Category: Audio/Visual

When to Work With an AV Integrator

av integrator working with architect

Audiovisual systems are essential to all kinds of businesses. If you’re looking to add a new room in your company building, or you are moving to a new office space, your AV needs can quickly become complex. AV integrators can provide essential expertise and services to tackle these issues for you. But what exactly does an AV integrator do, and how do you know if you need one?

What Does an AV Integrator Do?

AV integrators oversee the installation and management of your AV solutions. They work to ensure that technologies are integrated for maximum efficiency and productivity, and that everything is running smoothly.

From troubleshooting to repairing to maintaining your company’s AV system, AV integrators are essential to keeping your AV system healthy so that your day-to-day operations are not affected by any AV issues.

AV integrators also provide design and equipment services to effectively set you up with a new AV system that is properly integrated and standardized for easy management.

Signs You Need to Bring in an AV Integrator

AV systems can be complex to work with, especially when they are interacting with other systems. But how do you know if you need to bring in an AV integrator? Here are some top signs that it’s a good idea for your business:

  • You need a complex AV solution.
  • Your AV system needs to work with other system solutions.
  • You want to make sure you’re getting the biggest return on your investment in the AV system.
  • Your project is very large and you don’t have all the necessary resources to tackle it without assistance.

It’s important to keep in mind that the sooner you can bring in an AV integrator, the better. When they are involved from the start, they will be able to guide the design and installation process for a smoother and quicker process.

What to Look for With an AV Integrator

AV integration is a growing field, and you will likely have numerous candidates to choose from. When you’re deciding on the best AV integrator for the job, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Customized solutions: Every company has different AV needs, and your potential AV integrator should provide solutions that address your unique challenges.
  • Design services: The AV integrator should provide a design that is specific to your needs, cost-effective and addresses ongoing challenges.
  • Ongoing support: An AV integrator should provide ongoing technical support and service to ensure that your system continues to run smoothly and that all issues can be addressed.av integrator working in office
  • Proven experience: Any potential candidate for your AV integrator position should have a history of successful projects to share and proven experience in the field.
  • Current technologies: Your AV integrator should offer the latest high-quality technologies and demonstrate the ability to adapt and stay on top of all the latest innovations.
  • Excellence in customer service: The AV integrator should have plenty of testimonials to share that show a commitment to excellent customer service.

What Are the Benefits of Working With an AV Integrator?

An AV integrator can be an essential member of your team, keeping your AV systems running without a hitch. Some of the top benefits of working with an AV integrator include:

  • Cost-effective: By hiring an AV integrator, you ensure your AV system is designed to operate with maximum efficiency and minimal issues for cost savings over the long term. And when you involve them from the start of the planning process, they provide suggestions about details such as compatible building materials, ideal electrical outlet locations and conduit paths.
  • Expertise: A professional AV integrator will bring an in-depth knowledge of AV systems to your project, which enables them to quickly identify and address any potential problems.
  • Industry standards: AV integrators follow all industry standards for audiovisual design and installation so that your AV installation or integration projects will meet the highest quality standards while still being delivered on time and within budget.
  • Prevent system failure: An AV system failure can result in costly downtime and repair. When you work with an AV integrator, they will work to prevent system failures from occurring and tackle any issues that arise, quickly and efficiently, to minimize any potential downtime.
  • Successful project launch: Before your project goes live, AV integrators do thorough checks of the system to address any issues ahead of time so you can launch the project glitch-free.
  • Streamlined communication: Another part of an AV integrator’s job is to make sure everyone is on the same page. They will work with other departments to ensure that everything goes smoothly to complete the project quickly while also keeping to your budget.

Contact Morefield Communications Today

At Morefield Communications, we provide technology solutions for a wide range of businesses. With more than 70 years of experience, you can trust us to provide your company with expert installation and care for your integrated solutions.

To find out more about our services and how we can help your business, contact us today.

