Vanilla or Chocolate: stress less with data-based IT decisions
Laurie Berg headshot photo

Today’s post is by guest author

Laurie Berg

AVI-SPL Vice President, Symphony Product Operations

Chocolate or vanilla? We are faced with decisions at every turn. While decisions come at all levels of importance, we can go through an entire day of benign choices. In 2020, Barclays found that making these daily decisions can utilize 2.5 hours each day…2.5 hours a day. That’s over 900 hours a year. What about the decisions we must make at work? How many hours might that take up for some of us? And how much anxiety and stress can that cause?

A choice facing IT

Organizations are increasingly deploying technology to make it easier for their employees to collaborate and to provide a more synergetic environment with “return to office” plans. While some spaces are considered “simple” to use, they are still complex to support.

Spaces often include any manufacturers with various types and categories of devices that encompass audio-video, video conferencing, and unified communications. I work in the software industry building AVI-SPL Symphony, a platform geared towards those IT departments and their ability to support the deployed technology. Symphony enables proactive remote monitoring, managing, controlling, and analyzing of your technology environment.

The purpose of Symphony is to make the life of IT departments easier and reduce stress by ensuring a more productive workspace for end users…verifying technology is working as expected when expected. And when it is not, facilitating quicker time to resolution by providing data driven information about the estate. This allows you to minimize downtime of assets your colleagues require for collaboration.

When I talk to people, I am often asked, “Why Symphony instead of <insert AV, Video, or UC manufacturer platform here>?”

This is the choice facing IT. Vanilla or chocolate? But here’s my thought: why do you have to choose?

I prefer a vanilla/chocolate twist. I prefer the stability of vanilla with the richness of chocolate that creates something better than either alone.

Why both make for easier IT decisions

This is the philosophy we have taken with Symphony. Symphony communicates with technology 24 hours a day. Alone, it will tell you ping latency and up/down status of your technology via ICMP, regardless of what you have deployed.

It’s the vanilla. It’s stable. It provides you information across all your deployed manufacturers in one platform. Information about healthy spaces, troubled spaces, and trends in your location and across the globe.

AV, Video, and UC vendors have their management platforms as well. They drill deeper, but into their specific portfolio. This is the chocolate. It may have a richer flavor, but one is not enough because you undoubtedly have many different manufacturers and technologies deployed.

However, when you blend the 2, that is when the flavors come together to give you something stronger. Via SNMP, APIs, Controller Module for your deployed controllers, and our Device Management and Control Agent (DMCA) for your room-based computers, Symphony has rich integrations with those deployed manufacturers. Symphony provides that depth into not only one vendor but many vendors.

Manufacturer mix-ins power decisions too

Vendors including, but not limited to, Biamp, Barco, Cisco, Crestron, Gude, Jabra, LG, Microsoft, Middle Atlantic, Sharp/NEC, Netgear, Poly, and Zoom all have a place in Symphony. Extended value with our adapter development ranges from device details, configurations, audio and video settings, as well as meeting information including calendaring, scheduling, and live quality data.

And because of the Symphony framework, all data points can trigger auto-ticket creation based on your needs and requirements, decreasing end-user-led problem reporting. And many data points can be remotely controlled, increasing the ability to create common, repeatable workflows and remote resolution and validation.

Add jimmies

(I’m from New England, so yes, add jimmies, a.k.a. sprinkles.) Once you have a good base of ice cream, add flavor and texture. The jimmies of Symphony rich monitoring represent our ability to communicate directly to individual devices and to vendor management systems, or aggregators. Whether you are deploying Crestron XiO, Poly Lens, or another platform, Symphony will gather data directly from the aggregator as well.

When you work with Symphony, it provides the guidance for resolution. The platform will tell you the what, where, and when of issues, and enable tracking of who, why, and how of resolution. This data together provides you the strategic guidance you need for future investments.

Come see Symphony live at ISE 2024 or request a demo and let us help you make your decision…vanilla/chocolate twist, with jimmies.

Contact AVI-SPL to get started with Symphony today.