The medium is the message

The Canadian leader in audiovisual solutions, Duocom, is changing the way people receive and distribute information in business, universities and in the public arena. Having evolved alongside information technology, the audiovisual industry has developed intow a highly technical and sophisticated discipline, which has the ability to filter the overwhelming amount of information available and deliver it in ways best suited for the receiver.

Digital displays and telecommunications are a ubiquitous part of life. The proliferation of audiovisual communications technologies, including sound, video, lighting, display and projection systems, is evident in every sector of society: in business, education, government, the military, healthcare, retail environments, sports and entertainment, hospitality, restaurants, and museums.

Mike Teolis, Senior Vice President of Sale, and Marketing for Duocom, puts his company’s objective succinctly: “Our focus is helping customers communicate a message. That’s what we do—we take information and help customers display it.”

Duocom reaches this objective in three primary arenas: product sales, integrated solution and, finally, rental and staging live events. The Duocom Systems Integration Department specialises in design, engineering, installation and after sales support of multimedia presentation systems for any situation, be it business, government, education, public display or residential.

Duocom’s technical expertise has been the driving force behind their growth in the complex audiovisual market place. “It’s great to get an order, but you had better be good at installing and supporting the project, not to mention having engineered the right solution for the customer,” says Teolis.

“It is that same technical expertise that has contributed to our success in the mnemonic control market space,” says Teolis, “a sector in the market that requires the utmost technical expertise in these mission-critical, 24-7 applications.” Typical customers in this space include utilities companies, public security agencies, police and military. These applications are usually engineered around a video wall and a processor, allowing the user the ability to manage all the info in the best way possible given the circumstances.

Teolis continues, “Projects of this magnetite have multiple stakeholders, and it is our job to meet everyone’s objectives: architects, engineers, finance and most importantly, the end users of the technology.” This process is consultative in nature from beginning to end. It starts with the sales and technical team meeting the stakeholders. “We then interview the end users to assess their needs,” says Teolis. “Afterwards, we begin engineering the solution which we fine tune and we discuss the pros and cons of any project with the customers. Once we get sign off on the engineering, we turn the project over to our project manager whose responsibility it will be to install the installation, testing and commissioning of the solution. And once the project is complete, our service team takes over with a custom-tailored service contract that will allow for maximum ROI and minimum down time for years to come.”

Benoit LaVictoire, Sales Manager for Quebec, emphasises the need to offer customers not only the best technology, but technology that will also contribute to meeting a company’s environmental commitments. “The tech we can integrate can allow customers reduce their carbon footprint and reduce energy costs, something we feel good about contributing to,” says LaVictoire.

Meetings without meeting

Video conferencing technology has transformed ability for companies to conduct their daily business operations. The technology allows for a powerful, immediate communications tool, and eliminates the need and cost of travelling. If you need to meet with associates, clients or vendors in locations across the country or around the world, you can use video conferencing technology to see, speak and share with them in real time. Duocom has built its reputation on providing clients with picture-perfect video, clear audio and the ability for clients to use supporting documentation from a computer or other peripheral device. The Duocom teleconferencing business is expanding incrementally, and is fostering the advancement of Canadian industry by eliminating the impediment of geographical distance. For customers who do not have the requirements to justify the investment, Duocom offers a network of 14 facilities across the country available on a rental basis.

“We provide a service which allows you to speak as if you were right beside your participants,” says Teolis. “Every day, we are doing large corporate-type projects. Around 60 percent of our integrated solutions are in corporate space, such as the traditional boardroom setting, where we set up video conferencing, audio conferencing, projection and sound. That is where we shine, where our expertise lies and where we continue to be recognised as leaders.”

Education market

SMART Technologies has been helping to redefine the collaborative experience for years, beginning with the invention of the SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard. Duocom and SMART technologies are partnering to change the interactive experience for students across the country.

Led by interactive whiteboard technology, the education market is amongst the faster growing sectors of the Duocom business. “It’s expected that in the next five to 10 years, every chalk board in every classroom will be replaced by an interactive whiteboard and we are well positioned to meet those requirements,” says Teolis. However, the technology going into classrooms extends well beyond a whiteboard with the inclusion of a projector, sound reinforcement for children that are hearing impaired, interactive response systems and computers.

“When you think about it, how can children that have all sorts of technology at home be motivated and receptive to instruction using a blackboard and chalk?” he adds.

Technology in the classroom extends beyond hardware and Smart Technologies of Calgary, Alberta—the worldwide leader in the interactive whiteboard technology—continues to expand the software and curriculum offering. The goal in education is to combine technology, software and curriculum to maximize the student retention and heighten the teaching experience.

“We have invested in education consultants, managers of education services, trainers and dedicated sales reps to the education market. We will meet, educate and work at all levels of a school district to facilitate the implementation of a well structured planned for the next several years with respect to all things technology,” says Teolis, continuing, “We are excited about this segment of the market and continue to work hard to position ourselves as industry leaders.”

What the future holds for the audiovisual industry is only limited by our imaginations. Duocom is able to transmit information in a spectacular amount of ways. With an expansion into the west and a firm grip on the market out east, Duocom will be connecting Canadian for years to come.