AVT Question: Please share insight into the current state of networked AV and control; what you see as barriers to entry; and what advice can you offer on how AV/IT managers can overcome limited resources or a lack of buy-in.
Thought Leader: Michael DiBella, Director of Commercial Product Marketing at Crestron (opens in new tab)
Honestly, I think the biggest barrier is one of mindset, given the technology we’ve developed. There’s a resistance to migrating from a processor—a piece of hardware, a device one might perceive as easier to manage and control—to a network that can expand.
If there’s a determination that a company is willing to entertain a software solution, there’s another variable: Is it on-premises or off? I’d be willing to bet that most IT professionals would be more comfortable with an on-premises software solution; it’s less of a “giant step,” especially given the importance of data integrity, security, and so on.
I think that once one understands the benefits of a software solution, it’s an easier sell. These solutions come with incredible cost savings in terms of the ongoing management of that control system. Instead of managing tens, if not hundreds, or even thousands of individual processors across individual rooms, floors, and buildings, now you’re managing a few servers (or even just one) controlling hundreds or even thousands of rooms.
It’s vastly easier to update that single server with a general software update than pushing out firmware updates to all of these different processors as well. Additionally, with the right software, one can integrate existing hardware into the overall solution.
Here’s an example: We’re seeing more and more deployments of video walls and signage. You might have an existing Crestron control processor in a conference room, but now you want to interact with that video wall. You could now use a solution such as VC-4, Crestron’s virtual control; it’s easier to deploy, and as that processor hits the end of its life, you merely buy an additional license for that room and retain all the functionality.
AV Technology's Thought Leader Series on AVoX
Check out what other industry thought leaders have to say about the state of networked AV. A full list with links can be found at the bottom of the On AVoX, the Intro Article (opens in new tab)