We often recognize manufacturers for their technological innovations—the products that 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.
We turned to you, our readers, to determine the winners of this year's Stellar Service Awards. Voting on the nominees took place in March and April, and the votes have been tallied. We are proud to announce the winning results and congratulate these exceptional service providers.
Best Design Service/Tools
Platinum: Legrand AV Design Team
The Legrand AV Design Team is a team of experienced product specialists who manage custom product and project requests for the Legrand AV brands. By working together with customers to understand their exact needs, the design team then works with the various internal teams to make the solution a reality. The team delivers white-glove service to customers from quoting all the way to post-install support.
Gold: Snap One Commercial Systems Design Team
Snap One’s newly expanded Systems Design Team provides integration Partners with free consultations and assistance to design and configure commercial systems. Support from the team allows commercial market partners to bid on large or complex AV integration jobs they would otherwise be unable to complete. The team stays involved as much as needed throughout the design process, whether an integrator needs help generating a bill of materials, completing a site drawing, or identifying unknowns.
Silver: Planar Custom Solutions
Planar Custom Solutions brings visual creativity to life, combining art, technology, and communication to do what’s never been done. The U.S.-based LED expert team offers custom LED video wall, mounting frame and architectural design, plus structural drawings, creating displays of nearly any shape or size. From concave-curved LED video walls, column wraps, and unique-angled surfaces to rotating 3D shapes, Planar Custom Solutions creates one-of-a-kind designs that allow customers to stand out.
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 in-person and online, the master class incorporates effective demonstration and real-world anecdotes for Shure’s knowledgeable RF experts.
Gold: The E4 Experience
The E4 Experience brings together top educators, manufacturers, AVIXA CTS-certified training, technology firsts, and endless networking opportunities for the latest business/industry trends necessary to stay productive and gain valuable skills that can immediately be implemented. The E4 experience features Almo’s four-pronged approach: Explore, Engage, Educate, and Expo, allowing attendees to expand their business acumen and find new growth and success. All this is done locally, in a single day and free of charge.
Best Online Training
Platinum: Allen & Heath Mini Masterclasses
Held each week since November 2020 and now totaling more than 50 sessions, the interactive Allen & Heath Mini Masterclasses were developed via continual student feedback. Hosted by world-class instructors every Wednesday, 25-minute master classes are followed by Q&A and one-on-one “office hours” time. Two content tracks are offered, one focused on “Installation Inspiration” and another aimed at “Mix Mastery,” collectively covering topics as diverse as AEC, interface design, and advanced mixing console routing.
Gold: Crestron Technical Institute
Crestron’s CTI Portal lets users participate in training anytime, anywhere. Learn how to sell, design, configure, or program Crestron systems through courses tailored for every level of the career path. Crestron's CTI courses can be self-paced, or instructor led and are available globally in multiple languages. Raise Pro AV skills to the next level with the full range of courses Crestron has to offer.
Silver: The E4 Evolution
Launched in spring of 2020 as part of the award-winning E4 Experience platform, the E4v provides exclusive online education related to the design and specification of AV systems. As the next evolution in virtual educational experiences, E4v helps attendees evolve and thrive by providing critical trends and business content delivered by the industry’s most sought-after presenters and worth AVIXA CTS Renewal Units.
Best Project Management Tools
Platinum: D-Tools System Integrator Software
D-Tools offers end-to-end core business software for commercial integrators. D-Tools System Integrator (SI) 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 ongoing service, all through a data-driven process that leverages an extensive, integrated product library. D-Tools software helps teams close more business, stay on budget for clients, and improve bottom-line results.
XTEN-AV is the world’s first and only AI-powered professional AV design and documentation platform which automates multiple types of drawings and documents and lets users replace legacy methods of design and documentation such as Visio, PowerPoint, MS Word, and Excel and increase efficiency by 10 times. It is the only solution in the AV industry which combines the benefits of four different software— X-DRAW, Proposals, CRM, Automation—into one.
