Presentation Products is now a Microsoft Silver Small Business Partner

 July 01, 2014

Presentation Products, Inc. Achieves a Microsoft Silver Small Business Competency

Presentation Products, Inc. earns distinction through demonstrated technology success and customer commitment.

New York City, New York, USA — July, 01, 2014 — Presentation Products, Inc. today announced it has achieved a Silver Microsoft Small Business competency, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft Corp. customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment. To earn a Microsoft silver competency, partners must successfully demonstrate expertise through rigorous exams, culminating in Microsoft certifications. And to ensure the highest quality of services, Microsoft requires customer references for successful implementation and customer satisfaction.

Presentation Products come to Unified Communications Design & Integration with years of experience as an audiovisual systems integrator specializing in high end technology for the business environment Our recommendations for platforms to consider and technologies to include are always based on your specific goals and needs as the end user of the system. As a Microsoft Silver Business Partner, we are able to support Office 365 and Microsoft Lync Deployments. “This Microsoft Silver Small Business Partner competency showcases our expertise in today’s technology market and demonstrates our knowledge of Microsoft and its products,” said Orin Knopp, CEO “Our plan is to accelerate our customers’ success by serving as technology advisors for their business demands.”

“By achieving a silver competency, organizations have proven their expertise in specific technology areas, placing them among the top 5 percent of Microsoft partners worldwide,” said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “When customers look for an IT partner to meet their business challenges, choosing a company that has attained Microsoft competencies is a smart move. These are highly qualified professionals with access to Microsoft technical support and product teams.”

Earning the Microsoft Small Business competency demonstrates partner expertise and commitment to deliver solutions tailored to Small Business customer requirements. Given the focus on adoption of Cloud computing by over 50% of SMBs in the near future to drive their business operations, partners that invest in this competency are ready to address the rising customer demand for Microsoft solutions based on Office 365, Windows 8, and Lync.

The Microsoft Partner Network helps partners strengthen their capabilities to showcase leadership in the marketplace on the latest technology, to better serve customers and to easily connect with one of the most active, diverse networks in the world.

As a full service design build firm, Presentation Products has been the leading provider of turn-key audiovisual solutions in the tri-state area for over 20 years. Headquartered in New York City, the staff of more than 40 professionals provide audio visual integration services ranging from design and engineering, project management and installation to training and support.

 

For more information, press only:

Brandon Knopp, Presentation Products, marketing@presentationproducts.com

 

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The AV Industry: From Humble Beginnings to Las Vegas 2014

Better Technology, Better Solutions

The AV design and integration industry provides unique, simple technology based solutions for businesses that seek to advance their performance and services through increased communication and better collaboration. The AV industry has evolved rapidly and continues to propel itself into the future.  According to the most recent report released by InfoComm International, the main contributor to AV Standards, the audiovisual industry churns out an impressive $78 billion globally and is forecasted to expand to $115 billion by 2015.

Audiovisual firms can tackle one or a combination of four main categories of AV work which are the hardware (physical level), software (programming level), environment (business level), and content (data level). These components serve to meet different needs, but collectively function to meet one goal, the advancement of all forms of communications throughout an administration. The industry can be broken down into this classification system based more exclusively on services offered, as opposed to the actual merchandise provided. These distinctive services have separated IT specialists from AV professionals, whom have the necessary skills and training to provide optimal AV performance.

 

New Demands, New Frontiers

The AV industry can be categorized within a few major markets that include, but are not limited to: Corporate, Colleges or Universities, K-12 Education and Government or Military (click to see typical solutions).  Recently the AV industry has made strides to begin and further its involvement in: Retail, Sporting Establishments, Museum Showcases, Meeting Rooms, Convention Sites, Healthcare Organizations, and Places of Worship. As the world becomes more technologically advanced and interconnected, this technology will continue to gain entry into more markets and advance its presence in the industries listed above.

Audiovisual Technology emerged out of a demand for products like overhead projectors, screens, and simple audio equipment. As we fast-forward from these nascent stages, our audiovisual needs have drastically changed. Nowadays successful businesses are likely to have advanced forms of rapid communication not only to allow the business process to move swiftly, but also to display high forms of functionality. Audiovisual design and integration firms have met the challenges put forth by their customers and continue to push boundaries by now finding new applications and creative solutions for its clientele.

