We often recognize manufacturers for their technological innovations—those products drive our industry. But we'd be remiss if we did not recognize the people behind those innovations and the experiences they create with their services.
For the sixth year in a row, we turned to you, our readers, to determine the winners of the SCN Stellar Service Awards. Voting on the nominees took place in March, and now the votes have been tallied. We are proud to announce the winning results and congratulate these exceptional service providers.
Best Use Of An Afternoon (Best Online Training)
Today’s audio professionals require up-to-date technical insights and training in this rapidly evolving industry. It is Shure’s goal to share its expertise, know-how, and support, so you thrive in the work you do. Through the Shure Audio Institute—a global educational and training platform—you have access to deep knowledge and practical skills on general audio topics, technical, sales, and Shure product solutions that enable you to effectively manage every client situation encountered.
Q-SYS Control 101 lowers the barrier of entry for learning control programming with curriculum that highlights the benefits of a software-based control paradigm that leverages modern scripting languages and easy visual coding tools. Q-SYS Control 101 proves you can learn programming in hours rather than weeks and months, making it ideal for programmers of all levels. And it’s free and delivered in the same interactive and hilarious style QSC is known for.
Technology is rapidly changing, and with more devices becoming network-enabled, Biamp is empowering integrators, system designers, and end users to keep their skills sharp. Biamp’s online training program digs into the trends, practices, products, and solutions needed. Training resources are available 24/7, in a self-paced and easy-to-consume format, available on their schedule. The company also added an industry-leading technology resource—Biamp Cornerstone—with helpful content for every possible need, from VoIP to networking.
Best Excuse to Leave the Office (Best In-House Training Program)
Crestron Technical Institute has created a wide range of courses and learning tracks specific to its customers' areas of interest, including design, integration, networking, and programming. Its instructor-led courses provide students the foundation for earning a Crestron Certification, confirming their knowledge of Crestron software and solutions. For Crestron to succeed, it needs its dealers to succeed. Throughout each course track, each student's knowledge, skills, and performance will be put to the test.
Gold: Sound Productions
Education is a top priority for Sound Productions, so it built a state-of-the-art demo facility to provide the space for people to knowledge-share and master their trade with industry experts. Attendees can get exclusive gear knowledge, pro tips from industry leaders, or boost their proficiency through one of its hands-on trainings. Sound Productions expanded its educational opportunities to more than 40 events in 2018—from beginner to master classes—and it doesn’t plan to slow down.
Silver: Riedel Communications
Riedel Tuesdays provide a friendly environment where guests can learn the operational basics of Riedel products and ask questions about situations they’ve encountered. These day-long, free events are led by Riedel systems consultants, respected pros, and freelancers. Sessions are regularly held at the company’s Burbank office and at guest venues throughout North America. Riedel Tuesdays can focus on any of the company’s product families and are easily adaptable to the experience level of the participants.
The Dealer Portal You Want to Keep Going Back to (Best Website Dealer Portal)
Extron Insider provides customers with access to Extron software downloads, certification programs, and System Builders that allow users to quickly and easily build a system and order online in just a few clicks. Users can also access product configuration tools, videos, training enrollment forms, and valuable technical articles, white papers, and design guides. Extron has taken extra care to provide each Extron Insider with access to the precise information they need for their specific job.
The new and improved Crestron.com allows dealers to create multiple project lists, save them in their personal library, and revisit them later. This new feature helps streamline the proposal process by allowing dealers to share their lists directly with Crestron’s sales team and prepare official proposals from one location. The website also features a support center available 24/7, which houses all of the documents associated with its products, contact information, and more.
Sales Support You Can Believe In (Best Sales Operation)
Platinum: Sound Productions
Sound Productions is dedicated to exceeding customer expectations throughout the entire buying experience. It has the largest inventory in the Southwest, same-day shipping, and more than 350 product lines. You can attend a hands-on training or test out equipment before purchase at its cutting-edge demo facility. A streamlined buying process, full after-sale support, and its team’s knowledge and experience make its customers feel confident that they can achieve their AVL vision and meet their deadline.
