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Deal with IT

Mar 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Michael Goldman


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Over the last year in this magazine, we've periodically discussed the divide between IT and AV professionals as they struggle to bring their respective niches together. For some time, on the technology side of the equation, the divide has been rapidly closing. After all, what new AV device doesn't possess some kind of IP capability anymore? The cultural, human element — well, that's another story. That process has been slower. Like many things, education is the answer, and educational opportunities for AV professionals seeking to walk through the IT door have been growing and improving in quality.

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InfoComm International, as usual, is leading the way with various offerings on IT issues, technologies, and techniques — including an InfoComm Academy Technology Manager course this year called AV/IT Integration for Technical Professionals. Course materials boil it all down to the fact that AV professionals are still doing what they have always done — designing and implementing AV systems — but they are now doing it in an IT world. Thus, much of what they teach in the course is highly technical: how to use various IP-based applications, how to test cabling, issues revolving around the quality of an AV signal and the IT bandwidth consumed by the signal, learning about IP addresses, and all of those ITish things.

The course also discusses strategies for determining client needs and improving communication among folks on both sides of the divide. Understanding this human element, I think, is central to any successful industry transition. The technology will always be there, but how to fit such technology — and new ways of doing things — into one's existing world, mindset, and experiences is a far more daunting challenge.

As we've been steadfastly doing the last year, SVC is playing its part in offering tools to assist your business in this transition. This issue, for instance, has a series of experts taking us inside the world of fiber and a look — among other things — at yet another sophisticated, networked, multimedia infrastructure at a major facility: the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Philadelphia. We're also forging ahead with our Networked AV and Residential AV Presents Connected Home enewsletters, and in the coming months, we'll have more webcasts in this category.

The publishing world is transitioning too, and as part of that transition, we are working hard to make SVC a multimedia brand with print and online tools. For example, we're launching our video player, SVC TV, on our website, starting with some product demos. Email me at michael.goldman@penton.com if you have educational video content you would like to see on SVC TV. Or send me your ideas about how we can help you navigate the way on this revamped and constantly evolving landscape.



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