A SAFE RETURN TO THE WORKPLACE
As COVID restrictions start to ease, businesses are faced with the challenge of providing their employees a safe return to the office. From a hybrid workplace model to monitoring building occupancy, flexibility and support may very well be the key to a successful return to the workplace.
Today, we are going to talk about Hybrid Workplaces.
A hybrid workplace, or hybrid office, is a flexible workplace model that is designed to support a distributed workforce of both in-office and remote workers.
Hybridity, in its most basic sense refers to mixture. A hybrid office provides business the benefits of remote working. Increased flexibility, reduced carbon footprint, labor-cost optimization, and increased employee satisfaction along with the strengths of a traditional workspace.
The definition of a hybrid workplace model is intentionally vague. As hybrid workplaces are not a new concept, the percentages differ greatly from pre-pandemic. For example, before the pandemic, it was common to see the remote/in-office split at 20/80. The pandemic seemed to flip those numbers around to 80/20.
Amongst the hybrid schedule discussions are a 3-2-2 schedule which allows workers 3 days at home, 2 office days and 2 days off. Depending their needs this can also be 3 office days, 2 days at home and 2 days off. Clearly, striking the correct balance between collaboration, company culture and the convenience of working from home is important.
While the hybrid workplace model will look different from business to business, the core focus is flexibility and support for all workers.
CREATING YOUR HYBRID WORKPLACE
A hybrid workplace will make us rethink our office space design, especially, the areas where collaboration takes place. For instance, you will have to consider, not only your office worker, but those working remotely. This might include a variety of meeting spaces to accommodate various numbers of participants and tasks required during these meetings.
What does all this mean? Undoubtedly, organizations will have to become collaboration focused. In addition to the traditional, well equipped, conference room there will also be an increased need for smaller meeting spaces or “huddle rooms” with the same ability to connect with remote workers.
INCREASED VIDEO CONFERENCING
Increasing numbers of remote workers will demand more video conferencing spaces. Subsequently, this creates the need for well-equipped spaces to enable seamless connection and the ability to support all video conferencing platforms.
Prior to 2020 only 2% of the 27 million huddle rooms worldwide were equipped to support video conferencing. Likely, this will dramatically rise with the increase of hybrid workplaces. Traditional meetings will now be a complex mix of team members who are split across meeting room, remote and even some joining from their on-site offices.
COMMUNICATION THROUGH DIGITAL SIGNAGE
Digital signage can help businesses share critical company communications throughout their offices. For example, they can display safety guidelines, company safety policies, or announce upcoming events and company news.
Customizable screens can be reminders to employees of maximum occupancy and to practice social distancing.
Welcome screens outside of meeting rooms can include room schedule information. Thus, they can easily communicate upcoming occupancy, cleaning schedules and aid in confirming room availability.
COLLABORATION IS CHANGING
Pre-pandemic, collaboration was primarily done in-office. Organizations and workers alike, recognize the benefits of in-person interaction. Previously, groups of people could gather to brainstorm and have ideas flow naturally as momentum grows and snowballs into innovation.
During the pandemic, teams had to make the shift to working remotely and to create the same momentum at a virtual level. These same teams will be tasked with once again shifting to accommodate hybrid collaboration.
YOUR HYBRID WORKPLACE PARTNER
Switching to a hybrid workplace need not be an overwhelming task. The netRelevance team is prepared to assist in making sure that your network is primed for creating your hybrid workplace. Contact your netRelevance professional to schedule a consultation and site survey, today!
Does your network closet need a Spring Cleaning?
Spring is a time for renewal, growth and expansion. We see evidence of it all around us. For example, the blooming flowers and the return of leaves to our barren trees, remind us that this is the opportunity to start anew. In most of us, this encourages us to do a little Spring cleaning.
Just as you routinely clean/organize your home or office, your network closet should regularly be cleaned and organized. Your network closet is subject to having many different people in and out, adding equipment and cables or it might be a victim of years of neglect. Therefore, without a regular spring cleaning, your network closet is very likely costing you money.
Some of your existing equipment may no longer be in use or so old that it is in need of replacement. It can be difficult to identify inactive equipment if your closet is a cluttered mess. Keep an eye on UPS capacity and battery health. Batteries are the number one cause of UPS failure. Additionally, run routine self-tests on batteries and look for signs of damage. As a rule, batteries should be replaced after four years of use.
Save valuable technician time
Technicians often spend excessive time trying to work around a jumble of cabling and equipment. By organizing your closet, you’ll reduce unnecessary costs of paying technicians for extra hours just trying to understand your standards to ensure using better installation practices. For example, troubleshooting technical problems will be easier in an organized environment.
An organized environment encourages others to be neat. Likewise, vendors and technicians will follow your example and deliver their best work when working within your organizational standards.
Equipment can benefit from an organized closet and this can extend the life of your equipment. In addition, dust, dirt and chemical residue wreak havoc on data storage hardware.
