The recent rise in popularity of telehealth and virtual visits has opened the door for many hospitals to utilize AV/VC technology more than ever.

But as healthcare professionals see the true value in audio visual and video conferencing systems for their facilities, we can expect usage to go far beyond telehealth in the coming years.

Based on emerging trends, here are some ways hospitals will utilize AV/VC technology in the future:

1. Using interactive digital displays for patient education and entertainment

Digital displays are becoming more advanced and interactive. By strategically placing them throughout the hospital, patients can access information that’s relevant to them and/or that helps them make informed medical decisions.

Interactive displays can serve an entertainment purpose too, especially in units like pediatrics. Allowing patients to focus on something other than their hospital stay will put them in better spirits and help alleviate stress. In some cases where visitor access may be restricted, interactive displays can help patients stay in touch with loved ones via video chat, which is a very effective way to make a patient more comfortable and relaxed.

2. Wireless capabilities for interconnected devices

In the hospital setting, it’s essential for many monitors and devices to be interconnected and/or usable in many different parts of the hospital. However, wires and plugs can slow down emergency care and pose a safety hazard for those who need to move quickly.

Wireless capabilities for interconnected devices allow for seamless transition of care and ensure better capability with network configurations, video conferencing, and software needs. The future will see hospitals move to a wireless environment, and advancing AV/VC technology is a great way to do so.

3. Better access to real-world training for medical students

While training labs are far more advanced than ever before, they still don’t allow students of medical professions to get a real-time look into a hospital setting. High-quality video conferencing solutions, however, can bring students into operating rooms, hospital rooms, and emergency situations that they may not otherwise have access to.

This also opens the door for students to observe treatments in facilities that have state of the art equipment or specialty departments that may not be near the schools they attend. The next generation of medical professionals will potentially be the most prepared and well-rounded, thanks to AV/VC technology allowing them to access higher levels of training.

4. Resource sharing between doctors and staff at different hospitals and locations

There is strength in numbers when it comes to healthcare. Doctors and other care providers can learn from each other, seek additional opinions, and collaborate on treatment plans from different physical locations with video conferencing technology.

This is also a game changer for conferences, as care providers don’t need to spend time and resources traveling to attend conferences with world-renowned specialists; they can simply join from their hospital or office and still remain in close proximity to patients who need them.

For healthcare facilities that are looking to get on the ground floor of these emerging trends, now is the time to make sure your AV/VC systems are up to the challenge.

We recommend starting by setting up a consultation with an AV integrator, like IVCi, who specializes in designing, implementing, and supporting AV/VC technology for hospitals and healthcare networks. Contact us today to get started!

While the COVID-19 pandemic had significant impacts on so many different areas of our lives, one of the biggest was shifting the way many people work. Companies who have operated the same way for decades suddenly had to pivot from everything they knew.

As a result, many workplaces have adopted a hybrid remote work model, with some people working from the office and others working remotely on designated days. The challenge here is keeping remote teammates engaged with those in the office and each other, to ensure productivity and collaboration levels remain high.

Implementing Audio Visual and Video Conferencing technology is the best way to achieve a successful hybrid remote workspace — if done correctly. Here are tips for how to implement AV/VC technology into your hybrid organization for best results.

Replace short-term AV solutions

When organizations were given mere hours to prepare for remote work, it made sense to choose whatever systems could be implemented quickly. After all, we all assumed this would be a short-term situation.

Now that we know COVID-19 is a long-term situation and many organizations have adopted permanent hybrid policies, it’s time to replace short-term AV solutions. With the help of an AV integrator, you can upgrade networks, bandwidths, cameras and microphones, and software needed for video conferencing. That way you can equip your teams with permanent, high-quality solutions that will perform their best, allowing your team to do the same.

Provide connectivity solutions

A major component of a successful hybrid work solution is a smooth transition between remote and in-office work. You’ll want to make it as simple as possible for people to switch between the two in order to get best results in both locations. For example, a laptop docking station can help save time between setting up and breaking down setups in the office, while allowing them to utilize the same equipment and be comfortable.