WFH: Keeping your team connected & your information secure

We are all realizing this is the new normal for a bit longer. At Morefield, we want to make sure that your organization can be effective and efficient in this new environment. We are working with all of our strategic partners to provide elongated free trials and special pricing of collaboration tools, remote working solutions & connectivity options to all of clients. Together we will come through this. Please let us know how we can help your organization weather the storm. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of the available options below.

 

What Can Morefield Help Me Implement Today?

Remote Working Tools:

  • Mitel’s MiCloud Connect
    • 3 months free
    • Web, audio and video conferencing, screen sharing, softphone, file sharing, messaging, SMS, mobile apps and more
    • Morefield discounted services rates to get your team up and running as soon as possible – 2 available options
  • Cisco Webex allows employees to stay connected to their teams and continue their business operations.
  • Zoom for Business – remote meeting solutions
  • Microsoft Teams can help maintain connectivity to aid in information sharing, even while working remotely, even if you work for a business that isn’t currently licensed for Teams.
    • Document sharing with One Drive, conferencing with Skype, messaging and sharing with Teams.
  • Discounted pricing available on laptops, desktop & workstations
  • Single number reach, cloud voice, and smartphone access use a single corporate number to be reached at the office, at their home office, or on their mobile device.

Virtual Learning:

  • Webex is providing special features for virtual learning education during this time.

IT Security:

  • Cisco Umbrella protects users from malicious Internet destinations whether they are on or off the network. Existing customers are able to exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers & new customers can access a free license.
  • Duo Security enables organizations to verify users’ identities and establish device trust before granting access to applications. Existing customers are able to exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers, and new customers can access a free license.
  • Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client empowers employees to work from anywhere on company laptops or personal mobile devices. It also provides the visibility and control security teams need to identify who and which devices are accessing their infrastructure. Existing AnyConnect customers can exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers, and new customers can access a free license.
  • Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints gives you a detailed assessment to find, stop and remove malicious content with effective tools that are simple to use. Get started now with our 2 to 4-week trial at no cost to you.

Physical Security & Resident Notification Solutions:

Status Solutions SARA system:

  • Notifications and alerts in or outside your facility
  • Digital Signage integration
  • Pre-recorded paging announcements
  • Resident tracking
  • Door lockdown/monitoring

Status Solutions CATIE:

  • Social connections for your residents are so important during this time. There is a free of charge web portal available from Status Solutions called CATIE-Web that allows your residents to receive community messages, while they stay connected to the happenings and services in your community. This can be set up remotely without the need to come on site. See https://www.statussolutions.com/catie-web-offer.

Morefield A/V expert on free streaming tools and how to use them

 

Keeping your organization informed using free streaming tools during COVID-19

During this uncertain time, many of us will find a need to relay or stream information to our organizations. Some of us have professional tools to help us do this, but others will be utilizing some of the free tools available online to keep cost low. These free tools can be extremely useful, but sometimes you will encounter some quirks or unknown elements that would’ve been helpful to know beforehand. Morefield A/V Systems Engineer, Fred Weidemann, walks through some unexpected challenges he encountered while helping his church set-up and use these free streaming tools to broadcast to their congregation. Watch his video as he walks through some of the free streaming tools available and some useful tips to know while utilizing these tools. Hopefully his helpful suggestions will make your streaming experience easier!

If you would like professional help streaming video content, contact us directly and we would be glad to help – (717) 761-6170 or sales@morefield.com

COVID-19 business continuity

How Morefield can help Ensure Business Continuity during COVID-19

Each day, we help organizations evolve their business technology and introduce new forms of collaboration and mobility into their workforce. We have been ready to assist our partners in past times of uncertainty; we are here for you today and we will continue to be here for our clients in the future. Morefield has a long and stable history you can count on in uncertain times. Please let us know how we can assist your organization. We are here for you and our thoughts are with all those who are impacted. by COVID-19.

 

What Can Morefield Help Me Implement Today?

