Not only are the lines between IT and AV thinner and more blurry as AV pros utilize cloud based controls and networked devices, the responsibilities are also crossing lines. Some potential pitfalls can be avoided with a few early collaborations in the design phase. Following these three tips can help avoid what can be an adversarial situation between AV and IT as a project progresses:
#1: Involve IT early
Get the IT on board early in the project and decide who will support what devices once they are installed. Have a policy for replacing the equipment if needed and a clear service contract that guides the service level. Brining IT into the project design also identifies potential networking issues before they become huge obstacles. This one tip should be a priority laying a solid groundwork for moving forward with your design.
#2: Know the Impact of Your Design on the Existing Network Traffic
Will your video conferencing equipment put a strain on bandwidth? Be prepared to give the IT team a heads up for load balancing and the possible need to segment the network to keep traffic separate from the VOIP and general network.
#3: Make Security Part of the Design
Before you order equipment review firewalls and other security concerns so that the job is not unnecessarily delayed at installation. Some industries and organizations require above average security such as government or financial institutions. Your devices may be on a network that has potential access to sensitive data. You won’t know that unless you ask. The in-house IT team will already know what is needed for compliance.
The convergence of AV and IT has been a long discussed topic for years and as the two disciplines become more alike, the need to plan ahead and create an atmosphere of partnership has never been more important. Installations go much smoother and ongoing maintenance goes on hassle-free with well-defined responsibilities. IT will become more educated about the needs of future AV integrations within their organization and AV integrators will understand how to avoid conflict with every IT collaboration. The result is an optimal AV design for a happy client and a satisfied integrator.