AV Vendor Selection and Product Choices

Perfect Video ConferencingConference RoomsAV Vendor Selection and Product Choices

Written By: Rich De Brino

Welcome to my blog post! I’m Rich De Brino, COO of DCS Global and generally our Operations “director” – though our team really knows this game well.  I am thrilled to share my extensive experience in the world of AV and collaboration services with you. Throughout my long and fulfilling career, I have had the privilege of working closely with customers to design innovative solutions that meet their unique needs. Whether it’s starting from scratch or correcting approaches that were not informed by best practices, I have always been committed to delivering exceptional results. 

In this blog, I aim to shed light on the common benchmarks I have come across in my journey, as well as the pitfalls that I have tried to help customers avoid. Drawing from my years of expertise, I will discuss the challenges faced by businesses and organizations in these industries and offer valuable insights on how to navigate them effectively. 

When it comes to AV solutions, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power they possess. From cutting-edge audiovisual systems that enhance communication and collaboration to immersive technologies that revolutionize training and education, the possibilities are truly endless. However, I have also observed instances where a lack of awareness about best practices has hindered the full potential of these solutions. Through this blog, I hope to provide you with the knowledge and guidance needed to make informed decisions and avoid common pitfalls. 

Collaboration services have become an indispensable part of modern work environments. With remote work becoming more prevalent, the need for efficient and effective communication and collaboration tools has never been greater. Throughout my career, I have witnessed the power of these services to bridge geographical gaps, enhance productivity, and foster innovation. However, I have also encountered instances where organizations have struggled to implement the right solutions that align with their specific requirements. In this blog, I will explore the key considerations for selecting and optimizing collaboration services, helping you avoid common pitfalls along the way. 

I am excited to embark on this review – “blog” with you and share my knowledge and experiences. Together, we will dive into the fascinating world of AV and collaboration services, uncovering valuable insights that will empower you to make informed decisions and unlock the full potential of these transformative solutions. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog posts, where we will explore industry trends, share practical tips, and inspire innovative thinking. Let’s embark on this adventure together! 

To get this aligned right, I recommend you plan three phases. 

  • You will want to look at choosing a vendor (or as we like to say- partner) 
  • I recommend you define and understand your room “types” internally so you can drive the discussion based on your needs. 
  • You will need to pick products that meet your needs and scale. 

First – Choosing a Vendor (or AV Partner): 

When selecting a partner for building out audio-visual and conference rooms, there are a few key factors to consider, such as the vendor’s experience, reputation, and pricing. Here are some tips to help you choose a vendor: 

  • Check the vendor’s experience: Look for a vendor with experience in building out similar rooms to the one you want. Ask for examples of previous work and references from past clients. 
  • Consider the partner’s reputation: Research the vendor online to see what other people have said about their work. Look for reviews and ratings on websites like Yelp, Google, and the Better Business Bureau. 
  • Get multiple quotes: Reach out to multiple vendors and request quotes for your project. Compare the prices and services offered to find the best value. Remember, with A/V projects it’s not always about who has the lowest price, you should be looking at all factors. 
  • Evaluate the vendor’s customer service: Pay attention to how responsive and helpful the vendor is during the initial contact process. This can be a good indicator of how they will communicate and work with you throughout the project. Remember that it’s the service after the sale that differentiates A/V (or any really) vendors. And if your service could involve onsite support after the sale, find out where their support team is physically located. 

Next – Choosing a type of room: 

The world of A/V has changed in the past few years. It used to be that every room was “custom” and could be a long, drawn-out, and expensive process. The evolution of “Room Kits” from multiple vendors like Logitech, NEAT, Polycom, Yealink, and others has changed the landscape dramatically and now offers more focused and cost-effective solutions for many environments.  

Now you can pick a platform (Microsoft Teams and Zoom are the most common), enter a room size and in many cases easily choose a Room Kit that will meet your needs.  

