Our Take: Best Practices for Working with IT Teams

Posted in: Command & Control , Corporate , Digital Signage , Hospitality and Entertainment , Managed Services , UC&C

By Joshua Herring on Dec 05, 2019

When it comes to technology, each market has its own lingo. AVoIP, advanced collaboration, managed services … all of these come from working in the AV world. However, when you’re an AV professional it’s critical to work with a wide variety of disciplines in order to complete a project, thus making it essential to engage in best practices related to each.

Within each of these organizations is the IT department, which is significantly involved from day one of an AV project. Because of the current nature of the industry, network connectivity and other technology that lives “on the network” falls under the purview of IT leaders tasked with ensuring the safety and security of the network, as well as the connectivity of devices across the organization. With a broad range of technology that falls within that, AV professionals must figure out the best ways to communicate with the IT team in an effort to streamline efforts and deliver solutions that meet the needs of the organization.

Vistacom works with IT professionals every day, taking the relationship with this department seriously and working to listen to their needs and incorporate it into their design and technology implementation. We asked these professionals what their advice is for working with IT teams:

Matt Boyer, Chief Technology Officer
“It’s been my experience that IT speaks a different language from AV. They also look at applications in a different way and often try to address their needs by conducting a simple Google search and figuring it out on their own, while AV knowledge comes from years of experience and mentoring. It has been my experience that AV can be complex and there is not a lot of support or answers available on the internet, so it’s good to have a rapport with the IT team you’re working with in order to establish a relationship going into the project. Involving the IT team from the beginning can help avoid some of the pitfalls that might become a problem later down the road during the execution of a project.”

Tom Iasiello, Director of Managed Services
“The main thing to remember when working with an IT team is to communicate and/or make sure the Vistacom contact communicates with the IT team that work is being done on the network so that nothing is a surprise. It’s really important that this step happens, since as an AV integrator, you need to check with IT prior to touching a customer LAN at all to avoid potential issues. If you demonstrate a level of competence and can speak the IT lingo, it’s likely that you will be greeted with respect and trust.”

Mark Ripley, Software Development Manager
“To work with an IT team, it’s important to think about processes like they do. For security purposes, this means ensuring that default passwords are removed on all devices being installed on the network. Additionally, being clear and concise with regards to sharing technical information about products being deployed is important when working with the IT team on evaluation of these tools, along with making sure that accurate documentation is provided for device settings and configuration. Finally, it’s really important for AV professionals to engage in effective remote sessions for troubleshooting, which means having the right people engaged and available to support the unique needs of an IT department as it relates to AV technology.”

AV systems today are ingrained in cross-collaboration between the IT teams, as well as those installing and using the tools on a daily basis. Since so much of the technology integrates together to ensure functionality, AV professionals see the value in speaking the IT language, utilizing the tools that many of these leaders use, and extending their knowledge of IT protocols as a way to add significant value to a project or their own roles within AV integration.

Many times, Vistacom is involved in a project from day one, and strives to incorporate numerous stakeholders, including IT professionals, in the design, consultation and implementation of AV technology across a facility. Cross-collaboration and working across AV and IT disciplines requires growing and evolving as technicians, open communication before, during and after the installation process, and an ongoing relationship to ensure network security now and into the future.

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