 

What to Expect: InfoComm 2014

Las Vegas will be home to InfoComm 2014 from June 18-20. The convention will be featuring a plethora of new, cutting edge technology from some of the AV world’s top contributors and innovators. Sponsors and partners include all the major names, including Crestron, Microsoft, SMART, Samsung, and Panasonic. This conference will be the top AV event of the year with over 950 exhibitors and 35,000 participants who collectively represent 110 countries. With a clear international presence, InfoComm will be featuring a Latin American Breakfast and an international reception, business center, and buyer program. Beyond these international showcases, there will be more than enough activities and showcases to look forward to.

Specifically, the seminars will feature show pavilions with the most desirable audio, digital signage, conferencing, and lighting and staging solutions. Audio demo rooms have been designated as testing spaces for attendees to experience some of the industries recently developed audio products. InfoComm University will be providing hands on tutorials focused on advancing AV professional’s abilities in the industry. Participants will also have the opportunity to get a first hand look at an audiovisual installation while on a tech tour. Some past highlights that will be making a return to InfoComm this year include: the rigging safety presentation, Technologies for Worship magazine’s live events stage, a production camera display, and many others. For the first time the convention will turn its attention towards a “tech-know job fair”, which will also prove beneficial both for job hunters and employers.

 

Product Spotlight

SMART kapp™ by SMART Technologies is the next evolution dry erase board that allows you to capture, save, and share all of your content. Building off its predecessors, SMART kapp™ takes the simple writing style of the marker and dry erase board, but allows users to “work and share with others in real time- all using your smartphone or tablet”. This digital capture board is taking us one step further in maximizing our connectivity with the ability to share data seamlessly in real-time and it will hit the market at InfoComm 2014. For advanced information on SMART kapp™ Sign up to receive information on the day of release.

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SMART Technologies Introduces SMART Kapp

  • New SMART kapp product instantly transfers written content onto any device as if by magic
  • Content shared from SMART kapp via your device easily and intuitively to anywhere in the world
  • SMART kapp to launch at InfoComm in Las Vegas June 18-20

To be kept informed on when SMART Kapp is available for purchase, Click the button below and fill out the contact form!

Beginning in June, Presentation Products Inc. will become one of a select group of qualified SMART resellers able to sell the SMART kapp product nation-wide. Officially announcing the product on May 12th, 2014, SMART Technologies said,

“SMART kapp allows you to write, draw and capture ideas using dry erase SMART ink markers – just like the old-fashioned dry-erase board—while enabling you to instantly save your work images, convert them to PDFs, and send to anyone, anywhere, instantly. SMART kapp eliminates the ineffective practice of photographing whiteboards and flipcharts or furiously typing notes during meetings to save and share valuable information and insights.”

SMART technologies, the leading innovator in interactive technologies, has positioned this latest product as the first revolution of the “dry erase board” since 1956. With the ability to capture and quickly share notes digitally, the SMART kapp digital capture board represents a further step towards more seamless collaboration in the 21st century.

READ THE MEDIA RELEASE

Three Creative Agencies that Invest in Technology

At the core of media and advertising is the need to present and execute creative concepts for your clients and their brands. Whether this is for traditional print, broadcast media, or digital platforms, firms need the communication and collaboration tools that match their capabilities and visions. Client-facing conference rooms need to impress with their ease of use and superior audio and visual performance. Internal meeting rooms need to make communicating and collaborating simple and efficient. “First impression” spaces like a corporate lobby often benefit from a digital flourish that is in lock-step with a corporate image. Here are three examples of solutions PPI has designed and implemented with recent clients.

The Creative Agency

The creative digital agency came to PPI with a concept for a “social media command center” where they could collaborate with clients on real-time marketing efforts for live events from the Oscars to the Olympics. The system was built in an unfinished, industrial loft space, and the design is an impressive array of flat panel displays with a clean, industrial aesthetic. A customized video and control solution powers the system, allowing users to easily tailor it for different events. The client now has a space where they can work side-by-side with clients, and demonstrate how the agency manages real-time, minute-by-minute advertising campaigns.