Elevate the meeting experience

Gartner reports that by 2024, only 25% of meetings will happen fully in person. Since most people will be taking meetings primarily via video conferencing, you can implement technology that elevates the meeting experience with microphones and cameras that mimic the in-person experience.

You also should consider meeting spaces that allow individuals to use their preferred meeting platforms for best user experiences. These are referred to as “open rooms,” being equipped with a simple and seamless setup utilizing umbrella equipment — that way, all teammates, clients, partners, etc. can join easily and have a productive meeting.

So what’s the secret to implementing all of these successfully? Well, it’s not really a secret. Rather, it’s having the right AV integrator by your side to develop the options that will work best in your new hybrid workspace. IVCi has been doing that for organizations for years, but especially since the pandemic has put a new emphasis on AV technology. Our team is ready to design, implement, and support a full AV system and make sure your team has the skills to make the most of it.

While the last few months of the year tend to pass in the blink of an eye, it’s important to use this time to plan ahead for next year. Most managers and decision makers are in the thick of their 2022 planning, including budgets.

If you know you are in need of a technology upgrade, it’s important to include that in your budget. But that can be confusing when you are not entirely sure what you need, or what the total cost will be for the year — after all, there is no way to really predict what is going to happen in a given year (2020 taught us that!).

To help you navigate this challenge, we’ve put together some tips for budgeting for audio visual and video conferencing solutions.

1. Consider every cost

While AV equipment will likely make up the bulk of your expenses, that doesn’t cover the whole scope of associated costs. If you don’t take into account all related costs, you could end up having to sacrifice something important down the line, which can impact functionality and team productivity.

Some common costs you may not initially think of:

  • Upgrades to power equipment
  • Furniture considerations
  • Subscriptions
  • Service agreements
  • Support services

The type and amount of cost will vary from setup to setup, but this will give you a good place to start.

2. Understand your network requirements and business needs

You’ll also need to understand how a video conferencing system would work on your existing network. For example, are there currently enough network drops and bandwidth to support bringing in your ideal AV setup? If not, a network upgrade may be necessary and that would factor into the budget.

Also, consider your business needs and goals for the upcoming year. Are you developing a full return to office plan, or are you adopting a hybrid workplace? Knowing how and from where your teams will work is essential in setting an AV budget.

3. Choose a fixed-cost option

Sometimes the biggest challenge of budgeting for your audio visual conferencing systems is the fluctuation of costs throughout the year. However, there are AV as a Service options that operate on a subscription model, allowing you to move the expense from CapEx to OpEx and have it be more predictable.

For example, the IVCi Evolve AVaaS program provides all inclusive upgrades, flexible term lifecycles, on-demand QR code support, and a dedicated team to assist you with anything you may need — all under one subscription.

4. Trust the experts

If you are still unsure, you can always reach out to a trusted AV integrator like IVCi to discuss your current landscape and where you hope to be in the future. They can make recommendations and provide estimates to help you budget accurately.

If you need assistance planning for your 2022 AV and video conferencing setup, reach out to IVCi today. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in all areas of your AV integration process, so you can budget and plan accordingly to be prepared.

In the past year and a half, there’s been a huge shift away from in-person events because of COVID-19. Even today, as vaccines are readily available, most events are taking place in a virtual or hybrid format.

However, live streaming events can leave a lot of room for technical difficulties. Without a smooth user experience, attendees can get frustrated, leave the event, and avoid coming to your future live events.

We’ve put together a Live Streaming 101 guide to help you put on successful live events that keep attendees happy and engaged with your brand.

Creating your event plan

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to live streaming a live event, so it’s important to make a comprehensive plan. Some items to cover in your plan to help you get started:

  • What is the purpose of your event?
  • What is your budget?
  • How many attendees are you expecting?
  • Will the event be 100% live or include pre-recorded sessions?
  • Are all attendees having the same experience or will there be different paths or breakout sessions?
  • How many people will need to have camera/microphone access?

Answering these starter questions will help you figure out a baseline plan and bring up any other specific questions you may need to answer.

