SCN Announces 2020 Stellar Service Award Winners

We often recognize manufacturers for their technological innovations—those products drive our industry—but we’d be remiss if we didn’t also recognize the people behind those innovations and the experiences they create with their services.

SCN Stellar Service Awards 2020

(Image credit: Future)

For the seventh year, we turned to you, our readers, to determine the winners of the SCN Stellar Service Awards. Voting on the nominees took place in February and 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)

Platinum: Shure Audio Institute

With increasing innovation, it’s essential for today’s audio professionals to be on top of technical insights and training. The Shure Audio Institute (SAI)—a global education and training program—provides professionals access to deep knowledge and practical skills on several topics including technical support, sales, and product solutions that will enable you to effectively manage any client situation. It’s Shure’s goal to share its know-how and expertise so you can succeed.

Gold: Peerless-AV Certified Installer Training Program

With Peerless-AV’s Certified Installer Training Program, installers are able to receive customized, hands-on sessions to fit installation needs. Through both in-person or online webinar options, the Peerless-AV Certified Installer Training Program and courses demonstrate the importance of proper installation techniques and safety, and address efficient methods to reduce the risk of faulty installations. Peerless-AV’s five level program allow installers and integrators to learn new skills or refine their past learnings.

Silver: QSC Online Training

QSC’s online training program offers dozens of courses and over 900 videos that allow students to learn at their own pace. Skilled (and hilarious) presenters keep the content moving with short, engaging videos. QSC introduced several new courses in the last 12 months alone, including advanced courses for third-party control, video streaming, remote monitoring, business music, and K.2 Series loudspeakers. Classes are available in several languages and, the best part, they’re free!

Best Excuse to Leave the Office (Best In-House Training Program)

Platinum: Shure RF Certification Program

With the spectrum landscape becoming increasingly crowded, RF coordinators are asked to do more with less. To better prepare audio professionals in today’s evolving wireless marketplace, The Shure Audio Institute (SAI) launched the RF Certification Program. This certification provides RF coordinators and audio professionals with hands-on training conducted by Shure’s team of dedicated RF engineers and expert facilitators. The program arms participants with the skills needed to navigate and troubleshoot complex RF situations.

Gold: Sound Productions

Sound Productions offers a broad scope of educational opportunities in its state-of-the-art Experience Center. SoundPro puts on approximately two to four events per month, with topics ranging from classroom style application courses (AV 101, RF frequency coordination, AVoIP) to in-depth, hands-on mixing workshops with industry experts. There is truly something for everyone. You can also visit their Experience Center Monday through Friday to demo product or enjoy free lunch and giveaways at one of their Customer Appreciation events. 

Silver: Extron

Education and training are the cornerstones of Extron’s commitment to our customers. Our Extron Institute training and certification programs cover existing and emerging technologies, including 4K and beyond, digital video, network AV, fiber optics, twisted pair, audio DSP, streaming AV, and control configuration. Courses are offered at 30 Extron training centers worldwide. In addition to AV technology training, participants will learn best practices for system design, installation, and troubleshooting through hands-on experiences in real-world scenarios.

The Dealer Portal You Want to Keep Going Back to (Best Website Dealer Portal)

Platinum: Extron

Extron Insider provides customers with access to Extron software downloads, certification programs, 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.


BlackWire’s website offers a clean, simple tool that allows customers to find their solution quickly and easily. With its built-in chat system, the BlackWire team is there to assist in finding the perfect product. If dealers need technical support, the website features a built-in ticketing system as well. A convenient driver marketplace offers an extensive range of software for Control4 and URC platforms, and BlackWire maintains a database packed with informative articles and guides.

Silver: Crestron

Backed by a team of highly talented web designers, is a one-stop shop offering 24/7 access to the latest configuration tools, manuals, and more. Constantly updated with new functionalities, our website is designed to provide dealers with a sophisticated user-experience. When logging into, guests instantly see tailored content relevant to their business, making it simple to find what they need and to stay up to date with the latest Crestron news.