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The Global Media Firm

PPI worked closely with the management team to develop standard designs for conference rooms that would make meetings, presentations, and video conference calls simple and easy. Once established, PPI deployed these rooms throughout the building. Then we built more in satellite offices throughout the city. Then we deployed them in other offices in the US and overseas. When employees book a conference room, whether in Times Square or Soho, they can expect the same touchpanel, the same features, and the same operation everytime, everywhere. PPI has also designed and built artful high-tech ambiances in their lobbies and public spaces to welcome both employees and visitors alike into a space.

Viacom Standard-Small-Conference-Room

The Grown-Up Start-Up

You started with a handful of talented, dedicated people. Now you have hundreds of employees, multiple offices, multiple conference rooms, and vastly different needs and priorities. Your technology solutions need to grow with your revenue, while still reflecting the unique style and culture that contributed to your success. A common need of rapidly growing tech firms is a meeting space for frequent “town hall” or “all hands” meetings, where remote participants can participate and the event can be streamed to satellite offices. PPI has designed custom systems for the unique requirements, and budgets, of growing media and tech firms to help communicate their vision and direction to employees and investors.

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PPI provides media and advertising agencies with tools that allow them to be more collaborative, creative, and innovative. Our goal-driven solutions maximize the potential of any space, from client facing pitch rooms, to collaboration labs, digital media command centers or town hall event spaces. We spend a lot of time listening; we learn and understand your culture, creative vision, and technology goals. Then our team of consultants and engineers create and deliver solutions that give your company the edge it needs to constantly inspire innovation. Contact Us to Begin the Conversation.

Considerations for Successfully Deploying The Lync Room System

My last post focused on what the Lync Room System is, and is not. Now that we have a basic understanding of what its intended use is, we can discuss a successful end to end implementation of this technology for an interested organization.

Over the last few months, we have had many technology officers come to us wanting to understand more about how a Lync Room System would fit into their overall Unified Communications strategy. From organizations with remote workers looking to more easily connect outside of the office, to global corporations and institutions with multiple campuses who are in need of a more seamless distance collaboration experience, all of these interested groups are looking for ways to build meeting spaces and communication infrastructure that keeps better pace with the demands and opportunities of the 21st century workplace. As an audiovisual technology integrator, this is where we come in to help clients successfully deploy and adopt a new technology.

In the case of the Lync Room System, a good first step for many of our clients has been to launch a Pilot or Proof of Concept test in order to evaluate the solution and determine its worth to the organization. This approach is only going to be worthwhile however, if all aspects of the integration are taken into account. Successfully deploying the Lync Room System requires an understanding of both the unit as a standalone technology as well as its ability to join the network and connect users without ugly delays and difficulties. The experience needs to be optimized not only for the participants in the meeting room, but also for remote attendees joining in virtually. Whether you are implementing a recently purchased product or are carrying out a Proof of Concept test, here are some Pre and Post Installation tips to consider when deploying a Lync Room System.

Lync-room

Pre-Installation Considerations

The Network
Just as with any other new technology deployment, a network readiness assessment should be carried out before making any moves to install new components.  Lync 2013 and the Lync Room System offers a tremendous meeting room experience delivering HD video, conference room audio and real time voice and data collaboration, but it is imperative that the solution’s demands on your network infrastructure are taken into account.  Lack of network resources can result in poor performance and will detract from the overall user experience.  There are several ways to ensure your network is ready for a new Room System.  Microsoft has tools and bandwidth calculators that can be used by experienced and qualified in-house staff to measure capacities, or experienced UC Deployment Partners can be engaged to ensure the environment is ready upfront.

