Have you stopped recently to think about how fast technology is changing these days? Ask yourself how often you upgrade your PC, Television, Cell Phone or other tech devices? How about software, how often do you find yourself changing to a new version of an application or having to update your operating system? It seems like every few weeks or months something needs to be replaced.
Now, stop for a minute and ask yourself the same question about some of your integrated AV systems?
Go into one of your conference rooms, training rooms, classrooms or other technology driven environments that you built say five or more years ago and look at the equipment. What do you see?
-How old is the display device or the projector?
-What are the available inputs at the podium or conference table?
-How is the room being controlled? From the rack or an old touch panel?
-What about the video and audio conferencing? What type of equipment is available?
-Can you display an iPad or 4K?
If your room is like most other rooms more than five years old you are probably using all of the same equipment that was used when the room was installed. But here are some facts about the space.
-If you installed a monitor 5+ years ago chances are it was a plasma or lower resolution LCD.
-Most likely the projector you are using isn’t energy efficient and likely does a poor job of replicating images
-Your touch panel is a dinosaur and you are probably spending way too much money just to keep it running
-The inputs at the table probably don’t consider the growth of BYOD or the maturity of HDMI
-The videoconferencing system is way outdated and would benefit greatly from an update.
Now as an integrator, we understand the old cliché of “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.” With budgets always being scrutinized we know that sometimes we have to drive the car until the wheels fall off, proverbially speaking. However, we also know that isn’t always the reason that systems don’t get upgraded and refreshed. Sometimes the decision is more out of sight and out of mind. Since everything is “more or less” working the way it should then let’s focus on something else.
With that in mind, there is something to be said for refreshing the technology that you have invested in. For instance, with the improvements in display technology, participants in larger rooms are able to much more clearly see the content being shared which leads to more productive meetings. Additionally, videoconferencing systems have become incredibly intuitive in the past five years and they can easily be set up and configured to work so when someone wants to make a video call it just happens. No technician on standby required. Also, devices like iPad’s and PC’s are widely able to control presentation spaces so all of the equipment in the room is easy to use.
Upgrading Makes Good Science and Good Sense
Science has already shown that when people are able to hear and see what they are learning that their retention goes up by 4-8x vs. traditional meeting methods like phone and email. This alone is a great reason to invest in technology in your meeting spaces, however, with the advancements in technology it is important to not only be able to see and hear, but to see and hear clearly.
This is why upgrading to maximize new technologies is critical for organizations that seek to get the most from their meetings.
So when looking to upgrade, find out what the newest technologies available are and consider key technology trends like Video, Bring your own Device (BYOD) and Mobility. And ask IMS what a good path for maximizing your current investment is while taking advantage of opportunities to upgrade to newer more user friendly technologies.