Remote Working Tools:

  • Cisco Webex allows employees to stay connected to their teams and continue their business operations.
    • Free 90-day licenses to businesses
    • Enabling existing customers by expanding their usage at no additional cost
    • Discounted pricing available
  • Microsoft Office is perfectly built for document sharing with One Drive, conferencing with Skype, messaging and sharing with Teams. Microsoft Teams can help maintain connectivity to aid in information sharing, even while working remotely, even if you work for a business that isn’t currently licensed for Teams.
  • Discounted pricing available on laptops, desktop & workstations
  • Single number reach, cloud voice, and smartphone access use a single corporate number to be reached at the office, at their home office, or on their mobile device.

Virtual Learning:

  • Webex is providing special features for virtual learning education during this time.

IT Security:

  • Cisco Umbrella protects users from malicious Internet destinations whether they are on or off the network. Existing customers are able to exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers & new customers can access a free license.
  • Duo Security enables organizations to verify users’ identities and establish device trust before granting access to applications. Existing customers are able to exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers, and new customers can access a free license.
  • Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client empowers employees to work from anywhere on company laptops or personal mobile devices. It also provides the visibility and control security teams need to identify who and which devices are accessing their infrastructure. Existing AnyConnect customers can exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers, and new customers can access a free license.

Physical Security:

Who should use these tools?

With today’s developing situation, we would stress preparedness to ensure business continuity. Depending on your organization’s size and need to work remotely different tools are available to ensure secure connectivity and collaboration. Mobile work tools are available to be used in all industries and for organizations of every size. If you aren’t sure where to begin, please give us a call and our experts will help you.

I didn’t plan to deploy remote working solutions in my 2020 IT budget. What should I do?

We understand that many 2020 IT budgets did not include COVID-19 contingency plans and we are happy to extend special pricing, financing and several free collaboration and secure remote connectivity tools during this time. Let’s discuss what you need and how we can help you.

Are there precautions I should take with my access control?

In times of caution, streamlining entrances and exits become essential to many organizations. Access control and CCTV can help you keep only authorized personal entering your facility and campus. Controlling who comes in contact with your staff, members, patients or students is extremely important at this time to limit possible exposure.

Ask us about:

Other Technology Options to Consider

 

Contact Morefield Communications with questions on business continuity during COVID-19.

The Benefits of Video Conferencing

video conferencing benefits

You want to schedule a meeting with your team to discuss an ongoing or upcoming project. The only trouble is, people on your team work remotely. Getting them to all come into the office at the same time proves challenging.

Fortunately, technology makes it easy to get people together for a meeting or conference. Thanks to video conferencing, your team can talk face-to-face without having to be in the same room or even the same state or country.

Learn more about the top benefits of video conferencing and the top reasons that businesses use it.

What Is Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing is in many ways similar to any other type of conference call. It allows two or more people to communicate with each other in real time, without being in the same location. Unlike a telephone conference, a video conference allows participants to see each other during the call. In addition to letting participants see one another during the meeting, video conferencing also often provides the option of sharing information, such as documents or a presentation, during the call.

Although video conferencing is similar to a video call, it usually has more than two participants. A video conference might take place among all members of a project team, between your team and a client’s team or between your team and your company’s shareholders. In some cases, the number of participants who can hop on a video conference is unlimited.

What Technologies Are Used in Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing relies on a variety of different pieces of equipment and technology. A video conferencing system needs to send data to participants, and it needs to create the feeling that the participants are all in the same room, rather than in different locations. Although the exact technology used and the specific equipment required for a video conference can vary slightly based on an organization’s needs, generally speaking, the following are all needed for a video conference to work.

1. Software Program

A software program is usually at the heart of any video conference. Many different programs exist, and each one has its pros and cons. A program that’s right for one company might not be a good fit for another business. For example, some programs allow people to join the video conference using a laptop or other computer or by dialing in from a phone. Many programs limit the number of attendees or participants in the meeting, although some software programs have a more generous allowance than others.

In some cases, the software that powers the video conference is integrated into the hardware. In others, the software is a stand-alone app that works with a variety of devices.

