Whether your firm has joined the chorus touting “AI” or is more conservatively accurate in the programming of “machine learning,” there’s a non-stop buzz in the industry around the advancements of computing power and advanced algorithms used to analyze dizzying amounts of data from an ever-expanding networked technology install base. Either way, an opportunity for the audiovisual (AV) industry is the chance to both connect to these devices and capture useful information for providing next-level service, support and even new sales from data trends and insights.“If it’s written in Python, we call it machine learning; if it’s written in PowerPoint, we call it AI.” – Rob Thomas, General Manager of Data & AI, IBMThat quote is funny and clever, but what it emphasizes is the public’s acceptance of the term AI. From consumer to commercial, the implications of learning from massive amounts of data is on the minds of manufacturers, integrators and vendors alike. It’s likely that most AV firms have already tapped into the logical connections and have been doing so for years: on-premises networks with AV gear attached through control systems. Now that we’re greater than 20 years into the 21st century, the connectivity has shifted to the Internet and the ability to operate, observe and troubleshoot is one of the highest value propositions for selling new AV systems or upgrading existing infrastructures to allow for always-on connectivity.The Upside of AccessWith great connectivity comes great responsibility. It’s not something said to Peter Parker, but it is akin to having superpowers when the ability to access a client’s AV tech stack is a mere mobile app or browser login away. Of course, the service and support aspects for aiding clients anytime and anywhere is a smart profit center for savvy AV vendors, but the real opportunity comes in the proactive maintenance and preemptive troubleshooting that can largely be automated with ease. Back when venues like network operation centers were one of the few 24/7 99.99999% up-time AV installations, the costs were sky-high. Now that same level of up-time is possible through automated checks and maintenance logs that are generated and sent well ahead of failure.Commercial clients can now expect high uptime as nearly a standard offering. Yet with machine learning, the opportunities extend well beyond break/fix and preventative maintenance. It’s now possible to understand utilization patterns and create a trend analysis to not only provide prescient service but also create new sales opportunities for upgrades and replacements well in advance of failure or obsolescence.How many vendors reading this could easily pull a prioritized, date-matched report showing the full inventory of AV gear in any/every client and know to generate automated notifications to sales about any replacements and updates to nearly outdated technology that was installed years ago? Likely the answer is “not many.”The Cons of Knowing So MuchWhile the upsides are plenty, there some clear issues to consider. Chief among these is privacy and security, which go hand-in-hand for most situations described herein. There’s a line between proactive maintenance and concerns about jacking into a client’s network to access their AV technology.And though sales and marketing will be swooning to get their hands on this kind of client intel, it isn’t hard to imagine how clients might respond negatively to big-brother-ish “so, we noticed your gear needs updating” messaging used without both permission and context. If people are already weird about how retargeting works with marketing today (search for a product only to find it popping up everywhere else you go online), knowing about their AV investment also needs a conversation to establish permission and the client’s level of comfort with vendors tapping into their systems unannounced.An easy step is to begin including specific verbiage in the sales contracts to have the client approve this kind of proactive support. With their early blessing, it’s both a value-add and sets the expectation that access to their AV systems is possible for their benefit.Information and Power The axiom that information leads to knowledge and that knowledge is power rings true in the context of access and availability to client systems and the associated data. The greater the access, the greater the amount of data that can be pulled from a client’s AV system, the greater the risk and potential liability.The opportunity for the AV industry to get ahead of this and provide some guidance and governance around this would be wise. In the interim, vendors will continue to take the chance to both connect to these devices and capture useful information for providing next-level service and support. It’s just a matter of time before they’re mining client systems for new Sales leads, and while that’s not a bad thing, it could be unwelcome by a significant number of clients.AI or machine learning? While it’s more than semantics from a technology standpoint, that point is moot when it comes to leveraging the data to make informed decisions. The question is: by whom?