Heat is one of the biggest threats to servers and network equipment. First and foremost, proper ventilation is critical in ensuring that your network equipment is up and running efficiently. In addition, messy cabling can reduce ventilation allowing systems to overheat. Clusters of cabling can obstruct cool, dry air from reaching your equipment. Caked-on grime can impede the effectiveness of UPS fans and can cause damage to electronic boards.
Carpeting in your network cabinet causes static electricity, therefore, should be removed and replaced with a static-dissipative VCT vinyl tile to dissipate static.
A network clean-up is the perfect time to look to the future. For example, determine what your organization will need from your network during the next five years. Is your business on a growing trend? Are there plans for expansion and opening new facilities? Equally important, how much more bandwidth and storage will be necessary to accommodate an increase in traffic? What are the security and compliance requirements for current and future regulations?
Your netRelevance professional is ready to provide additional information or assist in scheduling your Network Closet Clean-Up.
On this Thanksgiving 2020, we want to share our genuine appreciation to our Customers and Partners.
So, we at netRelevance wish you and yours the blessings of Thanksgiving.
May you stay happy, healthy and safe this holiday and every day.
What is an IP Surveillance System?
VIDEO SURVEILLANCE PROVIDES PROTECTION AND PEACE OF MIND.
A reliable video surveillance system is important for any business. Protecting your assets helps protect your profits. Video surveillance goes by many names, including but not limited to, CCTV, security cameras, network video, video management systems and IP surveillance system.
Video surveillance goes beyond fixed security cameras. New technology allows your system to perform as miniature computers. Some of the new features include motion sensors, mobile notifications and automatically contacting law enforcement. Managing and storing recordings have become more efficient, allowing business owners easy access to past videos.
Small business owners can now procure powerful video management systems at an affordable price. On average, business systems costs start at $1500. Prices vary depending on the type of system, number of cameras based on building size and other custom features.
Once you’ve made the decision to buy and implement a new video surveillance system for your business, most vendors can accommodate tailoring your system to fit your business needs. For example, if you need to cover multiple buildings or just a couple of cameras, there’s solution fit for you
THE BENEFITS OF NETWORK VIDEO
- The two typical camera types that can be wired into a network video system are internet protocol (IP) and traditional analog cameras. IP cameras tend to be more expensive than analog cameras, but they have many features that analog does not.
Here is a comparison of features of the two camera types.
- IP cameras traditionally shoot footage of 1MP- 5MP (megapixels). This offers clearer image quality when compared to the grainy footage from an analog camera, which offer one-half of a megapixel. IP cameras also offer a larger field of vision than that of an analog camera.
Network Video Recorders:
- IP cameras are compatible with network video recorders (NVRs). Analog cameras use the older digital video recorders (DVRs). NVRs provide higher quality and allow for ease in system scale up than DVRs.
- The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video. The lower the frame rate, the choppier the footage. “Real time” is usually 30 frames per second (fps).
- Built-in Infrared (IR) gives you clear images in low light or darkness.
What is access control?
Access Control Basics
Access control systems are a type of physical security which allow you to restrict or allow access to a building or a specific area within a building. Usually, they are installed to protect businesses and property from vandalism, theft, and trespassing. For example, they are especially useful in facilities that require higher security and protection. Therefore, physical barriers, like retaining walls, fences, etc. can be effective, but access control allow you to control how and when a person can gain entry.
The main components of an access control system include
Readers and/or keypads:
- At the access point, readers send the credential data to a control panel to authenticate the credential and request access. If using a keypad or biometric reader (such a fingerprint scan, facial ID, or retina scan), users will enter their PIN or complete a scan prior to obtaining access.
- The control panel receives data from the reader and verifies the validity of the credential. If approved, the control panel transmits to the access point via the access control server, and the door will unlock. If the data is not approved, the user will be denied entry.
Access control server:
- The server retains user data, access privileges, and audit logs. The server might be on-premises or managed in the cloud. The threat from hacking and security breaches requires that system maintenance and software updates be performed regularly.
What to look for in access control systems
Advancements in security technology, now affords many enhanced features and options in access control systems. Budgetary concerns should be factored in when choosing the type of credentials you’d like to use. Keycards are the most budget friendly choice, up front. However, the back end costs of keycards might end up costing you more over time. Keycards are frequently lost and require replacing which also poses a security threat, if the keycard ends up in the wrong hands. To increase the level of protection, you can purchase encrypted keycards or use two-factor authentication.
You should always add the consideration of maintenance and system management when planning an access control system. Many legacy systems use readers and on-site servers which require in-person management and maintenance. Older readers and slower system updates are prone to tampering. The need to access or update your system remotely, has become increasingly important. If this is the case for your business, a cloud-based platform should be considered.
