AV/IT Managers Taking Over Some Programming
Joe Jackson SMU
Joe Jackson, Southern Methodist University’s AV/IT Teams Lead, Design and Installation Coordinator in the Office of Technology.
At AMX, AV/IT managers got to see how they could cut the programming time of “cookie cutter” installations by ten times.
By Cindy Davis

Recently AMX hosted a product preview at their Richardson, TX corporate office for several area higher education IT and AV technology decision makers, directors and managers. While there were many great products highlighted, one made a particular impact on the one systems integrator/programmer who was in attendance. It also made an impression on his boss.

Some background: I had spent the previous day with this same group of Texas-area, higher education AV/IT managers at an event hosted by Southern Methodist University (SMU). We heard about how they were implementing A/V and IT throughout their campuses.

In attendance were Joe Jackson (the boss) SMU’s AV/IT Teams Lead, Design and Installation Coordinator in the Office of Technology as well as Ed Aceves (the programmer), for some of the over 150 integrated “AMX rooms,” classrooms, sports facilities and multi-use rooms.

Fast forward: During the product presentation AMX product manager, Justin Kennedy put up a slide of five components: an AMX DVX-3150 controller, a videoconferencing system, a TV, a DVD player and a laptop. Kennedy asked Aceves how long he thought it would take him to program these for an average AMX-controlled, classroom. Aceves thought about it and decided it would take him about 20 hours. AMX had surveyed many programmers to find out how much time it would take them to do that specific programming and Aceves’s estimate was right on target.

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What Kennedy was about to present made Aceves and his boss’ eyes widen. AMX is releasing a configuration software product that will cut the programming time of “cookie cutter” installations by ten times. An installation that would have taken 20 hours will now only take approximately 20 minutes with the Rapid Project Maker (aptly named RPM).

With a slightly nervous laugh, Aceves expressed concern that his programming job was not

About the author

Cindy Davis has had a passion for A/V and technology since taking apart her first transistor radio. She found it fun to write macros in DOS while at Lotus, but really loves her countless Apple products. Between 2000 and 2008 Davis was the editor-in-chief of Electronic House magazine. In 2011 she helped bring life to TechDecisions Media as editor-in-chief, and is continuing to contribute to TechDecisions as editor-at-large.

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