2. Internet Connection

The audio and video need to travel from one person’s device to another person’s device for a video conference to work. One way for the data to travel is over a high-speed internet connection. The prevalence of high-speed internet connections among businesses has made video conferencing a reality for many companies. The faster a company’s internet connection, the more it can do with the video and the better the quality of the video.

3. Video Input/Output

People participating in a video conference need a way to see what goes on and a way to participate in the discussion visually. Video input equipment is usually a camera, such as a webcam attached to a laptop or a stand-alone video camera. In some cases, the video input can be the screen of a computer or digital whiteboard.

Video output equipment includes devices that display the images from the video conference. The equipment can consist of a laptop screen or desktop monitor, a video projector and screen, a television, LCD display or video wall.

4. Audio Input/Output

Like the video, the audio needs to travel in and out as part of the conference. Audio input equipment is often a microphone or a set of microphones. Depending on the setup of the conference, a microphone might be built-in to a laptop or might be a stand-alone piece of equipment. In some conference rooms, microphones are placed throughout the space or centrally located, such as on a table.

Audio output equipment can include speakers, such as those built into a laptop or desktop, a pair of headphones, or a fully integrated audio system with amplifier and speakers throughout the room.

5. Acoustic Echo Cancellation Equipment

A potential drawback of a poorly designed video conference system is the delayed echo that can occur when a person speaking, is heard in the far end system and the speech is picked up and sent back to the originating system. For that reason, echo cancellation technology is often part of a video conferencing program. The technology reduces the delay in the audio so feels and sounds natural.

technologies used in video conferencing

Room-Based vs. Web-Based Video Conferencing

When you research video conferencing technologies, you will likely come across web-based technology compared to room-based technology. One way to understand the difference between web-based and room-based video conferencing is that one method is software dependent while the other is hardware dependent. Many video conferencing platforms can utilize both web-based and room-based systems.

If an organization is going to use web-based video conferencing, anyone participating in the meeting, presentation or conference needs to download a software program to their computer or smartphone. The software program uses the built-in hardware on a person’s device, such as the microphone, speakers and web camera. Web-based video conferencing is ideal for companies with a lot of remote workers.

Room-based video conferencing is hardware dependent and designed for organizations that plan on hosting video meetings or presentations from a set location. The hardware required for the conferencing system to work is set up in one area, such as a conference room or a designated huddle room.

What Organizations Use Video Conferencing?

If you are wondering why do businesses use video conferencing, it can vary greatly by industry. In some cases, video conferencing has improved the quality of service an organization can provide or has expanded the reach of a company. Here are a few examples of organizations that can use video conferencing and the ways they can use it.

  • Healthcare providers: Healthcare providers can use video conferencing to provide telemedicine. Instead of a patient coming in to see a doctor every time they feel somewhat under the weather, they can schedule a video appointment with their provider. The provider can take their history and review of symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis of what’s going on. Healthcare providers can also use video conferencing to communicate with other members of a patient’s care team.
  • Educational providers: Teachers can use video conferencing to hold open office hours and meetings with their students outside of classroom time. Schools and teachers can also use video conferencing to make classes available to a broader group of students. Instead of requiring in-person meetings, the course can take place virtually, with students logging in to watch their teacher’s lectures and to participate in discussions.
  • Lawyers and courts: Courts often use video conferencing to hear the testimony of a witness who cannot be there in a person. Attorneys can use video conferencing to take depositions or to communicate with other lawyers about a case.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses: More than 40% of employees in the US work at least part of the week remotely. Video conferences give small and medium-sized businesses the chance to hire people who live anywhere in the country and to keep in contact with those employees regularly.
  • Governments: Government agencies can use video conferencing to communicate in times of crisis or for more mundane issues, such as a review of the budget. Video conferencing also allows government agencies to communicate with each other without having to schedule an in-person meeting.

