Trust–Don’t let it cost you.


Puma_Thinkstock_HomeRemember that big home project you were doing that turned out to be a disaster? Remember, the always faithful and trust worthy, “trusted advisor”? Was it the friend…mom…dad…or maybe the neighbor? It’s OK we’ve all done it and experienced the result.  If you don’t know much about cars, you ask a friend who does know a lot what his opinion is after you hear from the mechanic. It’s smart to get second opinions from people you trust, and it happens to us all of the time.

Miscommunication between you and the contractor can spell disaster for your home AV project. It usually surfaces late in the project where the client gets an idea or input from their “trusted advisor” and then presents it to the contractor. While a client may ask for a second opinion from a trusted advisor, SpaceCoast AV knows the products and processes better than anyone else and so, we assert and leverage our knowledge and expertise on your behalf.

A few great examples might look something like this:

You might insist on using some Amazon deal speaker your brother-in-law insists in the best thing since sliced bread, but when paired with the amp you’ve carefully selected and calibrated, it sounds like crap (maybe because it’s a crap speaker or maybe because it doesn’t pair well with the rest of the equipment). or you could purchase your own AVR, but it doesn’t play well with the HDBaseT extender you plan to use and a reliable signal becomes an issue. Maybe the neighbor has a Harmony remote and is ridiculing you for spending thousands on a universal remote, so now you’re insisting on a Harmony, with all of the risks of reliability and lack of discrete control that entails. Or the client is adamant about using an Apple Airport Extreme as their router. There goes the managed network and  remote access to troubleshoot. In the short term any of these things could save you a lot of money, but in the long run, it will cost you in service calls that didn’t need to happen.

SpaceCoast AV has been a trusted, knowledgeable and professional Audio Visual for residents, businesses and houses of worship in Brevard since 2008. When it comes to your money and time, turn to the AV integration company who knows the products and processes better than anyone else and leverage our knowledge and expertise for your next AV project.

Scope of AV communications technology, Video Conferencing impacts Nation’s infrastructure


720px-US-NationalHighwayInstitute-Logo.svgMore than one in nine bridges in the United States is structurally deficient, meaning that they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement. We sometimes forget how important it is to ensure the safety of our bridges, especially when you consider that everyday, Americans take 260 million trips over structurally deficient bridges, according to a report from the Transportation for America Campaign.

The National Highway Institute (NHI) – an organization within   the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) – works to improve the performance of the transportation industry through training. To help ensure that the workforce responsible for the construction and maintenance of our roadways are properly trained, NHI has developed a three-dimensional, virtual bridge inspection computer-based training tool that has become a critical part of its renowned two-week bridge inspection training course.

The training program office at the NHI was recognized by the FGDLA for its innovative work to bring quality training to students nation-wide. Richard Barnaby, director of training at the NHI, was there to accept the Innovation Award, along with the Engility team led by Anthony “Tony” Prause.

The Polycom team sat down with Mr. Barnaby and Mr. Prause for an exclusive interview about the DOT’s distance learning initiative, and how video teleconferencing (VTC) has helped the department get ahead in the space.

Here is what they had to say:

DOTPublic Sector View: Congratulations on being honored with an Innovation Award. Can you give us a brief background as to what the DOT is trying to accomplish with distance learning technology?

Richard Barnaby: We’re trying to use new technologies to deliver [training] to the transportation workforce nationwide. We want to be efficient, effective, and we’re trying to make it immersive so the participants can benefit from it. Their skill sets can be enhanced thanks to the technology, which is what we’re looking to do.

We took a very technologically complex training course, which is safety inspection of in-service bridges, and through Engility – through Tony’s team – turned it into a training program with gaming quality simulations that involve more participation than a traditional video game.

We were able to make the training better, easier, and more fun for the students to ensure that they learn what they need to know.

Public Sector View: What has been the return on investment of the program for the DOT? How has it helped the department accomplish its mission?

Richard Barnaby: The ROI for an undertaking of this nature this can be measured by our total reach. Since going into distance learning, we’ve managed to double the number of people taking our training. We went from 15,000 to 33,000 individuals, and the number is even higher this year. Through the use of mobile learning, we’ve been able to expand our reach and it’s enhanced the quality of the training.

Road building and bridge building are nation wide, and the training that we provide needs to reach our entire audience. Our audience consists of states, various departments of transportation, and the private sector as well as the local sector, so our training has to be national to do its job.

Our mission is to provide highly technical training at a very high level, and distance learning is the way to go.

Public Sector View: What issues and trends are you seeing today in the distance learning space?

Anthony Prause: The biggest trend that I see is that organizations are looking for rapid development of distance learning products at a low cost, but also increasing requirements and higher training standards with respect to quality and capability. The needs of customers are adapting to economic issues and the advancement of technology to provide better training products to augment all types of training.

