Is your organization thinking about integrating video into the IT network, but you want to be sure you have your ducks in a row? We’ve put together a checklist that IT managers can use to ensure their video integration initiative avoids the jitters.
Understand why you want to integrate video. “Understand the application, don’t just get technology for technology’s sake,” says John Zettel, CEO of AVI-SPL in Tampa, Florida. Identifying the best equipment and network topology is critical to a successful implementation, and Zettel says that each organization’s unique needs will determine the right solution. It’s also the first step in partnering with a vendor who will help you select and build an appropriate infrastructure. “If we understand what you’re trying to accomplish, then the rest of it falls in line,” he explains.
Know your IT department’s capabilities. Doug Carnell, AVI-SPL’s executive vice president of Operations, encourages companies to take a hard look at themselves before beginning any integration project. “What kind of company are you?” he asks. “Are you a company that likes to outsource or in-source? Do you have a really good IT organization or one that struggles just to keep e-mail running?” The best solution could go unused or become an administrative nightmare if your team isn’t ready or able to properly support it, so honestly assessing where your team is strong and where it needs support is crucial.
Find an experienced professional to help you. Preferably, Zettel says, one with broad experience and a deep understanding of the integration industry. “Manufacturers are going to sell you what they have, maybe not what you need,” he cautions. He encourages IT managers to seek out someone — either an internal expert or an outside vendor or consultant — who understands the different technologies and can help build a best-of-breed solution that precisely meets their organization’s need.
Know how to manage your bandwidth. “How is bandwidth traffic managed, and do I have control of that bandwidth?” Wayne Hoffman, VTC division manager at Greenbelt, Md.-based