The AV & IT Convergence Conversation Starter

A Q&A with Mike Brandofino, executive vice president of Video and Unified Communications of AVI-SPL.

The AV & IT Convergence Conversation Starter
Mike Brandofino, executive vice president of Video and Unified Communications of AVI-SPL
The AV & IT Convergence Conversation Starter
Mike Brandofino, executive vice president of Video and Unified Communications of AVI-SPL

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I have interviewed many AV/IT directors at universities who shrugged at the idea of the AV/IT convergence being an “issue,” because the A/V and IT departments have been one for over 15 years. On the other hand, I have interviewed directors at corporations who admit that the A/V and IT folks are in a turf battle and don’t communicate as one might hope.

So I thought I would ask Mike Brandofino, executive vice president of Video and Unified Communications of AVI-SPL, the largest A/V integration company in the U.S., to share some insight on the conversations that A/V and IT folks should be having.

Cindy Davis: What are the conversations the A/V and IT departments should be having? What does the new AV/IT playbook look like?

Mike Brandofino: The convergence of A/V and IT has led to a new set of conversations as the meetings rooms and technology we implement are no longer islands onto themselves. The normal concern from IT centers on network security and connectivity. However, we think that it would be beneficial if the conversation expanded to include remote monitoring and management of A/V components as well as how the A/V components fit into the company’s overall UC platform. From our perspective, we like to establish a Statement of Work (the playbook) that covers the business process of the customer, how A/V technology is expected to be included and what the relationship will be between IT and our services team post implementation.

Davis: What are the most important things that an IT department needs to consider in order to plan for A/V on the network? 

Brandofino: The main items IT organizations tend to overlook are:

  • The cumulative impact of transmitting and managing digital media content, two-way video and one-way video across a corporate network
  • The need to support connectivity outside of the enterprise network<'li>
  • The monitoring and management of disparate devices across their network

Davis: If a company is just beginning to integrate A/V and IT, what types of products make the most sense to start with?

Brandofino: Not all devices are IP-capable yet. The recommendation is to do a current state/desired state analysis and develop a migration plan to get to the desired state in a phased approach. Looking at product categories that enable centralized management as you add devices is a good way to get started.

Davis: Some companies have a lot invested in legacy A/V equipment that is still working. Is there a point of diminishing returns when it just makes sense to put the big, analog A/V device out to pasture and buy a new, energy-efficient and network-friendly device? Any advice on when to just do it?

Brandofino: The rapid change in technology tends to get people confused and worried over realizing their return on investment. We try to help customers evaluate the total cost of ownership (TCO) for their existing technology and compare that against implementing newer products. In many cases we see that customers can start migrating to newer technology in high-use areas and redistribute older technology or leverage the decommissioned products to


Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Projects · AV · AVI-SPL · AVIT Convergence · Collaboration · Integrator · All Topics

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