This doesn’t work for all situations, but it can be a great starting point for many projects. A good A/V Vendor can help you to navigate this choice and help you to either pick the best Room Kit or to determine that your particular situation would be better served by a more custom solution- or a combination of both. 

No matter if you choose Teams, Zoom, or ?, remember to ensure that your solution includes a BYOD component (Bring Your Own Device) so that you maintain maximum flexibility going forward. 

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Small, Medium, and Large Conference Rooms

Finally- let’s pick a lane: Here is a choosing a brand example: 

Logitech vs. NEAT: When it comes to choosing between Logitech and NEAT, both are reputable brands that offer high-quality audiovisual equipment. Here are some things to consider when choosing between them: 

  • Price: Compare the prices of the equipment you need from both brands to see which one fits your budget. 
  • Features: Look at the features offered by both brands and determine which ones are most important for your needs. Do they offer a BYOD component? Do you need multiple Cameras?  
  • Compatibility: Make sure the equipment you choose is compatible with your existing technology and infrastructure. 
  • Customer support: Research the customer support offered by both brands to ensure that you can get help if you need it. 
  • Availability: Times have changed, and we need to realize that we can no longer assume we get everything “next day delivery”. Make sure that the brand you choose is in stock now, not “shipping soon” as this is often a euphemism for “we don’t know when it will be here, but we hope it arrives soon.” 

Ultimately, the decision between Logitech and NEAT will depend on your specific needs and preferences. You may want to consult with a professional audiovisual integrator who can help you determine which brand is best for your project. 

Thanks for coming on this journey.  I hope you’ll find this post and future ones informative, engaging, and practical, and that they will empower you to navigate the complex landscape of AV, communications technology, and collaboration services effectively. So, let’s embark on this journey together and unlock the full potential of these transformative technologies! 

About Rich 

Meet Rich De Brino, the DCS Global COO, an industry veteran with an impressive 30 years of experience in designing and delivering cutting-edge technology and AV solutions for organizations around the world. With a wealth of expertise in his field, Rich has established himself as a trusted authority and leader in the industry. 

Rich’s journey began with a strong sense of duty and service to his country. As a proud veteran of the United States Air Force, he developed a solid foundation of discipline, integrity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. These values have remained at the core of his professional endeavors throughout his career. 

As the Global COO, Rich holds a pivotal role in managing the company’s operations across not only the bustling Seattle metro area but anywhere in the world DCS Global has client projects. His deep understanding of technology and AV solutions allows him to spearhead innovative strategies that drive success and deliver exceptional results for clients worldwide. 

With a remarkable career spanning three decades, Rich De Brino’s expertise, dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence make him an invaluable asset to the technology industry. His passion for delivering exceptional solutions and his love for his family and furry friends continue to shape both his personal and professional endeavors, leaving an indelible mark on the world around him. 

About DCS Global

DCS Global is a collaboration, consulting, services, and audiovisual (AV) integration company that provides various services related to digital signage, wayfinding, and kiosk manufacturing and deployment. The company specializes in creating interactive and engaging experiences for customers, visitors, and employees. 

Their services include: 

  1. Digital Signage: DCS Global designs, installs, and manages digital signage systems that help organizations effectively communicate with their audience. These systems can display content such as images, videos, and live data, and can be customized to meet the specific needs of each client. 
  2. Wayfinding: The company offers wayfinding solutions that help people navigate complex environments such as hospitals, airports, and campuses. These solutions use interactive maps, directories, and other tools to guide visitors to their desired destinations. 
  3. Kiosk Manufacturing: DCS Global designs and manufactures custom kiosks for various industries, such as retail, hospitality, and healthcare. These kiosks can serve a variety of purposes, such as self-service check-in, product information, and customer feedback. 
  4. AV Integration: DCS Global also provides audiovisual integration services for businesses of all sizes. These services include the design and installation of audio and video systems, conference room setups, and video walls. 

DCS Global offers a comprehensive range of services to help organizations enhance their communication, customer experience, and operational efficiency through innovative digital solutions. 

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