<strong>Finding Your Integrated Solutions Provider</strong>

Finding Your Integrated Solutions Provider

April 17, 2017
Systems Integration | Electronic Contracting Company

By Matt Thorne

Integration — We hear, see, talk, and read about it every day. What does it mean to integrate your systems together, and what value will it bring to your facility? Will integrating your various low voltage systems together add any complexities and increase the risk of system failure, or will it truly make your procedures and workflows easier and more efficient?

Everyone knows that time is money. It’s also one of the most challenging and frustrating aspects in your search for an integrator who has the ability to understand your organization’s various systems, technologies, and workflows. There are several key factors to consider when searching for an integrator: How long have they been in business? What’s their service response time? Are they locally located? What similar projects have they completed? Etc.

One of the best qualities of a good integrator is their ability to fully understand what all your needs are, and then discovering a solution that meets those exact needs, as well as your budget. A good integrator will realize that as you both engage in a business partnership, two key factors will be absolutely essential in the proposed solution. The first is, the solution must be easy to use, and second, it has to be reliable. Another integral quality is their level of experience with your type of facility. In the commercial integrator industry, there’s an extensive list of facility types that can benefit from systems integration.

In a house of worship, there are typically volunteers from the congregation that are in charge of operating and maintaining the audio/visual systems that are used during services. Everything from the soundboard to the control system GUI (Graphical User Interface) must be easy to understand and operate. The control system needs to be programmed in a way that allows a non-technical operator to easily understand and operate the system without needing an operations manual. A nice, clean, laid out GUI that’s both intuitive and aesthetically pleasing is absolutely necessary. While this AV solution needs to be easy to use, it also needs to work — Each and every time, period.

How about a healthcare facility that has multiple electronic systems? In order to improve workflow, these systems need to seamlessly function together to allow caregivers to share data and achieve their main objective, being there for their patients. Your integrator should be able to sit down with your team and observe, identify, and provide a solution tailored to your exact needs. Integrating staff tracking, nurse call, wireless phones, patient monitoring, reporting, etc. are likely required essentials, but how about we go a step further by thinking outside the box for a moment. What if your integrator could shorten your code team’s response time by integrating the overhead paging system directly to the nurse call system? This would shave off critical seconds by omitting the PBX operator's procedures. Our step outside the box can be taken even further, by integrating the facility’s fire alarm system or building automation system into the overhead paging system as well.

Let’s say you’re a school administrator that has a growing concern for your students’ and staff’s safety. What if you could incorporate gunshot sensors into your building’s video surveillance, access control, and digital signage systems? Any event your school wants to have an emergency preparedness plan for can be integrated into the campus’ various AV systems in order to communicate important messages with staff and students, anywhere.

These are just a few examples of what your integrator should be capable of thinking about, in addition to the system’s reliability and usability. Electronic Contracting Company has been in the integration business for decades and has a strong tradition of keeping up with the latest developments in technology. We can provide your organization with a solution that’s reliable, cost-effective, and easy to use. As your partner providing quality solutions and responsive service, Electronic Contracting is your systems integrator.