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What Every AV Manager Needs to Know About AV Equipment Lifecycles

Buying AV equipment can be a big task, with a lot of time, research, and budgeting required. But the work doesn’t end once you’ve decided what solutions to purchase. In many ways it’s just begun.

Once you have the AV equipment you want, you have to maintain and update it to make sure it’s working reliably and meeting your needs. Sound like a daunting task? In our Guide to Refreshing Your AV Equipment, PSNI Global Preferred Vendors and Certified Solutions Providers share their insights on the AV equipment lifecycle and how you can tell it’s time for an AV upgrade.

3 Expert Insights to Managing Your AV Equipment Lifecycle

Managing the lifecycle of your AV equipment is especially important because AV provides the backbone for communication and collaboration at your organization. This is particularly true as more employees split their time between in-person and remote work.

“Following the sudden and swift ramp-up of virtual collaboration globally, investment in audio has taken an interesting turn, with organizations now thinking longer-term about the overall audio experience,” said Felix Alpstaeg, Senior Manager, Market Development at Shure. “Senior decision makers gradually returning to the physical workplace are taking a closer look at their in-office audio solutions and how they support seamless collaboration with people working remotely. While working from home, these decision makers discovered that the audio solutions they’d previously perceived as ‘fine’ simply weren’t up to the task. Having experienced virtual meetings, during which they were connecting with colleagues in physical meeting rooms, the challenges of poor audio became clear.”

But managing your AV equipment isn’t as simple as deciding you want something new. There are a lot of components involved—from small cables to massive video walls—and each piece has its own lifespan.

As you make decisions about what to upgrade and when, here are three key things to keep in mind about the AV equipment lifecycle.

  1. You don’t have to upgrade everything all at once. Many PSNI partners recommend refreshing your AV in phases to spread out the costs and avoid streamlining equipment that is still working perfectly fine. Emerging needs can also help you decide what to refresh when.

    “Is there new technology that provides features and benefits superior to the old?” said Tim Henry, National Sales Manager at Williams AV. “In most scenarios, if the equipment is functionally fine and does what it needs to do, if it can be supported from a warranty standpoint, if it is still useful, then you don’t need to replace it. If it’s not functional or can’t be supported, it needs to be replaced or upgraded.”

    For example, if you are transitioning to a hybrid workplace, consider adding new functionality, such as upgrading microphones and speakers, so people using their laptops can plug in to the audio system.

  2. Planning for growth makes upgrading easier. Choosing solutions that are easily scalable will prevent you from having to overhaul your entire AV system every time something needs to be upgraded. Knowledgeable service providers can help you choose future-proofed AV solutions that add on to the technology you already have, rather than replacing it.

  3. Professional installation helps AV equipment last longer. Professional installation and maintenance of your AV systems helps extend their lifespans as much as possible, which helps you maximize your AV budget. Professional installation and maintenance also help your AV solutions work more reliably throughout their lifespan so you are not suffering through glitches, malfunctions, and breakdowns that could force you to upgrade equipment sooner than you planned on.

Start Planning Your AV Equipment Refresh

Once you understand the AV equipment lifecycle and where your solutions are in their lifespan, you can start to make a plan for refreshes and upgrades that will help you get the most out of your technology and your budget.

Ready to start building your AV equipment lifecycle strategy? Download the Guide to Refreshing Your AV Equipment today.

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