Network and AV Specifications: Unlocking the Value of Standardization – By Glenn Attwood and Blake Markle
The UTSC AV Standard Guide was authored to ensure consistent user functionality, design and installation of AV systems in classrooms, meeting rooms and digital signs. The guide describes the user-facing features of AV systems, such as Teaching Stations, and specifies core equipment and system schematics. The Guide adopts improvements that solve shortcomings in previous TS iterations. It is revised periodically to ensure its relevance. The revision process takes input from user, support team and vendor feedback. The Guide is shared with vendors and some of its information feeds into procurement (RFQ & RFP) processes. In a similar manner the UTSC Network Cabling Specification was authored to ensure a consistent and repeatable design of the network cabling infrastructure to support all aspects of IT service delivery at UTSC. The target audience is both designers as well as installers and attempts to strike a balance that allows it to be useful to both. Also revised periodically input is gathered from installers, suppliers, manufacturers as well as interested parties in the UTSC community. Standardization does not only save cost but improves support services and avoids steep learning curves for users and technical team. It also allows for predictable project costs and allows UTSC additional tools to evaluate RFQ and RFP responses. The revision policy means that institutional knowledge is preserved and supports continuous improvement from project to project even when the makeups of the teams are different.