There used to be a saying “Good, fast, cheap, pick two.”  That’s no longer an option – being “better faster cheaper” is now becoming the minimum requirement.

 

for more information on Video Conferencing and Distance Learning applications and technologies, contact SpaceCoast AV Communications at 321-257-9700  or via email at info@spacecoastav.com 

Office of Personnel Management: Tele-work Integral Part of Continuty Operations


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Posted: 18 Jun 2013 06:41 AM PDT

 SpaceCoast AV Communications, A Polycom Partner. If your agency would like more information regarding Telework Solutions,  please contact us at 321-257-9700

It may not have been the feared storm that many predicted, and it certainly didn’t hold a candle to the previous storm that bore its “derecho” name, but last week’s thunderstorm was one of the many that are being predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) during the 2013 hurricane season.

Washington, D.C. has seen its share of foul weather in the past few years. Snowpocalypse, last year’s derecho, numerous named tropical storms and other weather events have blazed paths of destruction through the area, closing the offices of government agencies and forcing federal employees to stay in their homes. These incidents resulted in the closure of government offices and the loss of millions of dollars worth of productivity as federal employees were unable to do their jobs.

With the steep cost of closing government offices and a predicted severe hurricane season top of mind, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) sent a memo to federal agency Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs) that stressed the flexibilities available to federal employees to help ensure continuity of operations (COOP) when disaster strikes.

One of the many points raised by OPM in their memo was the ability of federal employees to telework during weather events and other situations where offices are closed and the need for CHCOs to ensure teleworkers are familiar with agency expectations in disaster situations.

By adopting telework when weather forces federal agencies to close offices, government employees can continue to work towards accomplishing their mission, even if they’re not at their desks. This is an ability that is being enabled by today’s advanced technologies which allow federal employees to be just as productive in their homes as they are at their offices.

In addition to the virtual desktop and cloud solutions that are delivering requisite applications and data to any computer with an Internet connection, video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions are enabling the face-to-face communication that many government managers fear will be lost when employees telework.

Today’s VTC solutions enable federal employees to communicate via video with their coworkers from a wide ecosystem of endpoints, from desktop computers to mobile devices. This ensures that distributed federal workers can continue to collaborate, even without the investment in pricy VTC endpoints for their homes.

In today’s difficult budget environment, and with federal agencies having to do more with less thanks to cost cutting and hiring freezes, the loss of money and productivity in emergency situations can be devastating. However, thanks to new technologies, such as VTC, cloud and virtual desktops, employees can now continue to work effectively, even when the office is closed. With employees capable of working from everywhere, OPM is right to prod agencies to prepare for telework, especially as NOAA tells Americans to prepare for a bad hurricane season.

 

 SpaceCoast AV Communications, A Polycom Partner. If your agency would like more information regarding Telework Solutions,  please contact us at 321-257-9700

 

Video Technologies for Emergency Management


 

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Technologies that can help states stay coordinated during emergencies more in reach than ever

In the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings and tornados in Oklahoma, state and local governments are on high alert and more conscious than ever that an emergency situation can come with little warning. Emergencies – such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters – inject chaos, panic and trauma into the day-to-day life of citizens and require immediate, coordinated efforts from first responders, emergency personnel and elected officials to overcome.

Survivors need to be found and given necessary medical attention. Victims of natural disasters that have lost homes need shelter and other essentials, such as food, water and clothing. Those impacted by terrorist attacks need to be provided for while law enforcement personnel also piece together who is responsible and bring them to justice.

The response to these emergency situations is a combination of disparate local, state and federal organizations, volunteers and first response professionals working together to help minimize damage, mitigate loss of life and help an affected area get back to normal as quickly as possible. This requires collaboration, communication and coordination.

It’s for this very reason that video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions are rapidly becoming essential in disaster response, relief and recovery.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts on the Public Sector View, VTC is being called upon in disaster and emergency situations to help coordinate response activities by connecting people on the ground with the decision makers behind the scenes. This provides actionable intelligence to leaders and elected officials, enabling them to see the situation on the ground and maker faster, more informed decisions. The result is faster, more coordinated and effective relief activities.

The benefits that VTC solutions deliver during emergency response situations will be the topic of discussion later this month when Daniel Stevens, the Public Information Officer at the Emergency Management Office of Westmoreland County, PA, joins grant specialists and other thought leaders  for a free Webinar entitled, Video Technology for Emergency Management. Interested parties should contact Christopher Lacuesta at 321-257-9700 if you would like to attend this free Webinar.

The Webinar will take place on June 15, 2013 and focus on how Westmoreland County utilizes their VTC solutions for emergency preparedness. The Webinar will also discuss how other state and local governments can take advantage of grant programs to help afford VTC solutions. For additional information, and to register for the Webinar, click HERE.