Paul Milligan speaks to Kaushik Mukhopadhyay, the MD and CEO of systems integrator Integrated Audio Visual (India) about his company’s award-winning approach to AV standards.
Operating across APAC, Integrated Audio Visual (India) has worked in a diverse cross-section of sectors, from government to hotels, from houses of worship to museums. The company came to international prominence in February this year when it was the first recipient of the InfoComm Standards Awards at the 2017 InAVation Awards in Amsterdam. IAV, an ISO 9001 certified company, won the award for an installation for a large global healthcare company, it was one of the largest systems integration projects ever seen in India.
Winning the award was the culmination of years of investment in meticulously embedding the right procedures says Kaushik Mukhopadhyay, MD and CEO of IAV. “In the last 4-5 years our company has been trying to bring in a lot of discipline, standards and quality in the work we do. All the standards we use help make a project more manageable, more disciplined. For us to be different to any other integrator we have to add value in what we do. Where we add value is in the processes we adapt, the standards we maintain (and better) every day. Using standards has played a vital role in cutting the entire timeline of a project. We know what we are doing, there is a set process. So the entire experience becomes better.”
The company adopted four InfoComm standards in the award-winning project, including the Audio Coverage Uniformity in Enclosed Listener Areas (A102.01) and InfoComm Cable Labelling for Audiovisual Systems (F501.07). IAV also applied the Rack Building for Audiovisual systems (F502.01) and the Audio, Video and Control Architecture Drawing Symbols Standard (J-STD-710).
So how does Mukhopadhyay go about integrating these standards into IAV’s business? “When new employees join they go through an entire process of how we do things differently from their previous experiences. However, there are a lot of challenges in doing that, site conditions change, customers behave differently, timelines change. Irrespective of whether is one room or a whole campus we apply the same standards and disciplines to all our projects.”
Does Mukhopadhyay believe implementing InfoComm standards impact on the user experience and the outcome of projects they are applied to? “It shows how professionally our work is done I.e. we have followed cabling standards to complete the rack. There is a lot of ignorance out there, the customer probably doesn’t know about InfoComm standards. If you show the customer this is what we do, you are showing the customer you are aspiring to do something to a defined standard, and you also achieved it. The fact we have won an InfoComm standards award definitely shows we have applied those standards, and that the install have been completed in the best way.”
To make sure standards are followed to the letter at IAV, it has created a completely separate audit team, whose job is to independently audit the customer site several times during the course of an install, this determines whether it is applying the standards properly. “We do this during the entire tenure of the project, and there are surprise visits by the audit team, whose job it is to find faults. If they find faults we review what has happened and correct it to make sure it doesn’t happen again, it’s a learning and improvement process,” adds Mukhopadhyay. Adhering to standards has a dual benefit he says, “It improves the discipline of the internal team, and it commands a certain amount of respect from the customer that you did things in the right way, and that we are different from others. It exhibits a level of professionalism in the things we do.”