For end users, if there is a rationale to connect your refrigerator to the cloud, what AV equipment should connect to the cloud, and why?
From the invention of communications (thank you Al Bell), through the invention of the Internet (thank you Al Gore), virtually every technology advancement has involved someone or something being connected to something else in some way. It’s been an inescapable reality from the simplest advancement – think “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”, to the more recent explosion of cloud-based services, to connecting every conceivable device onto the Internet of Things.
At HB Communications, we start with the premise that technology and service choices are based upon business strategies and objectives – that business outcomes drive these choices. With that in mind, here are a few simple use cases showing the practical advantages of connecting AV with the cloud.
You are already connected to the cloud.
If your business has networked your video and audio visual equipment and you’re running it yourself, you’re connected to the cloud – it’s just a private one. If you’re not, it’s time to replace the overhead projectors and foils. For most companies, it’s not really about what AV equipment should be connected to the cloud, but instead where and when moving from a build it yourself to a shared cloud service makes sense.
Everything related to collaboration should be in the cloud, or connected to it.
The pace in which email and directory services have moved from on-premise to a cloud solution has been virtually overnight. And for good reason.
Any core platform technologies that are extensible and have scale economic advantages – only requiring configurability and multi-tenancy to differentiate clients and users – are moving to the cloud. This is now happening rapidly with video conferencing as well. In most cases, as a cloud service, the equipment costs, maintenance and operational expenses, and costs related to high availability and sustainability are much lower than building your own. And for those of you who’ve committed your destiny to Office 365 and Skype you are already on that path.
So, what about the AV equipment?
Those are the elements essential to making an otherwise vanilla video cloud solution uniquely yours, Room schedulers, content systems, audio, video endpoints, displays – if your plan has not considered how all the elements connect to the cloud to make the user experience complete then your collaboration solution will have considerable limitations. This is driving much of the explosion in simple room systems from Cisco, Microsoft, and others.
Everything related to digital signage should be in the cloud, or connected to it.
Once you hit the crossover point making content delivery from the cloud more cost effective, the considerations are significant. Most digital signage solutions today have a cloud enabled option. Many are exclusively “cloud powered”. These give end users significant choice in terms of features among the various cloud solutions in digital signage, and is shrinking the size of the premise market to specialty content management requirements. While displays are not going away anytime soon, even players will diminish as cloud-based live streaming becomes more economical.
Everything related to conference room design should support access to, and management from, the cloud.
Where AV has become part of an IT organization, the principles of IT Service Management and ITIL are changing how AV folks think about designing conference rooms and delivering what’s considered typical AV services. AV design has not often enough considered business objectives, including fail over, survivability and serviceability as principle design objectives, and AV manufactures that offer typical IT high availability features are too few in number.