When Should You Hire an Audiovisual Specialist? - AvNetwork.com

When Should You Hire an Audiovisual Specialist?

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There’s value to a can-do attitude, but some tasks steal your time and energy from your actual job responsibilities.

As a technology manager, you are used to taking on a lot of extra work. You perform a variety of do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks, including production, workarounds, trainings, and integration. But are there times you wish you could call another professional to take some tasks off your plate as well as to help you make the most of your time and investments? AV integrators can take on a variety of complex AV-related tasks but can also simply make your life easier by reducing worry and a heavy workload.

So how do you know when you should do it yourself and when you should seek out a professional audiovisual partner?

Here are some tips from industry pros: 

When to Do It Yourself

When all you have to do is plug in a solution, and it will take more time, effort, and cost to seek out an audiovisual integrator, you can consider doing it yourself. However, this advice comes with a couple of caveats:

  1. “Only do it yourself when you are 100 percent sure you can do it right,” advises Jason Ward, sales and marketing director at Involve.
  2. Ensure you don’t want other services like advice, integration, maintenance, monitoring, training, etc. beyond the basic installation.

Tips for Doing It Yourself

If you decide to take on a DIY project, Ward recommends remembering the adage: “Buy cheap, buy twice,” meaning if you don’t choose a quality solution, you’ll end up replacing it sooner rather than later.

Other important tips include reading the directions and following manufacturer recommendations which often offer helpful hints, tips, and additional resources. An important step often skipped by DIYers is to address user adoption. Even if the solution is high quality and installed correctly, users won’t take advantage of it if they don’t know it’s there, don’t know what it does, and don’t know how to use it.

When Do You Need an AV Integrator?

You need an AV integrator when:

  • The solution is complex
  • It must work with other solutions
  • You aren’t sure you can install it correctly or quickly
  • You want to ensure ROI
  • You need to maximize adoption

Some solutions require a high level of expertise, while others may be moderately difficult but take up valuable time to figure out, so they divert resources from daily duties and other projects.

Kevin Talbot, head of technical sales at Involve, says, it’s not just an issue of technology complexity but also of the service wrap. “Don’t take on the burden yourself of dealing with issues on kit that can be highly specialized in its implementation or deployment or you don’t have the time to install, implement, deploy, and/or maintain.” 

The Value of an Integrator

The value of an AV integrator extends far beyond simply installing an AV solution. Ward explained that the “enhanced support and management ensure increased usage and adoption.” Also, integrators take a big picture approach that considers the entire space and user experience—not just the technology. “We deliver services with the end user’s benefit at the heart of everything we do,” Ward said.

Ideally, a client will include the integrator from the beginning of the project. When they are part of the planning and design phases, they can help you make the best purchase decisions. However, even if your project is well beyond that point, an integrator can provide expertise and resources that can help.

This blog was originally published on PSNI's website: http://blog.psni.org/av-blog/hire-an-audiovisual-integrator

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