Here at Constant, we’re proud of our team and the hard work that each department puts into serving our clients. This blog series highlights our major departments and the efforts they make to ensure our clients always receive the highest caliber support and service.
- Part 1 gave a glance behind the scenes at our control room furniture department.
- The installation team that brings our NOC designers’ visions to life was featured in Part 2.
- Part 3 featured our control room design department.
- The 4th Installment in our department feature series explored Constant’s project management process.
In this week’s post, we share a glimpse into our programming department.
A single solution from many components
Programming is an essential component of all Constant’s mission critical installations. Each project features custom AV integration where a variety of equipment from different manufacturers is brought together to form a single solution. Constant’s programming department is integral in making these disparate components work together.
Benjamin Watkins, Vice President of Technical Engineering at Constant Technologies, said, “We provide the glue and scaffolding to make everything work together as a bigger whole that is a lot smarter than any of the individual components. Our programming takes all the equipment and makes it work as if it is all one system, as if the components were designed to work together.”
We program various components of your command center technology, from the control system – which would be the touch panels that control the AV equipment– to the actual display wall controllers and switchers. Every element is configured so that the behavior of the device matches what the users need in the room.
A collaborative process
Because the command and control niche is so unique in its requirements, many of our capabilities and deliverables have been developed and perfected over the years through collaborative feedback with our clients. “The solutions that one client needs may not be exactly the same as what another needs,” said Watkins, “but a specific solution developed for one project can be generalized so that it fits a whole class of problems.”
The system that Constant delivers has evolved over the years based on individual client requirements and feedback. Said Watkins, “It’s a collaborative effort between the client and us to make our solution work perfectly for them, and in the process, we get a general solution that can be used across a wider array of projects.”
Each individual solution is completely tailored to the client’s needs and preferences, from individual devices and functions all the way down to graphics and logos, but with a “tried and tested base of code” that has been built through the insight gained from prior collaborations.
Training and Updates
A key component of our programming process is training so that the client can truly own the function of the room. Before even beginning the training, our programming department breaks down the kinds of training that will be given. In a typical installation, there is always more than one audience: there will be managers who need to know what the room is capable of, end users who will be operating it day-to-day, people who will only use it occasionally, and an individual who will be the on-site point of contact for support and troubleshooting. The on-site person who will “own” the system will be the direct channel to reach Constant should any support issues come up.
When conducting on-site training, Constant trains only a few end users – around 5 or 6 – at a time to ensure that everyone gets the attention they need to understand the details of the system. This also allows training to be broken into multiple sessions to accommodate different shift schedules or use cases.
Additionally, Constant creates reference guides which the clients can utilize for a variety of reasons: to refresh information learned during training, or to train a new hire, for instance.
We also frequently update our programming to ensure it continues to meet the client’s needs. For clients who have a service contract, the Constant team will often update the code to implement features or fix bugs while on site for preventative maintenance service that occurs annually. Clients with a service contract will therefore receive programming updates at least once a year in addition to any other programming changes that might be required to meet a specific need.
The Constant Difference
According to Watkins, Constant’s programming is one of the things that sets us apart. “It’s not a cookie cutter solution,” he said. “Especially in the market niche we’re in, having features that are built around those very particular niche uses that can be easily tailored to whatever solutions the client needs is a big strength.” The mission critical market has very different use cases, and the knowledge from typical AV installations such as conference rooms would not fit. “We tailor our solutions around the workflow of the people who actually work in the rooms,” added Watkins.
One of the unique requirements of command centers is that they often have a dual purpose. In addition to being functional for the people who staff the room and operate a 24/7 mission critical space, these installations frequently have to also serve marketing and sales purposes. While these rooms are highly functional, they are also used as tour spaces with a showpiece video wall and sleek command center furniture. “These rooms serve two masters, which are sometimes in conflict,” said Watkins, “but we make sure that every installation is both functional and beautiful, and the programming serves both purposes.”
Constant’s years of experience and valuable feedback from clients have given the insight necessary to achieve the goals of mission critical spaces. The complexity of these projects demands detailed, high quality programing that only an experienced and focused integrator like Constant can provide.
Contact us today to get started on your command center project and learn more about all that Constant can offer you – from complex video wall integration and operations center furniture installation to highly customized programming.
Constant Technologies, Inc. is a premier mission critical systems integrator providing customized audiovisual integration of 24/7 video walls and command center furniture worldwide. With over 30 years of experience, Constant’s team has the knowledge and clearance to work with sensitive environments in both the public and private sectors and has implemented turnkey solutions all over the world. Constant designs, installs and services projects of all scopes and sizes to create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind. Some of Constant’s installations include: Network Operations Center design, EOC builds, Fusion Centers, Security Operations Centers, Social Media Command Centers, and other command and control environments.