Audio Visual Standardisation – Expert Insights on Benefits, Implementation and Roadblocks

As the scale of implementation for enterprise collaboration infrastructure continues to grow, the importance of standardisation in the design of rooms and user experience becomes increasingly important.

AV standardization is all about consistency of user experience in multiple spaces. We spoke to Sachin Prabhudesai from Actis Technologies to better understand the process of standardising collaboration rooms especially in terms of the AV design, and the benefits it brings along.

While getting a few tips on critical things to consider while making the move to standardisation, the conversation delved into highlighting many useful solutions for impeccable collaboration. But before you move on to the interview excerpts, we would like to share one major takeaway from the interview that would resonate with most AV teams.

“Room standardisation creates a multitude of benefits for large enterprises — simpler design, smoother implementations, better hardware management, smoother user experience and significant cost efficiencies — especially in large collaboration projects.”

  • Sachin Prabhudesai, Vice President-Projects, Actis Technologies Pvt Ltd.

Moving on, here are the key excerpts from our conversation.

1. What are the benefits of AV standardisation for large organisations?
Standardisation helps one create a master template (for a certain type of room) which spells out every detail in terms of room dimensions, set of hardware, bandwidth or data requirement if any, software, control mechanisms and other details like room lighting and acoustics. 

For example, a master template for a 4 seat huddle room can be created which simplifies the process of replicating rooms within the same office or perhaps in a branch location. Once a master template is created, it can be reused anywhere in the world seamlessly. Also, future projections, budgets can be created on the basis of these templates.

Room standardisation creates a multitude of benefits for large enterprises — simpler design, smoother implementations, better hardware management, smoother user experience and significant cost efficiencies — especially in large collaboration projects. 

2. How does implementing standardisation practices impact the users of collaboration and meeting rooms in the workplace?
The look and feel of the rooms remain the same as does the collaboration experience for the users. Once people start using these rooms, they get accustomed to the rooms functioning in a certain manner. 

Irrespective of the locations, cities and countries, it is critical that this experience remains the same so that it can translate into their usage habits, helping people to focus on the actual collaboration rather than spending time on setting up for calls. Automation plays a primary role in the standardisation process.  

3. What are the cost advantages for large organisations that practise implementing standardisation?
There are several advantages — to begin with, the set of the hardware remains the same universally. Inventory management becomes easy and the wapping of equipment also becomes a lot simpler as the set of hardware does not change from room to room. 

Cost-benefits can be leveraged on the basis of getting better deals for similar hardware mixes. The total cost of ownership also declines over a period of time. But most importantly, the collaboration experience itself becomes easy and seamless for the system users.

4. How can a business initiate the process of implementing standardisation across multiple geographies?
Firstly, a very detailed design template has to be created indicating room dimensions, table designs to suit camera angles, wall elevations to help the users experience, an eye to eye contact during collaborations and meetings, lighting arrangements, microphone placements, aircon ducts and control mechanisms. 

This outline should then be shared with people across all geographies as they are the ones who are the owners of the implementation process. 

Once the importance of detailing is conveyed, the process of building these rooms becomes slightly easier. AV/acoustic consultants also play a key role in this process as they prepare BOQs which are standard and installable in all the different geographies. Another good practice is to ensure weekly interactions amongst all the stakeholders along with the process owner and consultants. This ensures a good exchange of information in the form of site reports, snapshots etc which can be evaluated. 

It is best to have the same set of designers, consultants and integrators involved all over so that the experience that’s created stays the same and the goal of high standardisation is achieved.

5. What are the common challenges or roadblocks during standardisation initiatives?
Standardisation becomes simple in new fit-outs but old facilities which are to be revamped serve as the biggest challenge. It involves upgrades and often requires changing the hardware to fit into the new standardised template. 

This may also involve physical resizing of the rooms, and changes to the furniture and upholstery of the room. All of this comes with an additional cost and requires time and may also require retuning of the users of the room. 

6. What kinds of solutions can help an organisation to simplify standardisation?
The best place to start is with the rooms which are most commonly implemented in large enterprises.  Huddle rooms. video or audio conferencing rooms and own Hall setups top the list of solutions that are standardised by organisations in India.
7. Which internal audiences should be involved in consultations to decide the parameters for standardisation?
End users, architects/interior designers, facilities management teams and the logistics/sourcing teams are the real stakeholders to be consulted before creating the templates for standardisation. 

First and foremost, the end-user group has to be consulted as they are the prime users of the AV equipment or the solution. People who build and maintain facilities are next, as the sizing of the rooms, look and feel, lighting levels have to be standard all over. 

Finally, the set of hardware as a part of the standard template is of utmost importance. Long term availability of all the hardware – VC codecs, displays, switching and control equipment should be standard in terms of BOQs assigned to the template. The procurement/logistics teams definitely play a key role in this.

Short Bio – Sachin is one of the most experienced AV professionals in India with over two decades of extensive experience from working on some of the largest collaboration and AV projects undertaken in the country

For more information on AV solutions for your business in India,

Contact Actis at 022-30808080 or at contact@actis.co.in.

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