Starting with the right equipment and platforms

Your plan will help you determine what equipment and platforms are right for your event. If your organization already uses a platform, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, it’s best to stick with that since your team is familiar with it so it reduces the chance of user error.

You’ll also need high-quality cameras and microphones to most closely replicate the in-person experience. You may also need additional equipment like AV carts, digital displays, and connected devices to complete the experience.

Testing everything under similar circumstances

It’s important to test all of your equipment under realistic circumstances. It’s easy for everything to go smoothly when there are three users logging in, but that’s not what the live event will be. Test with as many team members as possible, having them utilize chat and question features as well. Also, be sure to do a dry run of any presentations that way if there’s any additional media that needs to be streamed, you can be sure it works too.

Preparing your audience and getting attendees

Once you’re confident you can run your event with no technical issues, it’s time to attract attendees. Send targeted email campaigns, social media ads, and organic content to spread the word and get people excited to attend.

Gathering feedback and improving for the future

Live streaming best practices don’t stop once the event is over. It’s crucial to send a post-event anonymous survey to gather feedback and improve events for the future. That way, even if an attendee had an issue or concern, they can register for your next event with confidence knowing that the experience will be improved.

These tips will help your organization successfully live stream live events. But it always helps to have an expert on your side to help ensure you have the right systems in place for high quality live streaming. IVCi is here to help your organization get started or take your setup to the next level — contact us today to learn more.

When making the decision to install or upgrade your audio video technology, there are a lot of steps to consider. End-to-end AV integration eases the confusion and concern of having to piece together all those steps by utilizing one integrator for the whole process from start to finish.

In order to maximize your experience with an end-to-end AV integrator, you should take some time to understand what it really entails. That way, you can be prepared to find the right company, ask the right questions, and complete your project in the most efficient way possible.

Here are the four main steps of end-to-end integration to understand before embarking on your project:

1. Creating an AV strategy

Before any action is taken, it’s important to make a holistic plan that looks at all aspects of your organization. Are your employees working remotely? How many huddle rooms or meeting spaces do you have onsite? What is the user experience you’re looking to create?

Answering these questions, while factoring in other strategic goals and budget considerations, will help create the foundation on which the remaining steps are built. This is also the step where KPIs and goals are set in order to measure progress and adjust accordingly. Each subsequent decision is made in consideration of the strategy to help ensure success.

2. Designing an AV setup

Once the strategy and goals are set, your integrator will present options for technology systems that work to bring your plan to life. They will give an overview of different cameras, microphones, AV carts, digital displays… anything you would need to meet your goals.

There will also be a review of overlays, flows, roles, and responsibilities to map out expectations so they are clea every step of the way.

3. Deployment of AV technology

These plans are all well and good, but they don’t mean anything until they’re brought to life through installation. The best end-to-end AV integrators put an emphasis on efficiency, yet take the necessary steps to ensure availability and quality before installation begins.

They will utilize project managers, technicians, engineers, and supervisors to ensure your installation happens on time, within budget, and with as little interruption to your business as possible.

4. Ongoing support for AV environments

Some companies think that “end-to-end” ends once the technology is installed, but that’s not the case. In a sense, the term “end-to-end” is misleading, because there never really is an end to our work.

We also provide ongoing support in the form of strategy health checks, one hour telephone response times, fast track troubleshooting, live video assistance and more.

The key to successful end-to-end AV integration is finding an integrator that doesn’t just do all steps, but excels in them with a level of expertise that gives you the confidence you need and the peace of mind you deserve. IVCi has been a trusted end-to-end integrator for organizations of all sizes and many industries. Our team is here and ready to help you from start to finish — contact us today to get started.

With many organizations around the country making a partial or complete return to their offices in the upcoming months, they will have to reimagine their workspace to account for new working styles and safety measures.

One of the biggest adjustments organizations will have to face is how to best utilize their shared spaces like conference rooms. With the right audio video setups and solutions, organizations can transform conference rooms from just a gathering place to a productivity and collaboration hub.

