Omnis - A Better Way to Deploy Audiovisual Technology
2020 was a year of many challenges for organizations across the county. Corporate offices moved most employees to working remote, healthcare facilities struggled to support vital services, and educators faced a complete overhaul in how they offered flexible hybrid learning to their students both in-person and online. If we learned anything this past year, it was the ability to be creative, agile, and flexible when pivoting to support key operations during unprecedented times.
In this blog post we will dive into a case study of our Omnis offering. We'll examine a recently completed project focusing on our design approach and how our design ensures continuity in technology for the space.
Q: What is it?
A: Omnis (Latin meaning, "all, everything, the whole") is an innovative and purpose-built solution to optimize the cost, availability, and relevancy of business-critical technology by converting traditional capital expenditures (CAPEX) into an operational expense (OPEX). It allows organizations to keep all of their technology affordable and modern by refreshing these solutions before they become legacy problems.
Q: How does it work?
A: Hardware, software, installation, commissioning and managed services are bundled into a single solution. When an audiovisual system is on, functional and in use, it is metered and billed based on usage. When off, not functional or down due to maintenance, there is no charge. Omnis provides organizations key data analytics on how their technology is being used and eliminates unnecessary costs during periods of low use. When the technology no longer meets business needs, the solutions are refreshed partially or in whole. This provides companies predictable operating costs to keep all of their on-premise technology working and up to date.
Q: Why do I need it?
A: Audiovisual systems are becoming increasingly resource-heavy, creating more of a burden on staff, infrastructure and budget. Large up-front capital expenditures, ongoing costs of ownership and reliance on vendors to make timely repairs prevent organizations from keeping technology up-to-date and in working order across all rooms at all times. Omnis solves this problem by removing the upfront acquisition, providing a predictable cost for technology needs, and maintaining systems under stringent SLAs (Service Level Agreements). When systems have issues or simply don’t work, they are repaired expediently at no additional cost to the organization. Every part of a working audiovisual system is included, covered, and maintained.
Q: What makes Omnis unique?
A: An operating lease has been the de facto method organizations historically used to acquire the technology they need without impacting the balance sheet. New lease standards issued by FASB require leasing activities to be reflected on balance sheets so investors and other users of financial statements can accurately understand the rights and obligations associated with these transactions. These new regulations are likely to change how some companies view the benefits of leasing models, while others will simply continue their leasing activities as usual. We focused on creating a product that benefits both viewpoints and continues to keep the financing activity off balance sheet. There is no term nor total cost to capitalize. We leverage the experience and strength of our well known financial partners which allows us to handle any opportunity regardless of size or scope.
If we look at the primary mechanical disparity between our solution and a traditional lease, one of the major benefits is Recursav's ability to pause billing when technology on-premise isn't working, is down for maintenance, or simply unused for a period of time. Under an operating lease contract, companies would still need to pay the agreed upon amount for their technology, whether operational or not. As we adapt to the new normal, post COVID-19 world, having an operational expense with a flexible billing model provides significant easement to our valued customers.Additionally, operating leases rarely include ongoing services. Ongoing services such as maintenance, break-fix, updates, even replacements are covered in our solution. We provide a comprehensive, worry-free, all-inclusive solution for your technology needs.
Finding a New Way - A Case Study of an Omnis Room
At the heart of Winston-Salem, North Carolina resides Wake Forest University, a leader in the academic world in classroom technologies. Recursav has the honor of partnering with WFU as an audiovisual technology vendor, providing a breadth of solutions and services to fit their needs. One of the more recent projects has been one under our Omnis offering in which we completely revamped their highly used auditorium in Benson Hall, Pugh Auditorium.
This multi-use space services a range of faculty and student needs. Within these walls there are lectures, film reviews, presentations, live events, and even movie nights. Given the variety of unique needs, it was extremely important that the audiovisual design prove successful at answering each one of these functions. It was equally important this space remain updated, technology relevant, and operational for many years to come. After learning of Omnis, WFU determined Recursav's solution to be the only offering that could check all the boxes of their needs assessment.
Recursav was able to redesign the entire AV infrastructure of this space to suit the functional requirements. We replaced an outdated projection system with Panasonic Laser LCD technology, significantly improving overall brightness and contrast in the picture. The existing sound system was dismantled and replaced with a 7.1 JBL Cinema surround speaker system powered by Crown amplifiers. The surround sound processing was upgraded to an Extron 7.1 processor capable of handling the various types of audio content played in this space. We removed the existing digital signal processing and backbone of the audio, replacing it with Biamp TesiraForte supporting Dante networked audio. Over several hours, we meticulously tuned the audio in the room utilizing an RTA (Real-Time Analyzer) to provide a flat frequency response ensuring all audio material is heard in its true and intended form. Users of this space can connect to the audio system easily by plugging into the various Extron Dante XLR plates located throughout the stage. They can speak easily and present from the custom Middle Atlantic L7 ADA adjustable lectern, branded beautifully with the customer's logo. Presenters can be heard clearly from the Shure digital wireless systems. In support of their live events, WFU Multimedia staff required a digital mixing console so they could manually control the reinforcement of live sound. To meet this requirement, Recursav integrated a Behringer X32 digital console with Dante matrixing into the system. With the simple push of a button, WFU staff can move all of the automated signal processing from the Biamp DSP to the X32 console, providing them complete control of every audio channel's signal dynamics, routings, effects and gain structures. They can easily switch back to the engineered and tuned preset with that same button, ensuring the next class or event operates without missing a beat. We removed the expired video switching and routing, and replaced it with an Extron DTP Crosspoint. Additional DTP switching transmitters and wall plates are available to support guest device connectivity, Blu-ray/DVD, Cinema Media Streamer, and Wireless presentation. Since many of the events in this auditorium need to be recorded or live streamed, we integrated an Extron SMP 351 to support these capture needs. As for the control system, we provide an AMX processor with two iPads running TPControl.
The system was commissioned and programmed for ease of use, making sure no user was intimidated by its operation. The entire audiovisual system simply works, just like every solution we design for our clients.
The coolest part of this project isn't just the meat and potatoes of the technology, it's actually how it's supported. Recursav remotely monitors and manages every component of this system using our cloud based tools. In the event one of the devices has an issue, we know before our client knows and inform their staff immediately so the issue can be resolved without delay. If the incident needs to be escalated, Recursav has a service technician enroute to expedite the repair process. Ongoing support is covered in-depth by our Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the university. This allows the university to be proactive in its approach to supporting its technology deployment by augmenting visibility of their systems using our tools. Because this auditorium is under our Omnis offering, all parts and pieces of this system are covered against hardware failures, install failures, and ongoing costs of ownership. When the technology in this room is no longer relevant or no longer meets the needs of our client, we rework and replace it, in part or in whole. In turn, the university is billed each month based on actual system usage measured by our monitoring of the devices. Our service includes delivery of key metrics on how, what, when they used the system for better analytic review and understanding. Omnis makes the deployment of technology easy and affordable. We Equip, Sustain, and Refresh our customers with audiovisual solutions that simply work.