Serving more than 70,000 students in the North Houston area, Lone Star College has one of the first and largest managed Audio/Visual systems in higher education with over 1,000 classrooms spanning ten campuses. The entire college system is equipped with A/V systems that are monitored 24/7/365 under a single, cohesive enterprise management system.
Lone Star College began implementing A/V management systems developed by Texas-based innovator TEKVOX, Inc. in 2009. It is now deploying the company’s third-generation technology, the Drop-In A/V® system.
TEKVOX Drop-Ins are a family of factory-built, factory-programmed managed A/V systems that are easy to install and require no in-field configuration or programming. Drop-Ins come in distinct configurations for classrooms, lecture halls, conference rooms and active learning labs and are customized at the manufacturer to meet fine-grain customer requirements. All Drop-Ins feature built-in management systems that seamlessly integrate into the campus enterprise management system once installed.
With its early-generation systems approaching a decade of operating life, Lone Star successfully completed two A/V refresh projects upgrading older rooms to current TEKVOX technology. Working with leading national education technology distributor Troxell Communications and local integration expert Cx2, Inc., the latest round featured a complete upgrade of 100 classrooms, including removal and replacement of A/V technology as well as projectors, screens and A/V input devices. This 100-room refresh was completed in an astonishing 20 working days with no disruption to scheduled classes.
To accomplish this complex feat in so little time each of the three companies involved in the A/V upgrade demonstrated its particular expertise while working together to achieve the project’s goal. Troxell provided the financial and logistical muscle to credibly handle all aspects of supplying equipment for 100 rooms to a public education entity. Cx2 provided the ‘eyes-on’ ability to assess each target room, classify its priority status and any unique installation or equipment requirements, and handle project management with skilled technicians to conduct precisely-timed de-install/install operations. TEKVOX supplied 100 units of its well-refined 71021-DI Drop-In A/V® classroom solution – each individually programmed, configured, tested and delivered, ready for installation, within a closely coordinated project schedule.
Because Lone Star College could allow little disruption of instructional activities even in targeted classrooms, precise coordination of the three companies was essential even before the final contract was awarded. To that end, Troxell selected premiere Houston A/V integrator Cx2 as its partner in the pre-bid stages.
“As a national solutions provider, Troxell has the privilege to work with many independent integrators who all do great work,” says Troxell Account Executive Adela Briner. “But, Cx2 stands out clearly in execution, efficiency and experience having completed more than 1,000 successful TEVKOX installations with us.”
Cx2 was tasked with assessing each room, identifying any unique requirements and transmitting to TEKVOX a completed configuration worksheet identifying each room and the make and model of displays or projectors needed along with any special equipment.
Drawing on its workhorse 71021-DI Drop-In A/V® classroom solution, TEKVOX’s manufacturing operation assembled, programmed, configured, tested and kitted each individual room system prior to sending it to Cx2 for installation. The 71021-DI contains a complete managed A/V system that includes all required electronics, cabling and enclosures to connect the customer’s input devices to the projector or display.
While Claude Moore, President of Cx2, has personally been involved with numerous colleges and university installations and understands their unique needs for economical solutions that are installed as quickly and efficiently as possible, A/V upgrades for 100 rooms n such a short period of time was unprecedented.
TEKVOX’s ability to deliver complete, ready-to-go Drop-In A/V® systems significantly reduced installation time: Cx2 was able to install five room upgrades in the time it typically took to install one.
“We installed the A/V systems off-hours from the classroom schedule to minimize any disruptions,” Moore says. “Having Drop-In, ready-to-install packages from TEKVOX made this possible.”
TEKVOX’s managed A/V system was the ideal choice for three main reasons. First, all of the equipment was standardized and factory programmed resulting in an absolutely consistent user experience from room-to-room and campus-to-campus. Second, building on multi-generational technology new systems integrate seamlessly into the enterprise management system with prior generations of equipment. No new training is required for the support staff. Finally, with a platform that is kitted, configured and programmed in the final stages of manufacturing, Drop-Ins are complete and highly standardized while accommodating room-specific variations.
“As the upgrade went on, we became more and more efficient with each installation,” Moore notes. “TEKVOX standardization of each Drop-In box made every room install predictable. Using three-man crews the average classroom installation took less than four hours: two to de-install and two to install.”
TEKVOX CEO Jim Reinhart oversaw his company’s involvement in the Lone Star College installation and delivered on the promise to provide an economical A/V managed system complete to the customer’s needs and requirements.
“We’re demystifying the pro A/V industry by making customers aware of our complete, factory-built, pre-programmed solutions that are reliable and repeatable across rooms, buildings or campuses,” Reinhart says. “Managed A/V systems should just work every time you power on, and we deliver on that promise.”
Since installation, the entire system is monitored 24/7/365 and maintains an impressive 99.9% up time with all software system updates occurring seamlessly online.
“This was one of the largest and the best upgrades that we’ve ever seen,” says James Crawford, Executive Director of the Office of Technology Services at Lone Star College. “It was a model of execution on the large scale that we needed, and it has been completely trouble free.”
To find out how your organization can upgrade to a digitally managed system quickly, efficiently and economically, contact TEKVOX for details and specifications about Drop-In A/Vsystems.
TEKVOX (http://www.tekvox.com) is a private Texas company offering unique A/V control technology that brings unprecedented affordability, capability and reliability to audio/visual applications in teaching, training, meeting and interactive collaboration. Applying state-of-the-art Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise management (EMS) technologies, TEKVOX’s distributed, networked solutions dramatically change the cost of acquiring and operating A/V-rich facilities.