The High Cost of Cheap Collaboration

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It’s an unsettling revelation for first-time combat soldiers, but as Murphy’s Laws of War reminds them: their weapons were made by the lowest bidder. However, there are times in which an ounce of cost prevention (cheaper goods) does not result in a pound of performance cure (optimal operation). In mission-critical situations, acquiring reliable, secure, streamlined collaboration and communication systems results in long-term value that’s difficult to accurately quantify.

Visual collaboration platforms support a variety of use cases, up to and including emergency, defense, and public safety environments. Naturally, all of these organizations want to keep expenses as low as possible. This is a reasonable, but short-sighted approach to long-term viability. Strong financial planning looks beyond the bottom line and incorporates a holistic cost-benefit analysis. What are the direct and indirect costs of a significant investment? What are the risks associated with short-term savings vs. long-term performance? How are daily functions affected by inferior technology and systems? How are customers or communities impacted by system delays or downtime? What are the benefits of decreasing training costs while increasing operator efficiency?

Effective collaboration is crucial for global, network, security, emergency, and other essential operations centers. Video wall systems aggregate real-time data, moment-to-moment, from numerous media sources. Creating a comprehensive global common operating picture (GCOP) allows leadership to make meaningful decisions with confidence. It is no understatement that the ripple effect of these decisions can result in best to absolute worst-case scenarios. High performing operations save time, money, and lives. Conversely, systems hobbled by mediocre performance, subpar components, or complicated interfaces impair collaboration. Key personnel are forced to make less informed decisions, resulting in substantial losses, many which cannot be fully measured.

When evaluating a video wall system design or upgrade, consider the costs and benefits which extend far beyond initial procurement. What organizational initiatives become ‘successful by association’ with a highly effective visual collaboration platform?

Communication and Decision Making

Keeping critical intelligence at their operational fingertips save organizations money in the long run. How? Maybe the better question is how many uninformed decisions can they afford? Bad decisions typically aren’t from the result of negligence; they stem from a lack of communication and situational awareness. It should be stated too, that financial losses aren’t the most important, particularly in tragic circumstances.

“For us, the two critical systems we need are the internet and Haivision. Because for us, the lifeblood of an emergency operations center is collaboration.” ~Robb Braidwood, Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management, City of Chesapeake

“This new system allows for a more streamlined display of content along with the ability to change content in seconds depending on what is needed in that exact moment for the incident at hand – which is crucial for Emergency Management and Public Safety situations that are always changing.” ~Elaney Katsafanas, Emergency Management Planner, Emergency Operations Center, City of Charlotte


Employees come and go, and when they leave, they take all their training and experience with them. New system operators need to ramp up quickly, especially in fast-paced environments. An intuitive, drag-and-drop, dynamic content control interface nearly eliminates the cost of having operators sit in multi-day training classes.

“What really won us over with Haivision was how easy it was to set up and how easy it is to use. Anyone can just walk up and start using it, from operators to first responders.” ~Chuck Williams, Assistant Director of IT, City of Chesapeake

“Ease of use is by far the greatest aspect of the system and that sets Haivision apart from the other companies we have seen in this space.” ~Brandon Branham, Assistant City Manager/CTO, Smart City and IOT Deployment, City of Peachtree Corners

“The visual impact of the CURVE interactWall is stunning, but our student and faculty researchers also appreciate the fact that no special knowledge or training is needed to use the system. They are free to concentrate on their visualizations.” ~Bryan Sinclair, Associate Dean, Georgia State University Library

Unified System

Even as the scope and magnitude of operations centers expand with technology, so too should their core systems. A more complex cyber footprint requires graduation from an AV toolkit to a sophisticated, unified, visual collaboration platform. Trying to integrate a fully compatible, streamlined system from multiple sources in search of short-term savings ultimately costs more.

“Haivision was the complete package. They had the video wall itself, they had the controlling system and software, and they had the ability to manipulate the data feeds on the screens.” ~Larry Fisher, Emergency Communications Director, 911 Call Center, City of Montgomery

“By standardizing on a single technology platform, we are now able to successfully share video and content between systems and entities across disparate geographical locations with ease.” ~Crystal Cody, Public Safety Technology Director, City of Charlotte

Customer and Technical Support

A well-designed, unified system comprised of high-quality components requires little technical support. That alone reduces losses in downtime or maintenance. Support from the system provider should extend beyond system updates or quick fixes. Customer satisfaction with all aspects of system operation and support prevents a host of potential long-range expenses. Solution-based support from design through implementation anticipates challenges and addresses them early for consistent success.

Technical support for disparate components and vendors alone drains IT resources and system efficiency. A single-source system provider brings all-inclusive expertise from design through commissioning and long-term support.

“I was impressed with Haivision’s technology and the guidance they were able to provide for my solution.” ~Ed Shubert, Senior Director of Corporate Security and Safety, McKesson

The Big Picture

Visual collaboration systems are used in so many unique and interesting fields. Not all of those involve mission-critical operations. For those that do, so much is riding on their success.

Public safety, emergency response, national defense, and network security provide an umbrella of protection for countless people, most of whom go about their days blissfully unaware of the decision makers acting on their behalf, 24/7/365.

“The true benefit of the RTCC (Real Time Crime Center) is what it will give to the citizens of the community. Living in fear isn’t something anyone wants to do, and it’s something our community shouldn’t tolerate. We are looking forward to the RTCC decreasing the amount of fear in our citizens from being victimized.” ~Sergeant Erik Gleason, Miami Gardens Police Department

Beware the supplier who overpromises on savings while underdelivering in performance, or service, or both. You may save a nominal amount for a collection of ‘affordable’ components but pay more than you could anticipate over the life of the system. Consider the costs of downtime, repetitive training, miscommunications, delayed decision making, poor public perception, and most tragically, real impacts to customers and communities served.

Another truism from Murphy’s Laws of War states: “the important things are simple.”

“After we saw it, it was a no brainer to us that we needed to go with Haivision.” ~Bill Partridge, Chief of Police, City of Oxford

Contact us today for more insight on how Haivision supports long-term operational success and multi-faceted return-on-investment.

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