In the tracks of the established networks of the IT world, control and automation of A/V gear in several buildings controlled on one organization’s platform is more and more commonplace. The benefits include grand-scale reporting of usage, which results in more intelligent predictions for future space and equipment allocations. Consistency of A/V experience from office to office, from one building to another, is easier to achieve. To network A/V among multiple buildings successfully with the least amount of downtime, all the people involved need to be on board and working toward the common goal.
When linking up control and automation networks, the same principles apply to multiple buildings on a college campus that apply to one company’s various locations around the world. There are many factions involved and they all have to be willing to commit to what’s good for the organization as a whole. Network topology then becomes the playing field and sub-networks keep the operation clean. A hang-up on one subnetwork can be isolated.
“As an industry, where we used to be called upon to do a videoconferencing room, or a classroom or auditorium, more and more now we are seeing that the control and automation job is for an entire organization or enterprise,” says Jeff Singer, director of Global Marketing Campaigns at Crestron. “It could be an entire commercial building, an entire campus, a state-wide university system, or a global corporate enterprise. Our clients need to be able to monitor, manage, and control various A/V devices on that network in addition to HVAC, light and security systems.”
As with any feat of cooperation, the key to success is a group of completely committed people. Where it doesn’t work well is when one faction comes along late in the game and changes the ground rules. “Using the integrative design approach, bring all stakeholders in to the process as early as possible to ensure success,” says Doug Hall, senior product manager at AMX. “Clearly