SCN Announces 2023 Stellar Service Awards

SCN SSA 2023
(Image credit: Future)

There are plenty of awards that recognize technological achievements. After all, the Pro AV industry is driven by innovative products and solutions. But at SCN, we also like to recognize the importance of providing meaningful and effective services. The Stellar Service Awards provide an opportunity for manufacturers, integrators, and distributors to showcase how they deliver high-quality service to clients.

Between March and April, we received thousands of votes from you, our readers, to determine the winners of this year's Stellar Service Awards. Thank you for your participation—and now here are your exceptional service providers.

Best In-House Training

Platinum: Shure Audio Institute’s Wireless Best Practices and Techniques

Shure Audio Institute’s Wireless Best Practices and Techniques is a master class for anyone involved in the specification, installation, or operation of multi-channel wireless audio systems. The comprehensive training program covers a variety of topics including the basics of radio waves and wireless transmission, best practices for antenna selection and placement, and understanding frequency coordination. Offered both in-person and online, the master class incorporates effective demonstration and real-world anecdotes for Shure’s RF experts.

Gold: TD SYNNEX Strategic Partner Summit

TD SYNNEX’s Annual Strategic Partner Summit, a three-day event, brings together AV integrators, manufacturers, and industry thought leaders to discuss market trends and identify growth opportunities. AV integrators speak one-on-one with experts in technologies and industry thought leaders, while gaining insight into how they can leverage TD SYNNEX’s broadline capabilities, tailored financing, technical expertise, and personalized services, to diversify their business. Networking gives integrators time to connect and grow partnerships while increasing business opportunity.    

Silver: The Exertis Almo E4 Experience

The E4 Experience brings together top educators, manufacturing partners, AVIXA CTS RU certified training, technology firsts, and endless networking opportunities. Billed as the most recognized and valuable one-day education/training and product showcase, the E4 Experience features a “crown jewel” showroom packed with the newest AV gear in use—making it a perfect place for integrators to bring their end users—along with a stacked lineup of enriching business, technical, and trend sessions.

Best Online Training

Platinum: SynAudCon Online Audio Training

SynAudCon has trained thousands of audio practitioners worldwide for 50 years. The principles taught in SynAudCon courses have been implemented and tested on “tens of thousands” of systems. SynAudCon teaches the theory as a means of problem solving using a multimedia presentation. Learning the “why” and the “how” becomes intuitive: Learn it once, use it for a lifetime. There are 11 available that serve all levels of expertise on a wide range of audio-related topics.

Gold: Legrand's AV University

Whether you’re an AV professional looking to gain a deeper understanding of a challenging topic or just launching your career, Legrand’s AV University will take you to the next level. Choose from nearly 100 free courses on topics ranging from USB-C and digital signage to installation tips for Chief mounts and Vaddio cameras. Plus, you can earn more than 40 Renewal Units for your AVIXA CTS re-certification plus CEUs from AIA, BICSI, and CEDIA.     

Silver: Crestron Technical Institute

Crestron’s CTI Portal lets you participate in training anytime, anywhere. Learn how to sell, design, configure, or program Crestron systems through courses tailored for every level of your career. Crestron's CTI offers courses in person from our classrooms or instructor-led options online, which are available globally in multiple languages. Bring your skills to the next level with the full range of courses Crestron has to offer.

Best Sales Operation

Platinum: Extron

Extron was founded on the core value of professional integrity, with the ultimate goal of complete customer satisfaction. This commitment is reflected in its three ongoing guiding principles: Service, Support, and Solutions. Employees are prepared to do whatever it takes to make certain that the entire process of doing business with Extron is a positive and professionally rewarding experience.

Gold: TD SYNNEX AV Sales Professionals     

TD SYNNEX’s AV sales professionals—including inside sales reps, field account executives, and pre-sales engineers—deliver personalized support through a consultative approach, certified and trained on brands, solutions, and applications of the technologies we deliver. Backed by experts in cloud, IOT, security, AI, ML, storage, infrastructure, and vertical markets, like federal, state and local, public safety, healthcare, and education, the company helps partners leverage TD SYNNEX’s ecosystem to diversify and grow their business.

Silver: The SoundPro Experience Team

Sound Productions is a leading retailer/distributor of AVL gear nationwide. Its knowledgeable account managers offer the best options for each customer’s application and budget—and provide follow-up calls to ensure satisfaction. Professional expertise backed by practical skills and personal passion: With more than 300 years of combined experience and dozens of manufacturer certifications under its belt, 100% of SoundPro’s account manager team is certified in QSC Q-SYS, Allen & Heath dLive, and Shure Stem Audio.

Best Project Management Tools

Platinum: D-Tools System Integrator

D-Tools SI is a project management solution that can help manage large, complex projects and improve business performance. With its advanced capabilities and features, it can streamline workflows, improve communication and collaboration, and enhance customer satisfaction. From flexible formatting and comprehensive content to detailed project planning, business reporting and analytics, and API integration and support, it enables integration with third-party solutions, such as accounting software, CRM systems, and more.

Gold: TD SYNNEX Services Portal

TD SYNNEX’s Services Portal brings visibility to all parts of a project, from hardware, software, and licenses to networking, cybersecurity, and data integration, providing an easy-to-use Project Management Tool for integrators’ internal project managers to manage project kickoffs, timelines, SLAs (Service Level Agreements), and KPIs. The real-time dashboard provides a project’s status, allowing integrators to see progress updates on all open projects from kickoff to closure.

