Thursday, August 11, 2011

InFocus is the Clear Choice for Nationwide Classroom A/V Overhaul

What could a national educational organization do when it found itself in the midst of failing technology? Imagine being in charge of a hybrid family of schools and colleges, comprising more than 300 physical and virtual classrooms across the U.S.—each one completely dependent on audio/visual technology. Any breakdowns could be devastating. Picture it. A/V systems shutting down in the middle of important classroom sessions could mean loss of valuable class hours and delays in overall course schedule. This was what this institution was encountering on an all-too-frequent basis. Caught in this chaos, our client wanted a quick and lasting solution.
Frustration Leads to a Solution
Frustrated by frequent product breakdowns and less-than-stellar customer service with their current IT providers, they contacted MicroAge. They were desperate for an IT solution provider who would understand their needs and recommend the technology that would provide the organization and the students they served with a fast and reliable solution. Their current approach was to replace the technology as it broke down. But that was proving to be time-consuming and costly. They were ready to scrap the entire A/V system nationwide and replace it all at once with more reliable technology. And by getting all equipment on the same life cycle, managing it would be much easier.

After we conducted an intensive review of the school’s needs, which included projectors, screens, audio and cabling, as well as the installation of all of it, Ken and I got busy doing what we do best at MicroAge—finding an outstanding IT solution for our clients. We worked out a plan, scrapped it, worked a little harder and ultimately arrived at a terrific solution. Our client not only liked what they saw, but they appreciated our complete solution approach versus the product-oriented slant that they’d experienced with other IT providers. They not only approved the plan we recommended, but welcomed it with a sigh of relief.

The MicroAge Solution
At MicroAge, we don’t push the “supplier of the week” to our clients. Instead we listen to our clients’ needs and design a solution with the right products from manufacturers that will deliver the best outcome and stay within budget. It’s one of the many ways we are different from other companies that say they provide IT solutions. What they really do is sell IT equipment.

We contacted not one but numerous manufacturers and shared the project requirements with them. Many showed interest in taking on the project, but one really stood out in terms of meeting the exact specifications the school had, which, besides reliability, included a high-lumen output and a wide-screen option. The winner hands down was InFocus. Their IN3116 projector met the requirements and the client’s budget better than any other manufacturer.

Besides InFocus, the A/V overhaul solution included AccuScreens screens, Sony speakers, Roemtech
amplifiers and a fair amount of cabling.

Achieving A+ Results
Our solution did not end with providing the right A/V equipment. There was still the matter of providing a financing plan for this client and getting the equipment installed. Performing the role of project manager, Ken and I managed the delivery and installation at each of the 300+ classrooms, and, working as a team, got the job done on time and on budget.

As for financing, for this client leasing made the most sense, so we arranged a three-year lease through HP Financial Services to leverage their buying power and fit their budget. Leasing and financing IT purchases is another of the services we offer at MicroAge.

After just a few months time, the results spoke for themselves. This project was a huge success. Our client, relieved at the convenience and reliability of the solution and thrilled with the work done, gave us our next project: MicroAge is now overhauling the enterprise’s network and replacing the switches in the data center. Again, having done our homework, we concluded that HP had the best to offer for this project.

Lessons Learned
Before calling MicroAge, our client had worked with several other IT resellers and contractors. Now, though, they look to Ken Katz and me for all their IT needs. Great IT solutions are what Ken and I, along with all of the account executives here at MicroAge, love to provide our clients. If you’re looking for promising IT solutions too, save yourself a lot of time—contact us, Josh Heller and Ken Katz at MicroAge.


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