Here are the ideal AV setups and solutions for achieving that:

Digital and interactive displays

Meetings are most impactful when they utilize shared content and/or provide real time collaboration opportunities. Digital and interactive displays allow for presenters and contributors to not only share supporting content, but make in-meeting changes. This transforms meetings into working sessions, getting the most out of everybody’s time.

Audio and video equipment

While this may seem obvious, too many organizations rely on their devices’ built-in cameras and microphones during meetings with remote participants. However, using external equipment can provide much better quality which reduces interruptions and improves meeting efficiency.

Plus, dedicated AV equipment can come in a variety of connectivity choices: wired, wireless, and combination. That way, you can have the equipment on hand that works best for your meeting format rather than be tied to a specific device.

Cloud video

Cloud Video Experience (CVE) allows you to meet with anyone from any connected device, like a desktop, phone, or tablet. With endless endpoints and the ability to connect multiple devices to the same account, CVE is ideal for an organization with multiple conference rooms, multiple locations, or teams that operate in a hybrid remote/in-office work model.

Easy to use control and support

Getting meetings kicked off is only half the battle. Knowing how to utilize controls during meetings and troubleshoot technical difficulties is important for ensuring adoption and buy-in on a company-wide scale. The most efficient way to ensure proper training and support is to enlist the help of a full-service AV integrator; not only can they help you select and install the technology you need for your conference room, but they can provide the on-demand support you need too.

For example, IVCi provides QR codes on their equipment that users can scan to access helpful resources or contact on-demand help to get their meetings up and running.

AV as a Service (AVaaS)

The ultimate solution for your conference room needs is one that covers it all. AV as a Service is an all-in-one productivity solution that’s available to your organization via a subscription model. You can upgrade technology at any time, scale up or down depending on changing needs, change the terms of your lifecycle, employ break-fix services, and access on-demand end user support — all in one easy-to-manage subscription.

For assistance finding the right solutions for your conference room, contact the IVCi team today. We can assist with the strategy, integration, and support you need to set your team up for success.

When we think of remote setups, we typically think of things that are visual in nature: monitors, webcams, lighting, etc. While those are certainly important parts of a remote setup, there are other factors that are equally important — most notably, audio.

Without proper audio configuration, your remote setup can be a major hindrance to your collaboration and productivity. Let’s dive further into the importance of audio in a remote setup

1. Blocking out distractions

In many situations, remote setups come with a level of distraction. Whether it’s the hum and drum of a coffee shop, the inconvenient timing of landscapers at your home office, or other people taking calls in a shared workspace, background noise and distractions can be an issue.

High-quality audio setups help keep the main audio crystal clear while drowning out unwanted noise for those who need to speak and can’t mute out their background. This keeps meetings focused and on task, regardless of what’s going on in people’s environments.

2. Keeping meetings on track

Spotty audio can be frustrating during important meetings and collaborative sessions. Having to pause to correct audio issues and constantly ask “can everyone hear me?” can quickly derail a meeting.

Today, people are busier than ever on calls. Sometimes it’s difficult to even find a half hour time slot that works for everyone on a larger team. Spending five minutes each call sorting out audio issues is a 16% loss of time. If that happens each time you try to have a meeting, you’ll be quickly looking at significant productivity losses — and the frustration that comes along with it.

3. Avoid stops and stalls

Having to continuously stop and stall because of spotty audio can be very frustrating for participants, especially clients. Repeating yourself, asking people to repeat themselves, and missing key pieces of information can cause choppy meetings that lack efficiency.

Strong audio keeps meetings moving forward and keeps all participants on the same page. The end result is a better use of everyone’s time, which both team members and potential clients can appreciate.

4. Make recordings more effective

Meeting and training recordings are an important part of remote work setups. Meeting recordings can be used to fill in participants who were not able to attend or as notes for action items following the meeting. Training sessions and tutorials can also be recorded to support self-paced learning and prevent training teams from having to repeat the same training multiple times.

However, if recordings have poor audio quality, they are essentially useless. Organizations need to be able to rely on their audio all the time to ensure recordings can be used in the future.