Video conferencing helps with day to day operations

Top Reasons to Use Video Conferencing

No matter what type of organization you work for or run, there’s likely a way to incorporate video conferencing into your operations. Some of the top reasons to use it include:

  • Connecting with distant employees: Video conferences let managers touch base with people who work remotely regularly. Video also allows you to communicate with team members who work in another branch location or who might be on the road for the job.
  • Reaching a wider audience: Video conferences can make classes and educational programming more accessible to more people. For example, schools can create massive online open courses (MOOCs) that students from around the world can sign up for. Professors and instructors can record themselves giving a lecture for students to watch live or on their own time.
  • Providing better service: It can often be more efficient and cost-effective for a company to video conference than to schedule in-person meetings. For example, video meetings allow a doctor to see patients quickly and to reach the bottom of a problem faster.
  • Facilitating communication: It’s often more cost-effective for companies to screen candidates via a phone call rather than have them come in for in-person interviews, at least in the early rounds of a candidate search. Using video meetings can help a manager or search committee see and hear if a candidate is qualified enough to move to the next round.

What Are the Advantages of Video Conferencing?

No matter how you use it, there are many advantages of video conferencing. When you decide whether to use a video conferencing system, it’s a good idea to take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of holding online meetings and video calls. Among the benefits are:

1. Video Conferencing Offers Greater Flexibility

If you’ve ever tried to schedule a meeting with more than three people and tried to get those people in the same place at the same time, you know the challenge. With video conferencing, it doesn’t matter where meeting participants are located, so you have more flexibility and freedom. If you give a presentation to a large group, you can record it using the conferencing technology and make it available later for people who couldn’t “attend” the live event.

2. Video Conferencing Helps Remote Workers Feel Part of the Team

Although many people who work from home or in remote positions love it, there are some drawbacks to remote work. One of those drawbacks is that people can feel isolated or separated from their co-workers. About one out of every five remote workers said that loneliness was their biggest struggle when working remotely.

Companies that use video conferencing can help their remote employees feel more involved by giving them a chance to see their coworkers and engage with them. Video conferencing offers coworkers who might live in different time zones or different countries the opportunity to speak with each other. Team members can share what they work on and ask their coworkers for advice and support.

helps coworkers collaborate

3. Video Conferencing Can Save Your Company Money

While it does cost money to set up and implement video conferencing technology, in the long run, many organizations using it find that it’s a money-saver or even a money maker. If your company uses online meetings to screen candidates, it doesn’t have to pay to bring candidates in for an in-person interview. Video conferencing also reduces your company’s travel budget as it won’t have to fly in distant remote workers for check-ins or meetings, nor will it have to pay to fly managers out for events.

Since video conferencing often allows an organization to expand the products it offers clients, it can create additional streams of revenue.

4. Video Conferencing Allows You to Hire Anyone, Anywhere

Another advantage of video conferencing is that it can make your company’s applicant pool much bigger. Instead of limiting yourself to local candidates or covering the moving costs and other travel expenses of out-of-town candidates, you can hire workers from wherever. That means you are more likely to attract highly qualified applicants and won’t have to turn people down because they live too far away.

Are There Disadvantages of Video Conferencing?

While there are many benefits and advantages of using video conferencing, there are some potential drawbacks as well. One concern many organizations have when it comes to adding a video conferencing system to their business is the cost of the technology. While there are free options available, many organizations are better served by a paid option. It’s a good idea to evaluate the cost of the technology and to weigh the available options before deciding on a video conferencing system.

How Video Conferencing Can Work for Your Organization

Video conferencing can open new doors for your organization by allowing you to reach a broader audience or helping you better connect with your employees. The most important thing to remember when examining video conferencing technology is to choose a system that works best for you, and that will best meet your organization’s needs. A room-based system might serve you well, or your company might benefit from a web-based system.

Luckily, you aren’t on your own when it comes to implementing a video conferencing system. Morefield Communications’ team of engineers can design a video conferencing solution that meets your specific needs and solves your particular problems. Contact us today to learn more. You can also give us a call at (717) 761-6170.

contact Morefield for video conferencing solutions

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