5,000 devices supported, in the near future.
“That expandability is going to be what matters in the long run,” Arreola said. “We currently have 173 classrooms on campus, many of which fall under the definition of smart classrooms. Those classrooms include more commercial AV gear, including Epson G7000w projectors and Atlona AT-UHD-CLSO-612 presentation switchers. The new building being raised will add huddle rooms and conference rooms with similar gear. Velocity will allow us to support all of these spaces, connect to the district office, and eventually onto our other two [facilities]—Skyline College and Canada College, which are our other two colleges in the system. So it’s pretty clear we will quickly move beyond 250 networked devices to control, and Velocity is really our own gateway to a networked control architecture system-wide.”
Built to Grow
Concerned with gaining control of your expanding technology lineup? Here’s the latest on what other solutions are available for tech managers seeking pain-free growth.
AMX N2400 SERIES
For those concerned with managing video, AMX by Harman offers the AMX N2400 Series of encoders and decoders. These video-over-IP solutions deliver support for 4K video at 60Hz and 4:4:4 chroma, and utilize JPEG 2000 encoding. The N2400 Series—comprised of the NMX-ENCN2412A standalone encoder, the NMXENC-N2412A-C encoder card, and the NMX-DEC-2422A standalone decoder—is designed to provide tech managers with flexible and scalable networked AV distribution.
ATLONA AMS 2.0
Atlona AMS 2.0 is the company’s latest management system designed for tech managers who need to quickly configure, monitor, and service multiple Atlona products. Features include automatic network discovery, multi-device configuration and management, automatic firmware updates, event logging, as well as alerts and notifications. Like its predecessor, AMS 2.0 is operated via a web browser, and this new version features a redesigned GUI that applies interaction and navigation elements from the company’s Velocity solution. It comes in two versions: the ATAMS-HW server appliance (no software installation or configuration necessary), or as a free software application.
CRESTRON XIO CLOUD
The XiO Cloud solution by Crestron allows tech managers to configure and deploy an unlimited number of Crestron products simultaneously. Drag-and-drop functionality lets tech managers name and configure devices, and organize them by groups and sub-groups. Its remote monitoring and management capabilities provide users with data such as how spaces and the technology in them are used, a searchable activity log of all actions within the portal, and group status. And, the system requires no programming.
KRAMER VIA SITE MANAGEMENT
Part of its family of VIA wireless presentation and collaboration solutions, Kramer’s VIA Site Management (VSM) is an enterprise-wide management platform. VSM allows tech managers to control and configure all VIA devices on their organization’s network from a single window via a web-based interface. The platform’s dashboard offers a real-time view into data on system performance and usage, and it also lets users perform simultaneous firmware updates and optimization. The solution is designed with both large enterprises as well as small-to medium-sized businesses in mind; its pricing model is based on the number of VIA units being managed. VSM supports both Windows and Linux.
QSC Q-SYS REFLECT
QSC will soon launch its Q-SYS Reflect management platform, designed as part of its overall Q-SYS offering. Two different versions will be available: Q-SYS Reflect Core Manager, which will run natively on the Q-SYS Core processor; and Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager, a cloud-based solution. Both versions will deliver real-time data for global system monitoring, diagnostics, and troubleshooting. The company will begin by offering Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager as a hosted cloud-based solution, and in future updates QSC says it will include an on-premise version as well as an API that will allow tech managers to integrate Q-SYS Reflect with other enterprise management applications.
Utelogy’s software-defined AV platform strives to facilitate deployments, control, management, and troubleshooting. One of the main components of the platform is U-Manage, which gives tech managers visibility into how spaces and equipment are performing, as well as usage, across an organization. Earlier this year, the company launched a beta version of its Managed Services Portal to enable AV integrators and IT Value Added Resellers (VARs) to leverage U-Manage’s functionality to better serve customers who are outsourcing system maintenance and management.