Best Sales Operation
Platinum: Shure Sales
For 95 years, it’s been Shure’s mission to provide an excellent sales experience. The company’s sales, market development, applications engineering, customer service, and service repair groups offer exceptional sales support before, during, and after purchase. With the formation of the Customer Happiness team, Shure has yet again raised the bar for great customer support. The company consistently surpasses customer expectations by reacting to real-time feedback—while producing superior products at affordable prices.
Gold: The SoundPro Experience Team
Sound Productions is a leading retailer/distributor of AVL gear nationwide. With over 300 years of combined experience and dozens of manufacturer certifications under their belt, 100% of SoundPro’s Account Manager team is certified in QSC Q-SYS, Allen & Heath dLive, and Shure Stem Audio. Professional expertise is backed by practical skills: Every Account Manager at SoundPro is also an active musician, DJ, engineer, or artist—meaning they personally share the passion of the customers they serve.
Silver: BTX Sales Team
The BTX technical inside and outside sales staff serve a reliable resource for integrators to receive fast and accurate guidance while specifying and engineering projects. With a consultative approach across a line card of trusted partners, and a multi-certified manufacturing wing for custom plates and panels, copper and fiber, BTX's technical sales team has been helping the AV and IT community elevate their designs for over 50 years.
Best Supporting Content
Platinum: L-Acoustics L-ISA Studio Quick Start Tutorials
L-ISA Studio is a spatial audio mixing software suite where users can create and mix immersive sound anywhere from their laptops. With the L-Acoustics L-ISA Quick Start YouTube tutorials, users can learn how to easily dive into the beginning stages and fundamentals of efficiently utilizing L-ISA Studio. Each tutorial gives concise and easy-to-follow instructions on using the L-ISA interface and gives users the power to start creating immersive content anywhere.
Gold: PTZOptics Live and On-Demand Resources
PTZOptics isn’t just a manufacturer of robotic pan, tilt, zoom cameras and joystick controllers for broadcast and Pro AV applications. It is also one of the industry’s most prolific educators on videoconferencing, production, and livestreaming, providing regular live streams and on-demand video content to a worldwide audience. These free educational videos and webinars are designed to help amateurs and professionals learn more about video production and live streaming technologies.
Silver: Epiphan Content Marketing
Epiphan’s content marketing program supports AV professionals at every level of experience. Assets include blog posts covering key AV challenges and questions; case studies describing how Epiphan customers overcame challenges to achieve results; live webinars that dispense expert insights and offer Q&A opportunities throughout; a live show covering topics of interest to the AV community; and in-depth AV design guides that propose workflows for key applications and offer tips for setup and operation.
Best Tech Support
Extron tech support is second to none in the industry. Customers will always hear a live voice on our 24-hour support hotline. Extron 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 our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Gold: Peerless-AV Customer Care Team
Customer support is the utmost priority at Peerless-AV, and this can be seen in all facets of the company. Comprehensively trained on both product and technical information, Customer Care Representatives are equipped to efficiently address each customer’s concern. Additionally, a specialized team of “PeerTech Pros” are available to provide higher-level support in Peerless-AV’s emerging technology solutions. This well-rounded team ensures reliability and quality support that exceed customers’ expectations and guarantees successful AV installations.
Silver: Symetrix Technical Support Team
Our industry veterans are at the forefront of technical support excellence. The Symetrix Technical Support Team consistently provides the highest caliber of technical support in the industry. With more than 35 years of combined Symetrix experience and more than 125 years of combined audio and networking experience, our team of analytical problem solvers are passionate about all things audio and providing a phenomenal experience to each individual who contacts us.
Best Website Dealer UX
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, the 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.
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.
Silver: Shure Partner Shop
In today’s ever-evolving, competitive digital marketplace, access to streamlined, reliable purchasing journeys is key. Shure Partner Shop is an e-commerce site for B2B customers. The platform makes it quick and easy for both modest and large customers to order and re-order products while displaying product inventory, tracking estimated ship dates, and ensuring a transparent and optimized purchasing experience. The Shure Partner Shop is available to B2B customers in America, Asia, and Europe.
*All descriptions are provided by contest entrants. SCN does not guarantee the validity of these statements.