White Papers

The ability to share detailed information about products or concepts is important. This information does not simply mean talking about the unique selling points of the product, it is explaining the ways in which the product can address issues can directly impact the customer. A white paper is a great tool to convey concepts that are important to understanding the solutions offered.

There are times when expressing a concept is just as important as highlighting a product or solution. Ensuring that the proper concepts, vocabulary, and information is known by all parties involved is the first step toward understanding. This step then leads to having thoughtful and productive discussions. While this might seem basic to some, it is often overlooked. Having a working knowledge of the concepts is vital to understanding. With open digital signal processing platforms explaining concepts and capabilities becomes more important. It can be overwhelming to start with a blank design when trying to develop a solution.

This definition process includes defining the building blocks of a solution. Simply saying place in an automixer and then adding ambient noise compensation to its output conveys the idea succinctly to people familiar with the product. Using that same term with someone who does not understand what those two processing concepts are simply results in more confusion and frustration. Stating the concepts in a way that people understand them helps alleviate fear. Omitting features that are not needed for the specific use case being discussed reduces confusion and the chances of someone being overwhelmed.

Whitepapers expand on the idea by providing the information and background needed to understand pertinent concepts. These papers build on basic knowledge to facilitate the understanding of more complex ideas. Writing these papers can seem daunting, but Advisist has years of experience writing them for both marketing purposes as well as general education. Papers can either be attributed to one of the Advisist team members or ghost written for a company, never to be spoken of again.

Technology Evaluation

Technologies are created to solve a particular need. Quite often deciding if the technology is solving your or your customers needs can be hard to determine. Advisist is ready to come in and assist with the evaluation to make sure it is a proper fit for the needs.

This evaluation process can begin with the manufacturer on the product side, or on the application side with the integrator, or anywhere in between. The evaluation is not just theoretical, it is based on real world experience. If needed the technology in question will be tested by Advisist to verify the objectives can be met successfully. A seamless experience is as an important part of the experience for users, as is the technology used. The ability of an interface to change the adoption process of technology cannot be overstated. Advisist believes that most technologies have uses beyond just the original need.

Technical Briefs

Advisist’s team has been explaining technology for years. These briefs explain how a new product or technology can solve problems while accelerating the adoption cycle.  Technical briefs allow for the communication of concepts in simple terms. They often can be considered case studies as well. They highlight the way certain technologies can be brought to bear to solve a specific problem. 

They are typically aimed at one specific technology, and at how that technology is applied. The ability to communicate these ideas simply is a skill that has been honed over years by the experienced Advisist team. We have worked for marketing departments ranging from small start-up integrators to multinational corporations. Through those experiences, Bradford has developed writing styles to express concepts simply and effectively. Technical briefs can be a one-page application note, or they can be entire concepts almost being a white paper. The main difference being that a technical brief will include specific brand information to highlight the capabilities of those brands. In the case of an integrator or distributor, this process will highlight the skills of the integrator. It is a step between an advertorial and a white paper it is a useful tool in the process of positioning oneself as a subject matter expert. 

Staff Extension

Given the changes in the world, staffing has become a challenge.  Often there is too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. Advisist is ready to lend a hand when needed; whether for two hours or two months.  We can serve as a short-term labor enhancement, allowing you to accomplish more in less time.

We are here for you when there is too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. Advisist can serve as a short-term labor enhancement, allowing you to accomplish more in less time without the process of hiring new people for a brief time.  

There are often instances where deadlines are looming, and more people are needed to get a task done. These occasions could be caused by the illness of a team member, a change in design, or any number of unforeseen circumstances. A solution to this challenge is the use of staff extension or staff augmentation. Hiring Advisist as a temporary addition to your staff provides the ability to achieve your goals as well as contain operating costs. Your company does not need to go through the time-consuming hiring process or the accounting task of tracking costs of individual independent contractors. Advisist works under your company’s direction, and within your standards and practices by providing our labor and knowledge. 

Media Reviews

Evaluating new and existing products can be a time-consuming process. Drawing on years of experience the Advisist Group can assist in this process and help increase your bandwidth. We move reviews from subjective to empirical as quickly as possible. Our experience as product managers for Pro AV manufacturers helps with these types of product evaluations.  

The review of a product can be anything from looking at it as a general review or analyzing the suitability for its particular use. These processes while very much related are slightly different. The ability to tailor their review or evaluation to your needs allows us to provide the information you need. Reviewing a product is not simply opening the box and reading the specifications. It’s testing and using the product to make certain it is practical and functional. 

There are many things these types of product reviews uncover, such as:  

  1. How difficult is it to mount within an equipment rack?
  2. How difficult is it to carry?
  3. What is required to configure the device? 

This type of documentation isn’t typically found in the spec sheet. Evaluations can deliver information in multiple ways – it can be a simple 200-word review, or it can be an entire unboxing and use video to highlight some of the successes and challenges of the product. Just as every product is different, we handle every evaluation as its own unique situation. 

Media reviews that Advisist write may have a byline of the author, however, the business relationship between the companies may need to be disclosed. This approach is to follow Federal Trade Commission guidance. The reviews will be fair and honest, while being aware of the relationship between sponsors and media. Advisist does offer Advertorials as well as private Product Evaluations.

Commissioning

Like any complex system, audio video systems require adjustments when first installed. This situation is normal and why time needs to be allotted for systems to be tested and configured to address any installation issues. Often during the configuration and commissioning process, one will find deficiencies and discrepancies. These situations can cause disagreements to arise. It is quite easy for end-users and integrators to have differing opinions as to the performance and operation of the system. Quite often having an impartial third party can help diffuse the situation and work toward solutions. Before conflicts arise, all stakeholders should consider having an impartial third party available to commission their systems.  