The Space
Another Pre-Installation consideration is space. When picking the location for the hardware, you have to be aware of how the setting will affect the meeting experience. Factors such as room location within the building or campus, lighting or lack thereof, and potential background noise need to be taken note of and considered deeply. Even when deploying a Pilot System, choosing the wrong room will result in poor test results and therefore a wasted opportunity. We’ve seen firsthand Pilots being deployed in unused conference rooms which were chosen for the test without considering the reasons these rooms are underutilized in the first place! Without an appropriate setting, Proof of Concept tests with these systems will be useless. An upfront room survey and walk-through can help identify potential impacts to the quality of the experience and steps that can be taken to create a more optimal meeting room environment.

Post-Installation Considerations

Training
After a system is installed, many organizations are faced with the “now what” moment.  While the room system provides a familiar and intuitive Lync Interface to users, it is still a new technology that will not invite adoption without some training. You want employees in your organization to feel encouraged and inspired by a new technology in the office, rather than intimidated and perplexed.  For both existing and new Lync users, the learning curve on these systems is small, but like any new technology there can be fear in learning and using something different. It’s important to plan for a series of interactive, instructor led training on system usage and best practices for managers and key employees who will be using the Lync Room System.  One of the key benefits of the system is that it replaces the legacies of difficult and hard to use meeting room technologies.  But don’t let this blind you to the benefits of a well-planned and interactive training program. For those in the technology field, it’s easy to assume that everyone will get the ease and simplicity of the system out-of-the-box; more times than not though, this isn’t the case.  It is important to work with employees after the fact so that the average information worker has the confidence to use the system.

Utilizing System Metrics
After the initial adoption training, it is important to implement longer term performance monitoring.  Both SMART and CRESTRON supplied room systems have the ability to provide usage metrics for their Lync Room Systems. Implementing and utilizing these tools provide another way to measure your technology investment. By providing and monitoring this data, organizations can design processes to keep the knowledge base of its users up to date and identify particular rooms or systems that may be underperforming or underutilized, thereby maximizing the overall return on investment in Lync.

All of these factors should be considered both when deciding on a solution and when choosing the right technology integrator for the job. As a design and integration firm with years of experience in system integration for the business environment, Presentation Products offers full service support from consulting to system programming, commissioning, training and maintenance. When you are ready, contact us to learn more about Piloting a system and setting up an initial room survey.

 

SMART Ink Editing Feature

One of the most exciting new features of Notebook 14 is the Ink Editing feature using the Text Pen! Now you can edit, move, delete, modify or insert text objects without reaching for a keyboard. Educators can enhance instruction with automatic handwriting recognition and conversion by using the innovative Text Pen with intuitive text editing capabilities.
Check out the video below:

 

Get More Information about our Custom Trainings for SMART Educators.

The Lync Room System, what it is and is not

The Lync Room System

 

“If only someone would build Lync for a conference room”

The release of Lync 2013 was a landmark moment for Microsoft’s Unified Communications product line. Following the trend of major innovations in UC strategy and technology in the last few years, the 2013 launching has transformed the life of the office worker yet again. With more investment in video and voice collaboration, the new technology allows colleagues to meet virtually from anywhere, with any device. One of the newest related products to utilize the advanced features of Lync 2013 is the Lync Room System, which extends the functionality of Lync into the conference room environment. This new solution brings together the best in Unified Communications and video and data collaboration hardware and software to transform the meeting room into a distance collaboration haven. There is still some confusion however, about where these systems fit within an organization. Read the full article for a comprehensive look at what lync is and what it is not.

 

Lync Seminar for CUNY CIOs Hosted by Presentation Products

Are you looking for ways to make an impact on student services and faculty satisfaction in 2014? This session will enlighten you on how Microsoft and SMART are improving recruiting, distance learning, and student/teacher collaboration.  Some of the largest Microsoft Lync deployments in the United States are in higher education institutions. Lync has been transforming communication and building media-rich collaboration environments for organizations of every kind. Learn more about using Skype and Lync as recruiting tools, updating distance learning services, flipping the classroom, and improving communication on, off and between campuses. Lync deployments in higher education come with quick, out-of-the-box benefits that will help cut costs and improve communication.

Intended For:

If you are interested in connecting students and professors with voice, video and data, supporting academic collaboration beyond the classroom, and creating real-time digital learning environments with the power of Microsoft Lync, please join us on April 22nd for the Lync Seminar for CUNY CIOs Hosted by Presentation Products. We are pleased to offer a half day summit about collaborative technologies and how they can impact and benefit the CUNY network.