If you are looking to upgrade your audio for your organization’s remote setup, enlist the help of an industry expert who can guide you every step of the way. That way, you can be sure that your team is working with top quality technology backed by unparalleled support, working towards your strategic goals and building business.

While we’re not completely out of the woods in regards to COVID-19, we are getting closer thanks to vaccines and a better understanding of how to fight the virus.

This progress has us thinking deeply and strategizing about how we can best serve our clients in a post-pandemic world.iv

Defining the new way of work

It may seem pretty straightforward to figure out how our clients are working, whether it be in the office, remote, or hybrid. A recent study by NSCA and MyTechDecisions showed that 50% of companies will have employees working from home 3-4 days per week now, as opposed to just 15% before the pandemic. So it’s tempting to make a blanket statement like “our clients are working remotely” and leave it at that.

But it’s not necessarily that simple. Let’s look at an example:

  • Company A has employees work from home three days a week and in the office two days a week. It’s encouraged that they schedule all collaborative work and meetings for in-office days, saving independent work for remote days.
  • Company B has their employees work from home two days per week and come into the office for a couple of hours on the other two days to attend meetings and work on collaborative projects, working from home the remainder of the day.
  • Company C takes a “business as usual” approach, bringing employees into the office on two set days per week regardless of when meetings or collaborative projects fall.

While all of those are considered hybrid work arrangements, they will have very different technology needs. For example, we’re seeing huddle rooms take on different forms; what used to be a place dedicated for a group to a room that can serve multiple purposes depending on an organization’s needs that given day.

Learning how challenges and pain points have changed

Because of changes in work arrangements and business priorities, what our clients viewed as important technology to invest in before the pandemic is different from what they need now.

We pride ourselves on our ability to understand what our clients’ needs are in this ever-evolving landscape and identify any new challenges they will face. That’s a major adjustment from the previous role of an AV integrator, where we would traditionally advise clients on efficient technology and best practices.

With no predictability in today’s world, we have to be prepared for everything. Yes, we still need to be prepared to offer our clients the tools they need to equip their employees for remote work, like headsets, cameras, training, and more, but we have to go above and beyond that to truly be an effective technology partner.

Providing the service and hardware to support goals

Our goal is to continue evolving with our clients to provide the solutions they need now and in the future, and there are a few ways we’re doing so:

  • Ensure that all clients have AV-enabled programs in the cloud or AV infrastructure that enable permanent remote work
  • Simplify the process of shifting all meetings to collaboration software
  • Keep remote work efficient through the right equipment

We’re doing so by being not only the technology provider our clients need, but the service partner they can trust. Through offerings like AV as a Service, we can help organizations maintain standard solutions across all rooms, facilitate consistent updates, and provide efficiency analysis and business analytics.

Through our future-facing offerings, we’re helping our clients prepare for a post-pandemic work arrangement that’s ready to for whatever comes its way.

We’re always keeping an eye out for the latest and greatest in the AV space — it’s what allows us to keep bringing innovative solutions to our customers.

Today we’re going to take a look at the hottest trend in AV right now: distributed workforces. What’s important to keep in mind though, is that this isn’t the same type of distributed workforce we saw at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout 2020. Now, organizations are moving away from their temporary remote setups and into more permanent remote and hybrid solutions.

Let’s look at the role AV systems play in that shift.

Fostering teamwork in a hybrid work environment

Many organizations are taking the “best of both worlds” approach, announcing a hybrid environment as their permanent work arrangement to give employees flexibility while maintaining a level of in-person collaboration.

As part of this transition, companies are looking for meeting solutions that are user-friendly, secure, and work seamlessly for both in-office and remote users. To meet this need, we’ll likely see an adoption in the use of huddle rooms. That way, those who are working in the office can gather together for meetings, while having the technology necessary to accommodate remote participants.

Making a meeting that’s remote-user friendly focuses around AV conferencing equipment. Having a quick plug-and-play option for users to be able to share content and sign in from their devices in huddle rooms is important, along with secure connections for remote users. That way, teams can seamlessly work together regardless of physical location.