This third-party verification protects all the parties involved. Independent verification of a systems’ performance as well as creating a punch list provides information to both ownership, technology managers, consultants, and integration firms. This type of service goes beyond Site Acceptance Testing and can include things such as fine-tuning control interfaces between systems and configuring the control system to ensure it meets the needs for the end-user. The process also includes preparing the audio and video systems for use by making adjustments to maximize their performance in the space. 

A thorough commissioning phase increases the rate of success once the project open. It allows for verification that the entire project works well together as a system not just the equipment. Contact us to learn how Advisist can help verify system performance and configuration to get the most from your AV system. 

Bid Preparation

Creating bid documents can be an overwhelming process for both integrators and stakeholders. The documentation process indicating the project needs and intent is not as simple as saying, “Install video teleconference system and make it easy to use and sound good.” For the proposal bidders, it is not as simple as saying, “Yes, we can do that.” Clearly defining what is considered success is important. Documenting the deliverables and process expectations is a key portion of this process. 

That is where Advisist Group comes in as a third-party reviewer, we will review the bid documents thoroughly before the bid is released or submitted. We review the full package for completeness of the documentation, provide questions for clarification, suggest additional details to be included in the tender documents, or even just making sure that what is being asked for is possible. The documentation will also be studied for unintended consequences. For instance, does requiring a project manager to attend a four-hour weekly meeting for four years make practical sense? Is the additional cost worth the value? These are all elements that should be reviewed in depth as part of the bid process. 

Advisist has the skills to evaluate bid submittals for ownership or stakeholders to ensure reasonable approaches and appropriate equipment are being put forth. We also evaluate the cost of ownership of part of this process. Working with the bidder, we can provide the same insight as well as expand the review to consider opportunities for leverage buying power. The study does not just look at the cost of the equipment but the overall cost of the installed system. Ethics, reputation, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest are key principles for Advisist, and we will not work on both sides of a project in this process. 

Ideation

The creative process of ideation has been around since the late 1970s, though the name did not come about until the early 2000s. It has become a frequently used word that not everyone fully understands. In its simplest term, it is a brainstorming session. A session where any and all ideas are documented for further discussion. Some consider the term “charette” to be synonymous. Charetting is the actual finalizing of details. (“charette,” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charette. Accessed 11/25/2020.)

Advisist looks at ideation as an artistic or creative process. We start with the story to be told or the experience to be created. That is the guidepost for the process. When first heard, most think the definition we use is related only to entertainment venues, which is not the case. Experience does not solely apply to going to an entertainment venue. There are experiences occurring all the time that we think of as normal and ordinary parts of life. Those are the some of the items to be considered.

During the COVID pandemic one of the shared experiences that has occurred is the use of online meeting tools. Some find the use of online tools as second nature; others were struggling. (Bradford has written pieces about this topic – Be the Helper Mr. Rogers Believes You Are. It is not the technology that is defining the success or failure of an online meeting service, it is the user’s experience. Basically, is it easy to use? This same process can easily be seen in the iPod/iPhone. MP3 compression had been around for years before the iPod was released. It was Apple creating a good and easy user experience that caused success.

The support of the desired experience is what we use to guide us in the ideation process. The output or work product produced by the process is defined by the needs our clients have. It could be that we study the experience of installing a new piece of equipment and how can it be made easier, resulting in a better experience. That process would likely result in suggestions for products or documentation with specific findings. Other times it could be studying creating a “wow” moment when someone walks into a building. That study would produce concepts and ideas for what can be done. It might not capture how it can be done, but the idea that it is possible would be confirmed.

We wrote a blog post illustrating how Ideation can be applied to a problem.

Facility Impact

Audio, Video, and Control systems are not completely independent, they need to interact with many things. No only do these systems need to work with the major systems in the building, such as telephone, building management, and Internet. The systems must interact and work within the facility itself. The impacts to the building can range from the basic of needing an outlet put in for a video display to needing additional footings to hold the weight of a large video wall.

The Advisist team offers review services to not only check the common items of AV systems but can expand into the Architectural and Engineering Program. Their experience with bringing concepts to life provides an invaluable level of reference when examining the facility, the needs of the AV System, and how the two interact. The evaluations are not simply will this device fit here, there are the other items to be considered such as how much cooling is needed or the amount of power required.

Content Creation

Creating content for the Pro A/V industry goes well beyond writing advertorials. The Advisist Group offers various writing services and has years of experience writing multiple pieces in multiple styles. The team has written press releases, thought or opinion articles, analysis pieces, white papers, product reviews, application notes, operations manuals, news content and much more. These services are detailed under their own website pages. 

We can tailor content towards any persona, vertical, or category of readers. It’s always a best practice to have another set of eyes review operations procedures being prepared for an end user to find items that the original writers may have assumed or overlooked in the process. Having both technical and editorial writers in the group provides a unique perspective when reviewing and writing the content. It can be evaluated for the audience, checked for accuracy and for style by our experts. 

We understand that content also needs to be visual as well sometimes, and our team can produce content for multiple formats with the same information for consistency. This type of content can be powerful and can illustrate concepts without many words which can be confusing. Creating a video version that shows the process can often aid in the process. The content professionals at Advisist understands content parameters and can assure that your messaging is clear and concise. Below are some examples of content pieces we’ve written.  

Some examples