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.
For the eighth 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: Peerless-AV’s Certified Installer Training Program
The Peerless-AV Certified Installer Training Program is comprised of courses which demonstrate proper installation techniques, safety, and address efficient methods to reduce the risk of faulty installations. Topics covered include fundamentals of digital signage, mastering outdoor AV solutions and video wall mounting systems for direct view LED displays. The course is compliant with standards established for continuing education for system integrators and installers. Trainees receive customized sessions to fit installation needs, and detailed takeaway resources.
Extron offers convenient online training in multiple languages on existing and emerging technologies, including 4K and beyond, digital video, network AV, fiber optics, twisted pair, streaming AV, audio DSP, and control configuration, including hands-on practice with DSP and Control software. The new and improved Extron training portal delivers an enhanced learning experience from anywhere on a computer or mobile device. Extron also offers a Publications Review program, which qualifies participants for industry certification renewal units.
To help integrators deliver extraordinary AV experiences, Biamp’s objective is two-fold: create an innovative family of AV solutions backed by comprehensive, relevant training. AV professionals are empowered by Biamp’s AVIXA-accredited online training curriculum that examines the latest trends, standards, challenges, and solutions. Each easy-to-follow course is free and available 24/7. From the comfort of home and at their own pace, they can go from novice to master and achieve new business and professional goals.
Best Excuse to Leave the Office (Best In-House Training Program)
Platinum: Shure Integrated Systems Certification Program
With innovative technology increasing and to encourage an ever-expanding network of high-quality, skilled partners, Shure’s Integrated Systems certification program aims to educate new and existing customers. The program provides comprehensive product information and best practices for applications relating to solutions for the Shure Integrated Systems portfolio. Available in two expertise levels, the certification shares valuable knowledge for those who understand the challenges of system design, setup, and configuration.
Education and training are the cornerstones of Extron’s commitment to its customers. The 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.
Silver: The SoundPro Experience Center
Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, SoundPro put on approximately two to four events monthly in its 4,000 sq ft Experience Center in Irving, TX with topics ranging from classroom style application courses to in-depth, hands-on workshops with industry experts. They will resume activities in their Experience Center for product demos or free lunch and giveaways at one of its Customer Appreciation events when it is safe to do so again.
The Dealer Portal You Want to Keep Going Back to (Best Website Dealer Portal)
Platinum: Extron Insider
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.
Gold: Shure Tech Portal
Shure’s Tech Portal is the premier platform for those looking for in-depth information to support the design, deployment, and operation of Shure products. With an easy-to-understand layout and searchable navigation, users can quickly find everything they need including product documentation, comparisons, software/firmware information and technical tools, and resources. Plus, users can watch a series of short videos to better understand the basic functions and features of Shure products. https://techportal.shure.com/
Backed by a team of highly talented web designers, Crestron.com is a one-stop shop offering 24/7 access to the latest configuration tools, manuals, and more. Constantly updated with new functionalities, tthe website is designed to provide dealers with a sophisticated user-experience. When logging into Crestron.com, 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: Synnex VisualSolv
Synnex VisualSolv has a dedicated, experienced, and recently-expanded sales organization with inside reps, field reps, and technical overlay support. Reps are highly-trained on the latest offerings and how to apply them in various vertical markets. Synnex offers online ordering capabilities and a custom mobile app for checking stock and placing orders. Their extended team can even host and customize integrators’ e-storefronts, all without sacrificing the dedicated sales rep relationships that differentiate Synnex.
Gold: Sharp NEC Display Solutions (SNDS)
SNDS sells the widest breadth of visual technology on the market, and its goal is to ease customers’ pain points instead of selling them the product of the month. The company works directly with customers to create comprehensive solutions to solve for specific issues within their environment. They build relationships with integrators, resellers, and customers to ensure the products are the best fit for their situation, partnering with them through every step of their tech journey.
Silver: Symetrix Sales Team
When you call, Symetrix answers and knows you by name. Whether you contact one of its regional managers or inside sales associates, the Symetrix Sales Team does everything in our power to get gear into your hands quickly and reliably. They love to hear from you and are always ready to answer your product questions quickly and efficiently. They are committed to delivering remarkable customer experience through flawless execution and professionalism every time.