With cloud-based access control, your access control hardware (readers, hubs and control boards) communicates with software via the cloud for a more flexible, scalable security solution.
- Remotely control your hardware including unlocks and lockdowns.
- Instantly creating and revoking credentials for users.
- Real-time notifications for access events and potential threats.
- Maintenance and troubleshooting without needing to be on-premises.
- Automatic system updates from the cloud. Keeping your security measures up-to date.
- Real-time audit trails for all access activity, which can be accessed from any authorized device.
- Integrate your access control system with other building security software, for example, video surveillance, communication tools, and space management solutions.
All Connect PVMs feature a built-in HD camera that can be displayed in real-time, creating a sense of safety & security. This visual deterrent can be shown full screen, embedded in an ad, or hidden from the public. Specific events, such as motion or face detection, can trigger customizable responses for enhanced security awareness.
Built-in Axis1080P HD IP Camera.
Camera is always on, regardless of the content shown on the screen.
- Face Detection.
- Person Detection.
- Motion Detection.
DOES MY BUSINESS NEED NETWORK AUDIO?
WHAT IS NETWORK AUDIO?
Network audio (aka Audio over IP, or AoIP) simply defined is transmitting digital audio over a network. It is a combination of software, hardware and network protocols. Delivering uncompressed, multi-channel and low-latency digital audio over a standard Ethernet network.
It answers the need for different kinds of informative messages and updates. Used in places like schools, retail stores, hotels and other public buildings. For example, you can make live announcements calling someone to a specific area, make scheduled announcements or issue live announcements during an emergency. A network audio system is the perfect addition to a video based security installation. Perimeter protection is a great example of this.
WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED A NETWORK AUDIO SYSTEM?
Whether you are looking to take your security safeguards to the next level or create ambiance in your office. An Axis Communications Network Audio System could be what you’re looking for.
Axis Network Audio Systems bring many benefits including:
With event-triggered announcements and direct callouts.
Imagine if a potential intruder climbs a fence. The camera alerts a security guard to give a warning to the intruder using the audio system. “We can see you, you’re trespassing!”. Therefore, this type of warning is often sufficient, preventing the need for additional security measures.
Make live or scheduled announcements
Different zones, at the right time and right place.
Flexible scheduling of great-sounding background music delivered via Axis speakers. Set at the right volume and at the time and place of your choice. In addition, you can also use our audio systems to deliver live or pre-recorded voice announcements whenever appropriate.
All in One
Get a single, cost-effective integrated system for background music and announcements with everything you need built right in.
Both easy and cost-effective to update and add units to your solution as your needs change, regardless of whether you want to increase the size, add sites or simply take advantage of new features.
Take control of the entire system, including network speakers, audio bridges and microphones, from a single point via a single, intuitive interface.
Easy to Install
You need only a single standard network cable for connectivity, power and communication and connecting to your existing infrastructure. Therefore, there is no need for tuning.
Easy to Integrate
Use integrated audio player and built-in or plug-in apps for music streaming, event driven or scheduled announcements, audio detection, health monitoring, and so on.
The Axis audio portfolio includes a selection of IP based speakers that can use existing IT infrastructure and can be powered by power over ethernet (POE). Axis can also supply IP to analogue convertors enabling existing passive solutions to be migrated and connected to an IP world.
Contact anetRelevance professional for assistance in design, pricing and installation of your Network Audio System.
Keep Private Meetings Private
Introducing the Qt Conference Room Edition, a speech protection system designed for conference and board rooms.
The Qt Conference Room Edition is a cost-effective solution designed to Keep Private Meetings Private.
Next Generation Sound Masking?
Patented direct-field sound masking technology adds a low-level background sound outside of the conference room. The background sound is optimized to mask human speech which makes it less intelligible to unwanted listeners.
Why do I need it?
In today’s modern office the lack of speech privacy is a real concern. Acoustics and sound privacy are often overlooked during construction. The Qt Conference Room Edition allows businesses to achieve proper speech privacy – without sacrificing conference room design.
- Meeting occupants can easily turn the system on and off with the push of a button
- Control module and privacy signs provide clear indication that the system is activated
- Premium, minimalist design style seamlessly fits in with other conference room AV equipment
- Easy to integrate with in-room Crestron/AMX control systems
- Smooth sound masking ramp up and ramp down to limit disruptions
- Can be turned on and off for meetings or left running at all times
- Energy efficient and consumes less than 7 watts of power
- Straightforward, low-impact installation
- Out-of-the-box support for conference rooms with up to 40 ft (12 m) of exposed wall
- Option to add additional emitters for larger areas
For design, purchase and installation contact a netRelevance professional to help you Keep Private Meetings Private.
“In today’s modern office the lack of speech privacy is a real concern. Acoustics and sound privacy are often overlooked during construction. The Qt Conference Room Edition allows businesses to achieve proper speech privacy – without sacrificing conference room design.”