As we emerge from the sugar-haze of the holiday season, we have a renewed sense of determination to sort out our plans and projects for the year. Just as some people resolve to hit the gym, this year how about resolving to make sure your operations center is in tip-top shape? The beginning of a new year and the start of a fresh quarter is an opportune time to begin laying out plans for an updated – or new – mission critical environment for your organization.
Before you begin planning, ask whether you’ve outgrown your current mission critical space and need a brand new one, or whether you simply need to refresh your existing operations center. Once you’ve decided whether to update or start from scratch, it’s a good time to plan, evaluate needs, and get in touch with an expert in operations center project management like Constant Technologies.
Planning your Project
Plans for your operations center project should be set before the equipment in your space reaches “end of life,” not after. In fact, it’s never too early to begin laying out your plans or to get strategic partners involved. Complex spaces like mission critical installations require thorough, long-term planning in order to do them right.
For Constant Technologies, the earlier we can get involved with a project, the better. From the early stages of a project we can work closely with your facilities department, architects, and general contractors to ensure that every element of your project installation goes smoothly and remains in keeping with the overall plan and objective for your ops center. At Constant, we help analyze and refine your requirements pre-construction to ensure that all the right elements come together for your solution.
Like any project, success comes easier when you have an understanding of what you want to accomplish. Planning ahead will ensure proper anticipation of your future needs. At the very beginning of a project it is important to develop a detailed requirement list. This list should cover everything from how many operators will use the space from day one to the audiovisual system requirements.
Another important aspect at the beginning of the project process is on-site surveys. This gives the Constant installation team a familiarity with the space and allows coordination with the client and other parties who will be working in the space.
Getting Constant involved early in the process ensures careful planning and sets you up for success.
Conducting an Audit of Your Space
As you begin the planning process it is important to assess the current state of your operations center. This will help you determine whether your space needs an update or a complete overhaul, and establish what exactly your needs will be.
First, you should conduct an audit of your videowall setup and accompanying audiovisual components.
Assessing Your AV
The audiovisual technology industry changes rapidly. It’s important to stay on top of the AV tech in your operations center not only to stay on the cutting edge, but to make sure you don’t get left behind. When a space is mission critical, the equipment used in the environment should be as reliable as possible. Standard commercial grade equipment is often not up to the stringent requirements of a 24/7 ops center so Constant integrates only the most tried and tested equipment.
The older your video wall technology, the less likely it is to support higher resolution sources such as 4K, which is becoming increasingly popular. It is also important to keep aspect ratio in mind. If your display is still showing 16:9 content with letter boxing, it is time to update.
If your current displays only support analog inputs such as VGA, composite, and component, they won’t allow for higher definition inputs without adding more hardware to scale and convert digital to analog. The analog sunset has come and gone, so if your display does not support digital and streaming it is time for a refresh.
Evaluating Your Operations Center Furniture
As the technology in a mission critical space changes, so do the needs for operators’ workstations. In the past, when operators had to house bulky CRT monitors and large desktop chassis PCs, the consoles were significantly larger than they are today. When technology scaled down, so did the furniture. If your consoles feel too large for your operation, it might be time to upgrade. Modernizing operations center furniture and trading out for sleeker consoles allows operators to make better use of available floor space, potentially even increasing the capacity of operators within the same square foot area.
Proper planning and foresight save time and money in the long run and help to ensure that your operations center will function best for its main objective. As you begin the process of planning for the year ahead, contact Constant to get you started on your project.
Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+ years experience we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs, installs and services projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.