Sales Support You Can Believe In (Best Sales Operation)

Platinum: Shure Sales

An excellent sales experience has been at the forefront of Shure’s business for over 94 years. Shure’s Product Technical Support Team offers incomparable pre and post-sales support by receiving real-time feedback from end-users enabling Shure to produce the company’s superior products that surpass their customer’s expectations—all at a competitive price. If issues do emerge, Shure’s Service Department is standing by to deliver advanced technical support while resolving product repairs immediately.

Gold: Symetrix Sales Team

From pre-sales to smooth order entry and fulfillment, the Symetrix Sales team is fast, knowledgeable, and fun! Whether you call one of our regional managers, our special projects consultant, or inside sales we connect you to product answers fast. When you call or e-mail, we personally answer, and we do everything in our power to get gear in your hands quickly and reliably.  We’re obsessed with delivering a phenomenal customer experience through flawless execution.

Silver: Crestron Sales Support Services

Our Sales Support Services (SSS) Team is comprised of experienced solution engineers and administrators, dedicated to delivering world class service to our customers worldwide. Our team provides assistance with all technical, pricing, system design, and quotation related inquiries; perform comparative analysis for competitive projects and quotes; sales tools, information, application drawings, Design/Best-Practices Guides, CAD/Visio-Blocks, Revit/BIM Files, Architectural and CSI format Specifications.

The Number You Have on Autodial (Best Tech Support)

Platinum: Symetrix Technical Support Team

The Symetrix Technical Support team is comprised of industry veterans with 30 years combined Symetrix experience, over 100 years combined audio experience, and decades of experience in customer service and networking. We are analytical problem solvers who provide the highest caliber of technical support and go above and beyond the call of duty to assist our customers. We are passionate about all things audio and love the opportunity to share that with our customers.

Gold: Extron

Extron tech support is second-to-none in the industry. Customers will always hear a live voice on our 24-hour support hotline. We provide 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 our 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Silver: Shure Applications

Shure has believed that the best tech support is derived from human-to-human interaction and it still does today. Unlike most companies that have transitioned to automated systems, Shure’s application engineers have developed an extensive FAQ database—featuring 5,000-plus entries—and published industry-specific educational publications. Technical support is available to customers worldwide via phone or email from application engineers who draw on almost 200 years of audio industry experience to directly address customer questions.

Your Design Co-Pilot (Best Design Services)

Platinum: Synnex VisualSolv

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 assessment delivery for adjacent technologies including wireless networks, storage and cloud. The team holds certifications including DSCE, CTS, CTS-D, and BICSI. CTS Prep classes are also offered to Synnex partners.

Gold: Crestron Color Match

Crestron has a variety of services that help streamline the design process for designers. Our 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)

Platinum: D-Tools System Integrator (SI) Software

D-Tools System Integrator (SI) is a robust business software that helps manage all aspects of an integrator’s business, including sales, comprehensive system design, project documentation, procurement, installation, back office management, and service, through a data-driven process that leverages an extensive and integrated product library. D-Tools software helps streamline the entire project workflow for integrators, leading to improved operational efficiencies and increased profitability.

The Storyteller that Keeps You on the Edge of Your Seat (Best Content Creation)

Platinum: Crestron Electronics, Inc.

At Crestron, we value our customers and take a special interest in helping AV and IT teams tell their story. With a gallery full of awesome customer success stories that highlight projects across all industries, we strive to create a space for inspiration and tribute. In addition to case studies and video testimonials, Crestron develops some of the most engaging and creative brochures, manuals, editorial ads, and social content in the industry!

*All descriptions are provided by contest entrants and SCN does not guarantee the validity of these statements.

The staff of Systems Contractor News serves the AV integration industry with thorough news analysis, trend reports, and the latest product and technology information—delivered to an audience of decision-makers.