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        This is the second in a series of excerpts from Crestron’s latest eBook,
        Virtual Control Solutions for the Modern Workplace.

         

        Hardware-based control solutions have been the go-to option for decades, and their benefits are commonly known — and hardware is certainly still a viable (and often the most efficient) answer. But as technology advances, control systems have evolved to include software-based solutions. Like video conferencing, video capture, and other solutions that were originally hardware-based, virtual control has evolved to the point where it can scale quickly and save tremendous resources.

        Virtual Control, like other software solutions, provides a breadth of benefits, including:
        • A single, centralized software package that is easier, faster, and more scalable and easier to manage than multiple appliances distributed throughout an organization (with room for 500 spaces on one server)

        • Reduced overall costs of platform ownership

        • Scalability into more spaces as an organization grows

        • The ability to save room configurations and repeat them for mass deployments

        • A reduction of RMAs and service requests

        • Easy to customize and update

        At its heart, VC-4 is an IT-based architecture that delivers:
        • A system that is standards-based and service-oriented

        • The ability to leverage existing IT infrastructure for redundancy and fault tolerance

        • The same provisioning and maintenance methodology implemented by an organization’s IT management

        The Enhanced Experiences That Control Brings

        The right control can enhance the experience offered in every space

        With virtual control solutions, those deploying the system get the same programming and configuration experience as they do with hardware, while those who need to regularly interact with the technology are delivered a consistent experience regardless of the room type. Virtual Control can further enhance those experiences given the nature of its customizability, even at scale.

        Enhancements include:

        • Customized control options for increased functionality in rooms where VC-4 is deployed, which can drive increased productivity and create a consistent user-experience across an entire enterprise

        • Support for better in-room meeting experiences with integrated conferencing

        • Control of in-room PCs

        • The integration of conferencing with source switching

        • The creation of critical room settings via the platform’s ability to control lighting, shading, HVAC/climate, and other environmental needs

        • The ability to automate rooms; the utilization and integration of sensors to automatically turn rooms and/or applications on and off

        • The ability to schedule and program “touchless” meetings

        • Increased branding on each user interface, helping to drive a sense of community, culture, and corporate pride

        The Operational Benefits of Virtual Control

        Software solutions can make for a more efficient operational model

        A migration to a software-based control solution — particularly one such as VC-4, which can be combined with existing hardware controls — can save an organization resources, from money to man-hours.

        Operational Benefits:

        • VC-4 software control affords the ability to configure and manage multiple spaces at once with up to 500 rooms on a single server, allowing a firm’s IT professionals to utilize the time saved to redeploy their services to other projects — and allows system managers to configure and manage multiple spaces (and devices) remotely

        • Software-based controls, such as Crestron VC-4, enables deployment specialists to design and configure a room, save the configuration, and push it out at scale

        • Since every room is managed from a centralized server, software solutions deliver greater assurance that all the connected spaces have the proper security patches. Sending any updates to that single server affects all the rooms it supports

        • Software control reduces associated risks with not updating individual hardware appliances one-to-one per every room across a vast physical landscape

        • Software extends the overall lifecycle of the control platform. Additionally, VC-4 is not a subscription-based product, so your organization only needs to make a single, perpetual license purchase per room

        • Software updates are dynamic, as drivers can simply be added or replaced with no new programming required and can be deployed “en masse” to certain room types rather than point to each individual appliance

        • Crestron’s VC-4 also enables organizations to leverage redundancy and security measures for increased reliability, as the software runs on a local server (or servers) on an organization’s network.

        Broader Benefits

        Software-based control can help IT management streamline and simplify control for devices, displays, lighting, shading, and thermostats across an entire organization. Control all networked devices and power down AV devices and displays — such as digital signage or networked-based devices and equipment — easily from a centralized location.

        Command the Room

        Similarly, within individual spaces, users can have the same in-room control on a simple web interface, such as a touchscreen. The user can control the space, creating the perfect environment for performance and productivity by adjusting lighting, shades, and temperature. Users can also easily switch between multiple sources for seamless presentations in real time

        Interested in learning more? Download the complete eBook.
        Then experience all the benefits of Crestron’s VC-4 Virtual Control with a 90-day free trial.

         

        Virtual Control