The Number You Have on Autodial (Best Tech Support)
Platinum: Shure Applications
To provide best-in-class support, Shure customers can receive technical assistance via phone or e-mail from a global team of applicationsengineers drawing on more than 200 years of combined audio industry experience. With thousands of help articles available online—accessible anytime—Shure arms customers with the resources needed to better manage, configure, and control their gear. These easy-to-use aids make installation, project management, system updates and troubleshooting simple.
Gold: Crestron True Blue Support Services
Crestron has a world-renowned “True Blue” support team, providing the most personalized and dedicated technical assistance in the industry. Crestron customers have access to our live support teams where they can get the answers they need immediately through calls, emails, and chats. For problems that can’t be resolved remotely, its Advanced Technical Support Group will not close the customer’s case until they are 100 percent satisfied.
Silver: PTZOptics/HuddleCamHD Service Team
Tech support calls for PTZOptics and HuddleCamHD are answered by knowledgeable, dedicated, and patient representatives rather than a phone tree. Its tech support reps can and have walked customers with no previous video experience through the full integration of a multicamera live streaming application. For DIYers, they also maintain a robust knowledge base, including written references and video tutorials, backed by an actively moderated user forum.
Your Design Co-Pilot (Best Design Services)
Platinum: MSE Audio Free EASE Audio Design
MSE Audio works with its integrator partners to design and optimize audio projects to ensure they deliver end-users sound with precise imaging and clarity. The same engineers responsible for creating their products prepare free EASE audio design reports for commercial jobs. Their engineers often save customers time and money by recommending the exact quantity of speakers needed for the best coverage possible—in a 70-v, low-voltage or Dante configuration. Typical turnaround is same day.
Gold: 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 the delivery of assessments for adjacent technologies including wireless networks, storage and cloud. The team holds certifications including CTS, CTS-D, and BICSI. This year, CTS Prep classes will also be offered to SYNNEX partners.
Silver: Crestron’s All-New FlipTop Configurator Tool
Crestron has a variety of services that help streamline the design process for designers. Its exclusive FlipTop Configurator Tool allows designers to create customized cabling easily and accurately by dragging and dropping modules into a virtual Crestron FlipTop. Once created the designer will be provided a full bill of materials, pricing, and FlipTop layout. 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 Software
D-Tools offers end-to-end core business software for commercial AV system integrators. D-Tools System Integrator is a comprehensive on-premises solution that drives sales and substantially improves operating efficiencies by streamlining the entire project workflow—from estimating, through system design and documentation, procurement, project management, installation, and on-going service, all through a data-driven process that leverages an extensive, integrated product library. D-Tools says its software helps close more business, stay on-budget for clients, and improve bottom-line results.
The Storyteller that Keeps You on the Edge of Your Seat (Best Content Creation)
Platinum: Premier Mounts Video Case Studies
Based on expertise with massive LED installations, Premier Mounts has created a series of case studies paired with videos showcasing size and scope of these impressive jobs. From mounting a spectacularly curved 90 ft. wide LED wall at the Grand Casino Resort, to creating a visually immersive sportsbook for one of Nevada’s biggest casinos, and to designing and mounting the hi-res LED wall at the Tropicana, one of the world’s most impressive sportsbooks.
Gold: OpenEye Global Engagement Design
OpenEye Global's engagement design focuses on creating an interactive and compelling visual experience that helps connect the user to the physical environment. From the placement of a "digital endpoint" to the visible calls to action on the display that augments the user's experience, all elements are critical to consider when designing a solution. Clear and concise engagements can be achieved without visually overwhelming the user or unnecessarily disrupting their behaviors in an environment.
Silver: L-Acoustics Creations Instagram
L-Acoustics Creations is a division of L-Acoustics, the premium provider of sound systems for live events. L-Acoustics Creations offers extraordinary sound spaces for private and residential use to "bring the concert home". On Instagram, they aim to engage with like-minded lovers of exquisite sound. L-Acoustics Creations Instagram entertains, enlightens, and encourages everyone to make space for sound as a life-enhancing conduit for joy, creativity, and well-being.
*All descriptions are provided by contest entrants and SCN does not guarantee the validity of these statements.