In July 2020, a study by Crestron showed that 50% of businesses were looking to increase their video conferencing capabilities in the next two years, and that prediction is holding strong under hybrid work arrangements.

Work from anywhere

As travel restrictions and stay at home orders are lifted, “work from home” has shifted to “work from anywhere” for many organizations who made the decision to remain remote permanently. To accommodate, businesses are closing the doors on their large corporate offices in favor of smaller, satellite offices in a wide range of locations.

This requires top-of-the-line connectivity for remote and hybrid meetings. As a result, organizations will start investing heavily in monitors, connectors, and audio systems in these satellite offices — and the teams that can help maintain them since technology teams may no longer be in house or on site.

This is predicted to bring about the rise of AV as a Service (AVaaS), a subscription-based model that gives organizations access to all the AV equipment, support, and service they could need without requiring internal resources.

Staying on top of — and ahead of — AV trends

If you’re looking to stay ahead of AV trends and bring the latest and greatest to your organization, partner with an AV integrator like IVCi. With offerings like AV as a Service, it’s easier than ever to ensure you have state of the art technology and top-notch service.

It’s easy to find out more about the subscription service that powers your business through the future of AV. Click here to learn more.

We hear the term “digital transformation” a lot these days. Your organization may very well be in the midst of a digital transformation initiative right now. But do you truly understand what it means for your business, now and in the future?

Since digital transformation is a broad term, let’s take a look at it in the specific context of the workplace and its impact on productivity, efficiency, and communication.

How technology has transformed the workplace

It’s no secret that technology has been the driving force behind digital transformation in workplaces. But what exactly has it transformed? The short answer: just about everything.

Here are a few examples of how technology has reshaped the workplace:

  1. Changing how we communicate – From in-person conversations and phone calls, we now have email, instant messaging, text messaging, and AV conferencing.
  2. Organizing projects and documents – Businesses used to have to rely solely on file cabinets and carbon copies; now, they can enjoy cloud-based storage and access documents from anywhere.
  3. Improving productivity – Replacing manual processes with automation and precision allows for more efficiency and productivity.
  4. Reducing overhead costs – Productivity and efficiency helps organizations save time and money. The same goes for the ability to create, store, and share documents and meet with people via video conferencing that would previously require travel.
  5. Tightening security – While hackers have advanced alongside technology, cybersecurity protection is better than ever.
  6. Increasing collaboration – Technology like video conferencing has enabled people who are not in the same physical location to collaborate with little to no notice.
  7. Enabling a distributed workforce – Companies can source talent from anywhere rather than being limited to a single geographical location.

Just about every aspect of business has been completely revolutionized by technology. Sometimes it seems as if things have advanced so much that they couldn’t possibly go any further. But is that really the case?

What to expect in the future

For organizations who were slow to adopt a digital transformation, the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst that got them started. The pandemic, along with further advancements in technology, have made it clear that digital transformations are just getting started.

Organizations shouldn’t get comfortable just because they have advanced technology; new things are on the horizon and leaders should be prepared for more changes. Here are some things businesses should be preparing for:

  • The pandemic forced an adoption of different communication tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, and more. Going forward, employees are still favoring those communication tools over email, phone calls, and in-person meetings. Since fewer emails are being shared, it’s important that organizations invest in programs and software that integrate with their preferred communication platform to send documents and collaborate.
  • Machine Learning and AI have taken huge leaps in the past few years. President Biden has recently committed to increasing federal funding towards technology, including AI. Organizations can expect increased regulation and possible changes to AI-powered programs.
  • Investment in AV technology is no longer an afterthought. Many organizations had to adopt video conferencing for the first time during the pandemic. Now, as many move to permanent remote and hybrid environments, it’s time to invest in long-term systems and solutions that will allow for seamless communication, regardless of location.

If you are looking to boost your organization’s digital transformation and improve communication, collaboration, and efficiency, IVCi may be able to help. Contact us today to learn more.