I was recently posed a question by some industry peers. The question was simple on its face but the answer was not. The question was about challenges around the “I-T” knowledge of a typical “A-V” technician. My answer in short is below.
It is proving to be a challenge to many A-V professionals. Lack of familiarity with network technology and intricacies that come with stacked switches or layered networks would be only one culprit. In many cases the VARs – (Value Added Resellers) are still specifying higher profit end of life gear. Though this can be for many reasons one being their bottom line rather than expertise in IT technology. Still some end-users are feeding this because they are looking to extend the life of existing systems. They would rather continue limping along rather than upgrading to a network based system, while others are still afraid to commit because digital signals still do not have their act together, (HDMI for one).
Some video conferencing centric organizations are less challenged in the IT space, however they are not exactly knowledgeable either. I have personally witnessed multiple vendors ranging from Washington DC up to Boston MA, who know just enough to get on to the network, populate the right fields in the menu and move on to the next install. This creates undo stress for the client since all the expertise discussed “At the time of the sale” just walked out the door. Fact is it never walked in the door. The VAR in each case was simply looking to set it and forget it… when the rubber hit the road they did not want to partner with the client, they just wanted to get in and out leaving it to the client’s IT department to face any additional challenges alone. They may have had some IT knowledge but did not stick around to share. This could have been intimidation by hard core IT guys in the room protecting their turf, or simply not enough relevant experience or training on the A-V vendor side. Again in each case with each client the A-V field techs just walked away.
I can share with you that there is no single reason why IT knowledge is still a challenge for A-V professionals. However we know from experience in the field that many are truly not network savvy, and this will continue for what would be my guess another 10 -15 years or until the old guard moves out and the younger techs build up their experience levels.
I Thought this was important to share. –