Convergence also often addresses backend issue with legacy A/V equipment. In Fagerholm’s previous environment, “there were different types of switchers in place” that sent the signal to equipment such as projectors. “These switchers would get confused because they were different types of systems,” Fagerholm says. “Sometimes you wouldn’t get an image at all, sometimes you’d get an image for a certain period of time and then it would disappear and sometimes it would be an incorrect aspect ratio.” Converging the various A/V systems in use in the hotel addresses those disparities, allowing everything to be integrated for better results. “Every time you hit that button, it’s going to stream the proper content to your screen,” Fagerholm says.
Where separate systems are often insular, converged environments rely on shared communication pathways and switching equipment. Koehler says one benefit of a converged environment is “that you’re using centralized controls and monitoring.” Ports are managed across the entire network instead of within individual systems, giving administrators greater control and typically taking less time for each action. One thing to remember is that convergence more effectively enables users to leverage robust audio and visual capabilities, but to get the best use out of such a powerful system, a highly usable interface is a must. “The more complex the systems are that you have, the more you need to have software and control systems to help you make it simple for the users,” Koehler says.