For more than 93 years, an outstanding sales experience has been at the forefront of Shure’s business. By offering exceptional pre- and post-sales support, the sales team receives real-time feedback from end users allowing Shure to better develop best-in-class products that meet and exceed the customer’s needs at a competitive price. If an issue does arise, Shure’s Service Department is available to provide high-quality technical support while resolving product repairs immediately.
The priority of Peerless-AV’s sales team has always been to provide reliable, holistic solutions to clients. That’s why the team is heavily involved with industry publications, organizations, and tradeshows to remain up to date on relevant information while promoting technological solutions. Despite the complex nature of those products, sales materials are presented in an aesthetically pleasing and easily digestible manner. Clients can always count on comprehensive support from this sales team as they research their projects.
The Number You Have on Autodial (Best Tech Support)
Unlike most companies that have transitioned to automated systems, Shure believes excellent tech support derives from human-to-human interaction. Seasoned experts draw on a combined 190-plus years of audio industry experience to directly address customer inquiries. Shure’s application engineers have built and maintained an extensive FAQs database—featuring more than 5,000 entries—and published industry-specific educational publications. With application engineers in multiple countries, technical support is available to customers around the world via phone or email.
Extron tech support is second to none in the industry. Customers will always hear a live voice on its 24-hour support hotline. It provides after-hours technical support, including weekends and holidays. Whether you need help commissioning or designing small to large systems, or have a last-minute troubleshooting question in the middle of the night, a trained and knowledgeable engineer will be there to help. Extron stands by its 100-percent satisfaction guarantee.
WolfVision earns loyalty by making sure its customers are completely satisfied with its products, enjoy great support, and experience an unusually high return on investment. Many of them depend daily on equipment they purchased from the company more than a decade ago, and they're delighted by its continual willingness to repair and return what it can. When promising to replace solutions as they fail, WolfVision’s customers often grin because they've been promising that for years.
Your Design Co-Pilot (Best Design Services)
AVAD’s Technical Services team is a group of industry experts dedicated to providing AVAD’s partners with the technical resources to tackle the most demanding and complex projects. With more than 30 industry certifications from the AV industry’s leading organizations and vendors and years of experience designing, programming, and installing AV systems, AVAD’s Technical Services team provides unrivaled levels of support to their valued partners.
Gold: Synnex Corporation
Synnex VisualSolv has a highly trained and certified team of design engineers available to assist with everything from pre-sales support, peer review and design collaboration, to full-solution design with detailed BOMs. Engineers provide complimentary assessments across AV technologies, and manage the delivery of assessments for adjacent technologies including wireless networks, storage, and cloud. The team holds certifications such as CTS, CTS-D, and BICSI, along with numerous vendor certifications including Cisco and Microsoft.
Crestron has a variety of services that help streamline the design process for designers. Its exclusive Color Match service allows Crestron roller shades to tie in flawlessly with any customer's design scheme. All you have to do is provide a Pantone color code or a physical color sample and a Crestron expert will do the rest. No other manufacturer offers this level of customization and flexibility.
Your Best Defense Against Scope Creep (Best Project Management Platform)
D-Tools’ on-premises software, System Integrator (SI), caters to the unique and diverse needs of systems design and installation firms. SI helps manage key aspects of an integrator’s business—including sales, comprehensive system design, project documentation, and project management—helping streamline business processes for improved operational efficiencies and increased profitability. The latest release delivers critical new features: workflow management rules, project notifications, and calculated items, as well as additional productivity enhancements.
The Storyteller that Keeps You on the Edge of Your Seat (Best Content Creation)
In 2018 Almo acquired Insteo, a DS content and creative company that programs and designs content for DS, then provides tools to manage changes in cloud. Almo now offers expedited quote/project management and global accessibility. Cloud Templates: Pre-designed content for immediate use for menu boards, lobby directories, real estate listings, and project boards. Users can change prices, tenants, etc. from anywhere. Custom Content: Award-winning designers and programmers create DS content including data integration, touchscreens, video development, motion graphics, and custom programming.