While our design capability can address AV systems design for both simple and complex installations, and for small and large customers, our forte at Futureworks is the complex design. And by this we mean complex designs, with a lot of moving parts, which involve multifunctional spaces with unique requirements. Our clients have already experienced the benefits of our specialists, and the associated design and consultancy work. Examples of places where these services have proved their worth are:
Often client requirements involve critical (often iconic) spaces where downtime is not an option. The design and consultancy services we can offer are proven over 25 years – they are founded on best practice and always start from the perspective of what is best for the end user’s AV experience.
We have a consistent and proven planning process that is central to any of our large AV systems installation projects. It begins with internal planning meetings that result in a draft Gantt chart that covers the project from end-to-end and itemises tasks, milestones and deadlines down to a detailed level. Once we have the client’s input and sign-off, the approved Gantt chart underpins all aspects of the overall installation. We are adept at identifying the critical path(s), harnessing all possible opportunities for parallel activities and capitalising on any unexpected free resource. This dynamic approach ensures deadlines are met or bettered. Our planning and project management approach typically divides an installation into four phases:
We manage multiple resources across these phases and our thorough planning, strong communication and client involvement means that there are no surprises. Timeline, deliverables and expectations are clear from the outset.
A methodology that consistently provides the best results for our clients is to:
With this model, designs are proven and tuned before implementation at the client’s site and any factory faults, or early hardware failures, are flushed out. It’s an approach already proven at large client sites, our facilities include warehousing and a workshop for AV systems build, bench, rack and workstation build, testing and fabrication. Uncertainties, issues and potential disruptions are tackled before we even arrive at the installation site.
When it comes to the onsite implementation of a large AV project our local staff is augmented by a veteran implementation team. This team undertakes the building, testing and installation of every large Futureworks project. Having a dedicated implementation team ensures:
We rely on our workmanship and our reputation to ensure the winning and sustaining of long-term relationships. In mission and time-critical situations it’s vital to have this quality ethic, and a high level of experience and industry insight, as there is much that can go wrong. We know the hardware brands and models that are not as compatible as might be expected. We understand the methodologies and techniques that can produce unexpected results if not used properly.
AV control systems are a Futureworks speciality. We have designed, programmed and implemented control systems for literally hundreds of AV environments spanning multi-purpose venues with configurable walls, surround sound 3D projection suites, large complex lecture theatres and corporate boardrooms across New Zealand.
NS Series control systems software is used in all Futureworks projects that have a control systems component.
However, we don’t simply accept de facto settings and code provided by hardware vendors. 15 years of developing our architecture and code base has taught us that the interface and driver software provided with equipment can be inefficient, resource hungry and slow in certain circumstances.
In many cases we have written our own driver and interface code – in order to optimise the performance of complex combinations of components and provide the best user experience. This library of code is widely recognised as the best available in the market today, both from an ease of use and a reliability standpoint. Many of our recent large projects involve driver and interface software developed by Futureworks and we encourage prospect representatives to contact and visit our reference sites to see this at work.
In summary, our programming services can (and currently do) provide our clients with:
When an implementation is complete a Futureworks commissioning specialist will come into the space to thoroughly test the room functionality prior to handover. This commissioning period is extensive and involves exhaustive tests – many of which try to ‘break’ the system and expose unanticipated weaknesses. This is a rigorous process that uses a checklist to test reliability under all conditions. The checklist, and associated documentation, is handed to the client at the completion of commissioning.
Our systems will involve hardware we are experienced with and comfortable working on – both in design/installation and in ongoing operation. Plus, high standards represent products that are robust and reliable and are in use at many Futureworks sites currently. Our commissioning service and approach is entirely appropriate to the relevant environment.
Our handover process could also be called ‘acceptance testing.’ Each room or space is formally handed to the customer by a Futureworks representative. The full functionality of all AV components is demonstrated to the customer who, barring any issues, formally accepts the installation.
After the pre-build and commissioning processes, problems at handover are rare. Should an issue emerge at handover, or the customer simply require a configuration change after seeing the system live for the first time, a remedial support ticket is issued. All issues will be rectified by Futureworks immediately and the handover process and started again until the rooms are accepted into service.
The quality installation and commissioning story is incomplete without mentioning our training services. Nominated client representatives attend ‘train-the-trainer’ sessions at the completion of the handover process. Trainers visit each room type and go through hands on training of how each system variant operates. All participants will be conversant with each room type after this training is completed.
We are happy to provide direct user training for clients, if required. However, control systems are designed with usability in mind, so, in most cases, our train-the-trainer approach is more than sufficient. In fact, our systems are designed so they can be operated with no training by users with low levels of technical literacy.