With wireless communication protocols and online administration, modern UC systems have removed many installation and technical challenges once common in AV implementations. The lines are blurring between AV and IT, and more and more AV responsibilities are shifting to IT departments. As AV departments disappear so do dedicated experts who know how to make sound and video work well in a given space. At the same time UC introduces new challenges. The use of standardized PC connections (USB, Bluetooth, etc.) has allowed many manufacturers to enter the UC market with consumer-grade or highly-specified personal equipment, both of which translate to video and audio capabilities ill-suited to a conference room environment. The AV team knew this; the IT team may still be learning it.
Amidst constant change one thing stays the same: Users can recognize a poor experience. They are just as likely to swamp the IT help desk with issues today as they always have been, especially as personal video conferencing (Skype, Hangouts, Facetime, etc.) solutions set expectations for workplace communications. Business users know, and thus expect, video should work well. And, if they’re used to using a quality Bluetooth headset, they also know audio can be realistic and natural sounding. The good news is many of those consumers are the IT folks responsible for deploying modern AV systems today. So if they keep their expectations high, recognize that personal and conference room use are different, and hold their providers and equipment manufacturers accountable, they can deploy remarkable solutions at a fraction of the cost of the systems available to the AV department only a handful of years ago.
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