Today, enterprise IT departments are handling more and more tools, applications and services previously considered part of Audio-Visual departments. IT teams’ AV related responsibilities are growing more complicated, with an ever increasing number of data sources, video feeds, repositories, IoT devices, screens and endpoints to monitor and manage. As AV converges with IT, customer priorities are changing and expectations for interoperability, security and scalability are redefining the traditional AV market.
Managing the convergence of AV and IT
In the past, in order to deliver AV services, applications and content, IT teams have had to rely on traditional AV solutions, dominated by proprietary and specialized hardware. This has been exacerbated by the varying complexities between the many different types of AV solutions (consider the difference in business requirements between a mission critical operation center, a digital signage deployment and a meeting room installation.)
As AV continues to migrate to IT, enterprise IT departments have been struggling to integrate complex and costly AV tools and systems only to find that all too often they do not support their dynamic workflows or security or network best practices. This results in operational silos even for digitally transformed and nimble enterprises.
While IT is increasingly moving towards centralization, security governance, application and services consolidation and aggregation in the data center, with AI and Big Data, they are being constrained by legacy AV hardware and systems which don’t allow them to be as agile as they need to be. The result is compromised security, limited manageability and increased Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
On top of this, the current AV supply chain shortages have added an extra layer of complexity to the challenges IT teams are facing. Wait times for AV hardware coming from large hardware-centric companies in the AV space are resulting in extra long delays. Ultimately this is holding up deployments and creating further challenges for IT.
Modernizing AV services for enterprise IT organizations
IT leaders are now looking for a solution for AV applications and services that supports the needs of digitally transformed organizations. PaaS and SaaS solutions are the most nimble in terms of enabling teams to add and remove services without having to add expensive and cumbersome hardware. Software-based solutions also enable more effective integration into a modern IT stack (supporting SSO, RBAC, monitoring alerts, managed updates, API integrations etc.)
The good news is that the increased capacity of the network and video processors means that AV services and applications can now be fully delivered over the network using commercially available off-the-shelf hardware, which is also helping mitigate AV hardware supply chain burdens. This applies to just about every application in the AV space, even those as varied as mission-critical operation centers, digital signage and meeting rooms.
A secure, scalable and flexible solution
By leveraging a software-defined AV-over-IP platform, IT teams gain increased scalability and manageability. It also offers better management by separating the infrastructure layer, which IT needs to manage and control, from the applications themselves, which functional departments need to control in order to effectively deliver content and services. This gives IT teams end-to-end control and gives individual users more limited access to just the applications they need.
Userful’s Platform is a Software-as-a-Service ecosystem of integrated AV applications built on an IT infrastructure that is centrally managed, scalable, secure, and operates on IT standards and protocols. By eliminating proprietary hardware, a software-defined platform offers the industry’s lowest Total Cost of Ownership, frees customers from the constraints of restrictive AV hardware, and eliminates vendor lock-in. Developed on a microservices architecture for enterprise-class IT management and scalability, it reduces the complexity of managing multiple-point solutions and maximizes the benefits of digital transformation.
In an age of AV and IT convergence, Userful’s solution has really changed the landscape of the AV-over-IP space. By evolving the traditional hardware-intensive environments with software-based solutions, IT departments can future proof their workflows with a flexible, scalable, secure platform, ultimately helping further modernize the digitally transformed enterprise by doing more with less.
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