Best Website Dealer UX

Platinum: Crestron Pro Portal

Crestron’s new Pro Portal was designed to make every project a success. One portal enables dealers to proactively manage their accounts and their client’s expectations. Now, dealers can plan projects more effectively with access to up-to-the-minute lead times via the Estimated Product Availability tool. The Order Status Tool provides 24/7 access to the detailed status of every order: tracking numbers, serial numbers, order confirmations, delivery confirmations, and more.     

Gold: Shure Partner Shop     

In today’s ever-evolving, competitive digital marketplace, access to streamlined, reliable purchasing journeys is key. Designed with this in mind, Shure’s Partner Shop offers an e-commerce platform for B2B customers, making it easy to order and reorder products as needed. Product inventory and estimated ship dates are displayed comprehensively to ensure a transparent and optimized purchasing experience. The Shure Partner Shop is available to B2B customers in America, Asia, and Europe.

Silver: Extron

The Extron Insider website provides AV professionals with the tools and up-to-date information they need to create enhanced user experiences using advanced Extron technologies. That includes product and training videos, valuable certification programs, product configuration tools, software, and firmware downloads, online product shipping status, repair services, and much more. Insiders also have access to MSRP and—depending on account type—reseller pricing in local currency for use in bids, proposals, and project budgets.

Best Tech Support

Platinum: AVPro Edge Tech Support

AVPro Edge's Tech Support not only helps with video distribution needs when it comes to its products, it also helps solve the entire issue. The company's experienced staff is not only trained to just figure out what could be happening with one device—they work the entire signal flow path and help configure everything in the path for smooth AV distribution.

Gold: Haivision GuardianCare

Haivision GuardianCare provides around-the-clock expertise and effective solutions for Haivision video wall technology, including 24/7 phone support, remote diagnostics, onsite visits, software updates, and an extended limited warranty on Haivision hardware components. GuardianCare customers also receive discounted software upgrades and basic support for third-party products integrated by Haivision. GuardianCare helps Haivision customers leverage technology to its full potential and ensures video walls remains up and running to provide situational awareness during urgent and business-critical situations.

Silver: Biamp Global Tech Support Team

From troubleshooting to answering “what if” questions, the Biamp Global Tech Support Team is ready to assist online or via phone with toll-free numbers for live support from locations across the globe. Biamp offers complimentary technical support to customers designing, installing, configuring, and maintaining Biamp equipment. Biamp also offers the Cornerstone website for additional technical support with tools, notes, and articles on products, live chat, live webinars, and past webinars.

Best Supporting Content

Platinum: Shure User Guides, Educational Booklets, and Webinars

Shure provides essential resources to help audio professionals keep pace with rapidly evolving technology and emerging design innovations. Shure always offers its user guides, educational booklets, and webinars for free to share knowledge and encourage best practices. The company works directly with system integrators, consultants, music industry retailers, engineers, and musicians to develop and deliver content that helps our customers get the most out of their gear.

Gold: BrightSign Cloud-Based Digital Signage Management delivers cloud connectivity with player, network, and content management services that elevate real-time player management to deliver secure, scalable services for basic to complex digital signage networks. The Control Cloud service is free for all BrightSign players, giving real-time player access and controls with a choice of CMS. For more robust capabilities, BrightSign’s Content Cloud offers an even more comprehensive suite of network and content management tools for just $99 per player annually.

Silver: BZBGEAR Technical Support Webpage

BZBGEAR's technical support webpage is a one-stop source for all support needs. Content is constantly added to educate visitors on BZBGEAR products and how to utilize them most effectively. Users can access a knowledge base with a trove of invaluable information such as troubleshooting guides, product manuals, free downloadable control software, FAQs, warranty support, and forms to create technical support tickets. Also, access BZBGEAR's YouTube tech channel, BZB TV, for product demos and tutorials.

Best Design Services/Tools

Platinum: XTEN-AV    

XTEN-AV's AI-powered AV design and proposal software empowers designers, integrators, and end users to automate their AV diagramming, design calculations, documentation, and proposal creation. X-DRAW allows users to streamline designs with AV-specific capabilities like automatic cable labeling, block styling, 1.5 million products from 5,200 brands, and more. x.doc equips users with features to create winning proposals and reduce close times, specifically for the AV industry. XTEN-AV's patented solution offers end-to-end automation on every step of project.

Gold: Extron  

Extron offers a wide selection of system design tools, including system builders, design guides, online calculators, and technical resources to help AV professionals design their ideal system and select the right products. In addition, Extron System Design Engineers are available to work with integrators to provide system design support and technical troubleshooting services to system integrators throughout the project lifecycle, from sales to system installation and commissioning.

Silver: NETGEAR Pro AV Design Services

With NETGEAR’s Pro AV Design Services, integrators and custom installers benefit from the company’s more than 25 years of networking innovation and technology leadership. Free services include assistance with network design, troubleshooting, configuration, training, and installation support. A single email address sends an query to NETGEAR's worldwide team of highly trained system engineers, who respond quickly to help streamline any AV over IP deployment.

Mark J. Pescatore
Content Director

Mark J. Pescatore, Ph.D., is the content director of Systems Contractor News. He has been writing about Pro AV industry for more than 25 years. Previously, he spent more than eight years as the editor of Government Video magazine. During his career, he's produced and hosted two podcasts focused on the professional video marketplace, taught more than a dozen college communication courses, co-authored the book Working with HDV, and co-edited two editions of The Guide to Digital Television.