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WHAT:      Lync Seminar for CUNY CIOs

WHEN:      April 22nd  9:00am-1:00pm                                            

WHERE:    SMART Showroom
200 Lexington Avenue, 11th floor
New York, NY 10019

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Topics of Discussion:

• SMART Technologies “technology roadmap” for education and enterprise clients
• Microsoft Lync and Unified Communications in the Higher Education Environment
• CUNY Collaboration Overview
• SMART Room System Introduction and Overview

                                                                 

Hosted By

Presentation Products, Inc. has been the leading provider of turn-key audiovisual solutions in the tri-state area for over 20 years. Headquartered in New York City, our staff of more than 40 professionals provide audio visual integration services ranging from design and engineering, project management and installation to training and support.

Enabling Technologies Corp. focuses on Microsoft’s latest communications and collaboration solutions, bringing 20 years of expertise to Universities of all sizes.  We help customers effectively plan, design, implement and operate Office 365, Lync & Exchange.  Our systems integration expertise and processes ensure customers manage the change involved with UC and cloud technologies.  We have ~900 successful projects involving MSFT UC, 200 of them in edu institutions.

** Please be sure to take the Online Collaboration Assessment before attending the event

Get SMART Notebook™ Advantage with your STVP funds!

What are STVP funds?

The New York State School Technology Voucher Program (NYS-STVP) resulted from the Settlement Agreement between New York State consumers and Microsoft Corporation. Funds awarded in the settlement  are offered to eligible public school districts (on behalf of their eligible public schools), in the form of vouchers. These vouchers can be used by eligible schools in their efforts to improve their readiness for computer-based testing (CBT) and to create a technology-rich learning school environment. In order to receive vouchers, schools must complete the Technology Inventory for Online Assessments (TIOA). All eligible schools must apply by November 1, 2014.

Download this NYC Doe Document  on the agenda to learn more about the TIOA and Voucher Program

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SMART Products and Training are all covered by STVP Funds!

 

What is  SMART Notebook™ Advantage?

Starting April 1st, SMART will introduce SMART Notebook™ Advantage, an optional annual maintenance subscription that offers access to even more educational functionality, and includes live technical support and software updates throughout the year.  With each new purchase of SMART hardware bundled with SMART Notebook collaborative learning software customers will be entitled to one year of SMART Notebook Advantage.

However, if schools are only interested in the software,  SMART Notebook™ Advantage will have to be purchased separately. Luckily, those schools looking for for eligible software will be able to use thier STVP funds to purchase the software. STVP can be used for any SMART Technologies purchase, including  new Interactive Whiteboards, Response systems, or podiums.

And what if you need training for all that new software or hardware? No problem, Professional Development can be purchased with the STVP funds as well!

So looks like you are covered! time to go online and make your selection!

smart reseller

We are here to answer your questions! Just fill out a training form, or contact us at 212.584.4760

 

 

SMART Amp Spotlight Sessions

SMART amp™ collaborative learning software

Created with the input of teachers from around the world, SMART amp is designed for the pedagogical needs of today’s classrooms. It connects a variety of different devices to a collaborative workspace where students can work together and teachers can upload lesson material and conduct real-time assessments.

In response to the high level of interest in SMART amp, SMART Education Leaders will host a special series of SMART amp Spotlight sessions from February 18 – March 27, 2014.

Tuesdays at 10 AM & Thursdays at 11 AM Eastern Standard Time

Tuesday, March 11 10 am EST, 8 am MST, 7 am PST
Thursday, March 13 11 am EST, 9 am MST, 8 am PST
Tuesday, March 18 10 am EST, 8 am MST, 7 am PST
Thursday, March 20 11 am EST, 9 am MST, 8 am PST
Tuesday, March 25 10 am EST, 8 am MST, 7 am PST
Thursday, March 27 11 am EST, 9 am MST, 8 am PST

Contact our training department to find out more about SMART amp and other SMART Resources!