Magazine article University Business

AV/IT Worlds Collide

Magazine article University Business

AV/IT Worlds Collide

Article excerpt

"IF IT'S GREEN, IT'S BIOLOGY; IF IT STINKS, IT'S chemistry; if it has numbers, it's math; and if it doesn't work, it's technology...."

That quip by Gary Kayye set the stage for his keynote address at Last month's inaugural EduComm Conference, held in conjunction with InfoComm 2004 at the World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Kayye, chief visionary at Kayye Consulting, and noted authority on AV technology, predicted that this is the year--finally--that IT departments begin to wrestle control of the AV department due to emerging plug-and-play products and controls coupled with networking technology and management software.

In short, Kayye views technology in the same light as those perpetual optimists who always see the glass half filled. And, as a consultant, the glass is always overflowing in rhetoric and visions about the next wiz-bang-must-have-revolutionary-paradigm-shifting new gizmo. As someone who has followed and reported on technology and business applications since the advent of the PC, I can attest that very few new tech products/solutions Live up to pre-launch, launch, or post-launch hype. And, as many of you know, many a software product over the years has been shipped prematurely to meet marketing deadlines, rather than quality-control benchmarks.

Kayye doesn't disagree, insisting that, this time, what he predicts will really be a major step forward. And the results? In less than 18 months, Kayye envisions IHEs benefiting from networked AV products that are smarter, cheaper, better, and easier to use than today's stand-alone AV products. They'll also be a snap to install and use, Lessening the need for staff set-up and onsite troubleshooting. And because they will be wireless-capable, there will be less back-end cost to hardwire the AV products to the network.

Sounds great, right?

Sure, I'm as skeptical as the next guy. So I followed the old journalist's adage: "If your mother says she Loves you, check it out." And after traversing the InfoComm show floor for three days and meeting with AV manufacturers; listening to our speakers at the EduComm conference; and kicking the tires during new product demos, I must admit that Kayye may not be over-hyping what's around the bend. And the reason, Kayye said, is simple: Today, technology is now bubbling up from consumer demand and finding its way to professional and corporate use. …

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