Thursday, August 18, 2016

Collaboration. What does it mean to you?

It seems there is always a buzzword that has profound conceptual impact but very little agreement on practical application. Collaboration has been talked about and written about exhaustively for the last 6 years but it seems the only thing everyone agrees on is that everyone’s definition of what collaboration means is different. As a solution provider for the last 50 years we have spent a great deal of time dissecting what exactly people are looking for when it comes to collaboration.

By definition, collaboration quite simply is the action of working together with someone to create something. So how is this accomplished? For some people collaboration is giving large groups of people the ability to share content with one another in the same room. Others need collaboration to accommodate people working together across the globe. Sometimes just sharing information is not enough, sometimes the ability to manipulate other people’s content is necessary. Sometimes the ability to save and distribute the newly created content to an individual or group is required. Collaboration requirements can be simple or complex and so can the technology that is implemented to achieve collaboration. Networked collaboration can require a more advanced infrastructure than same room collaboration. Wireless collaboration can require more advanced configuration, security and processes to safely and reliably connect one another than wired collaboration solutions. The ability to connect up to 4, 16, or 100 people at a time and the ability to show one or multiple screens can add to complexity and the cost of a large group collaboration environment. This is precisely why there are so many collaboration devices available.

For some people collaboration is about small groups, 4-6 people sitting together in close proximity with resources available to share information with one another and/or the group. Many times these applications are called huddle spaces and they provide a place and a means for small groups to come together. A functional piece of furniture can be the foundation of most huddle spaces. A table with device charging capability, a display with video hook up capability, a simple, stable, self-contained system that may be moveable without complication. This is the concept. The specifics of the application can vary. How many people should the table accommodate? What size should the display be? Should there be wired or wireless video connectivity? All of these specifics make choosing a huddle space solution very personal. A good starting point is a flexible piece of furniture than can accommodate all of these varying needs.

Whether you are looking for large group collaboration or small group collaboration Dukane AV can help guide you towards a solution that meets your individual needs. Because when it comes to collaboration if we’ve learned anything over the last 6 years it’s that your definition of collaboration is unique and requires a unique solution.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Going 1:1? Just a few more things to consider.

So your school is going 1:1? No doubt it’s a significant investment in time and money but early results indicate it can be a very successful initiative for students that are accustomed to having devices constantly at their fingertips. You have a plan. You have upgraded your network infrastructure to accommodate the extra bandwidth. You have chosen the tablet or netbook that fits best within your budget, support capability and overall goals. You have firewalls and software in place to protect students from accessing inappropriate content. You have conditions of use and policies in place and you have a deployment schedule. You are ready.

Now the devices have arrived. Let’s say the plan was to share the devices at least until the budget allows you to expand your 1:1 initiative to more students. You thought to get a cart for device storage and charging right? You considered the power requirements of the device right? Some charge carts have smart power or timers that manage electrical loads so that devices charge properly without the risks of overloading your circuits. Some carts have designated space for large power supplies or power bricks that make it easier to install and manage cumbersome charging cables. Some carts are made of wood or plastic and some carts are made of fire-retardant steel or metal. Some carts allow space for protective cases and some carts do not. Some carts are more secure than others and all carts come in various capacities and sizes. It’s a lot to consider before choosing a simple charge cart.

Now let’s say you are fortunate to have enough devices for every student and the plan is to keep the devices in the classroom at all times. You thought to get a cabinet for device storage and charging right? And you considered all the factors listed above right? Did you consider that by having the luxury of not moving the entire classroom set of devices also means you can spread them out around the room thus reducing the time it takes students to load and unload devices. So rather than choosing a 30 unit cabinet it might be wise to install three ten unit cabinets and place them in opposite corners of the room so that more students can access the devices at one time.

Ok ok, so you got the storage and charging figured out. Now, is it in the plan to use your 1:1 devices for standardized testing? If you chose the iPad or another tablet did you also purchase a wired keyboard. Most states require a wired, full-size keyboard for standardized testing. Did you purchase cases? Does your case include a stand that allows for portrait and landscape orientation? Did you purchase headsets for your devices? Did you purchase extra cables? Maybe you accounted for most of these things before you started your 1:1 deployment. But don't worry if you forgot something there is a lot to consider and undoubtedly it seems there is always just one more thing.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Peace-of-mind… nailed it.

Regardless of the application purchasing commercial grade video projectors are a significant investment. We understand these days budgets that are tight and money is hard earned. If you are a school maybe taxpayers passed a bond or technology funds were raised through the hard work of a PTO or fundraiser. If you are a church members have entrusted you with their donations to make service more engaging. If you are a business you are looking for results when you a add video projection system to a conference room. We understand the investment is significant so we believe you should be protected.

For the last 20 years Dukane AV has offered the longest warranty in the industry on our full line of data video projectors. Five Years of worry free support. That is two years longer than most other projector brands. Our certified factory technicians handle all aspects of warranty repair at our global headquarters in St Charles, IL. And if your projector needs repair in the first year we will send you an equivalent loaner projector that you can use while your projector is in the shop. All just for that little extra peace-of-mind.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What customer service means to us.

When you have been in business for over 50 years it’s undeniable that you’re doing something right. That is not to say there haven’t been ups and downs or challenges over the last half century but consistent over all those years has been a foundation of understanding among Dukane AV employees that superior customer service is priority number one.

What is our recipe for success? Well, it starts quite simply with being available when you need us. We take great pride in having real people answer the phone when you call. To us this is extremely important because we feel your time is extremely important. Often we get calls from educators that have a one hour free period and need to get assistance before students return to class. We get calls from installers looking for help while literally up on a ladder. And we get calls from customers that are working on bids with extremely tight deadlines. We get it. We understand that sometimes you just need an answer right now.

At Dukane, being available is step number one and we have policies and contingency plans in place to make every effort to answer the phone every time you call. However, if you manage to catch us away from our phones or assisting other customers we promise to return your call within 90 minutes. That’s right, we call it our 90 Minute Response Guarantee and it means you will get the answers you need in a timely manner or we will compensate you for it on your next order. It’s real... check it out…

Simply being available when you need us. Sounds nice right? Go ahead and give us a call. Let us show you what 50 years of superior customer service sounds like. It’s our number one priority.