New CorporateTD article: The Benefits of Hiring a Certified Technology Specialist (CTS)

The Benefits of Hiring a Certified Technology Specialist (CTS)

By Christopher Neto, CTS

I’ve spent 10 years of my career working in the A/V field. During that time I have seen AV departments come and go. Always in a state of flux best describes my experience. Between the ever changing service contracts, contract technicians and the group itself being moved around within the company it is safe to say that A/V departments are perpetually in motion. During my career I have worked for A/V groups that have been operating under public relations, building services, meeting services and IT.  Some of my colleagues are starting to see A/V groups now being moved into food, conference, and travel services.

For many corporations, universities and other organizations, the need for A/V technology prompted the need for support. Onsite A/V support groups have slowly evolved from Telecom, Facilities or Administrative services. Going back to the high school days of film and slide projectors being rolled around school hallways, AV has always been someone’s “other job.” The assistant who sat outside a conference room became the room scheduler and room technician. The telecom person who understood ISDN became the videoconferencing expert because he knew how to “tame” SPID numbers.  The facilities guy who mounted the projector and ran the pre-molded VGA cable down the wall became the “projection expert.” Support groups developed from those side jobs.  Many of those side jobs directly lead to the creation of dedicated A/V staff today. Whether we are internal employees or outside contractors the need for what we do is apparent.  Now the goal is to make today’s technologies easier to use for the end users. Qualified integrators, consultants and engineers spend hours simplifying A/V systems and the user interfaces. The goal is to make the customer facing part of the systems to be a user-friendly as possible.

Recently there has been a lot of internet buzz in amongst A/V Tech forums over the value of certification. Most of the discussions have been in large part been between A/V integrators and manufactures. Their perspective was limited to “why” or “why not” Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certification matters in their specific line of work.  I feel I can add another perspective to the ongoing argument.  As a CTS holder and as someone who spent a considerable part of my career with onsite A/V Support teams I personally see a value in the certification…

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  1. Chris, I had to chime in on this, I just couldn’t help
    I agree that education is the first part of a successful install, and
    can relate to your stories that speak to the nightmares that can happen when
    integrators improvise without the sufficient base to do so. I’ve see ceiling
    mounted conference mics right under ceiling speakers, residential 2 zone
    receivers used ILO mixer and amp combos, etc all with devastating results.
    would reiterate my sometimes not well received point that CTS stops short. Until
    the certification is related to on the job performance it just doesn’t do
    The new performance checklist is a good start, but a client report card
    is what the program needs. Take all the CE you want, but if you get an average
    of a “C” on installing projects, maybe you shouldn’t be able to use the CTS
    initials anymore. Greg Brown at UCLA (@AVGreg for the tweeps) just wrote a blog
    on how frustrating it is to use integrators in higher ed based on the sporadic
    results, which caused several other university AV centric folks to concur. He is
    CTS as well, so I know he believes the system has some merit, but the proof is
    definitely in the pudding.’
    Knowledge + Execution = Results One without the
    other just doesn’t work. Mark C @AVPhenom

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