When Vanderbilt walked off the field at Neyland Stadium on Nov. 23, 2013, the pendulum definitely had swung in the Commodores’ direction.Vanderbilt owned back-to-back victories over Tennessee for the first time since 1925-26. The Commodores were headed to their third straight bowl while the Vols remained bowl-less for the third consecutive season.The evidence was right there in black and gold: Not only had Vanderbilt caught up to UT, the Commodores had passed the Vols.Barely one year later, the pendulum has swung in the other direction.Vols eye bowl while Vandy aims to spoilEntering kickoff at Vanderbilt Stadium, UT is trending upward, although the program still has a long way to go to return to relevance on the national stage. Meanwhile, the Commodores are in decline after a heady three-year run.In other words, it seems like old times.For years — decades, really — UT dominated this series. The Vols won 22 in a row over Vanderbilt from 1983-2004. UT had won 28 of 29 games before the Commodores broke through in 2012.Vanderbilt’s back-to-back victories got the Vols’ attention, particularly those players from the Nashville/Midstate area.Vandy football coach Mason deserves a second season“We want to beat Vanderbilt every year,” said UT linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who is from Clarksville. “It’s a rivalry game. They got us the last two years and we don’t like those guys. …“I’m from Middle Tennessee. I see that black and gold everywhere.”Conversely, Vanderbilt players have grown accustomed to seeing orange. It comes with the turf, said Commodores senior center Joe Townsend, who grew up in Hendersonville.“It’s the state of Tennessee. We’re a private institution,” he said.Marshall County’s Aaron Medley shining for VolsThose looking for a quick, convenient explanation for the changes of direction by the two programs find a common denominator in James Franklin. On his three-year watch as Vanderbilt coach, Franklin oversaw a period of extraordinary success by the Commodores. And he was a thorn in the Vols’ side.In three games against UT, Franklin lost the first in overtime and then won the next two. Vanderbilt’s 41-18 bludgeoning of the Vols in 2012 was the program’s largest margin of victory over the Vols since 1925.“When we beat them here two years ago, that was the most fun I’ve had winning a game,” said Andrew East, special teams captain for the Commodores. “There was a party on the field after the game.”Vanderbilt calls Vols ‘ugly orange,’ ‘team out east’When Franklin bolted for Penn State in January, the game changed. UT seized momentum, both in recruiting and on the field. Two local players that previously had committed to Vanderbilt — Jashon Robertson of MBA and Michael Sawyers of Ensworth — changed direction and signed with the Vols.While Franklin deserves considerable credit for what he accomplished at Vanderbilt, it helped that he caught the UT program at a historical low. Franklin arrived at Vanderbilt in 2011, which was the second year of Derek Dooley’s tenure in Knoxville. Dooley’s .417 winning percentage is the lowest in UT history by a coach who was on the job for three years or longer.The last decade has been a period of significant transition for both programs. At kickoff, Derek Mason will become the fourth Vanderbilt coach to face the Vols in the last six years. Butch Jones is UT’s fourth coach since 2008.Vandy QB Patton Robinette gets another shot at VolsObviously, neither program is contending for a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Far from it. UT ranks fifth in the SEC Eastern Division and Vanderbilt seventh. The Vols need a victory over the Commodores to break their bowl drought. Vanderbilt’s bowl streak ends at three.Even so, the numbers tell us that UT is on an uptick while the Commodores have lost altitude. The Vols own a 5-6 overall record and have won two SEC games. Vanderbilt’s only victories have come against non-conference opponents Massachusetts, Charleston Southern and Old Dominion.But a win over UT would remove some of the sting of a bad season.“There is no love lost between these football teams,” Mason said.Truer words have never been spoken.Reach David Climer at 615-259-8020 and on Twitter @DavidClimer. The game TENNESSEE (5-6, 2-5 SEC) at VANDERBILT (3-8, 0-7)When: 3 p.m. SaturdayTV/radio: SEC Network/104.5-FM, 1510-AM, 95.9-FMInteractive graphic 5 memorable UT-Vanderbilt games
The quarter-final first-leg match is on talkSPORT 1 Leicester City travel to the Vicente Calderon to face Atletico Madrid hoping to write another chapter in their incredible Champions League story – LIVE on talkSPORT.Craig Shakespeare’s men come up against a side who have been finalists in two out of the last three seasons, as they seek to secure a positive result in the first-leg of their quarter-final tie.LIVE ON talkSPORT: Atletico Madrid v Leicester City – click here to listen to our Champions League coverageThe English champions are without captain Chris Morgan for the historic occasion but welcome back the likes of Shinji Okazaki, Riyad Mahrez, Danny Simpson, Christian Fuchs and Wilfred Ndidi into the starting line-up after being rested against Everton on the weekend.Atletico, meanwhile, will be without Kevin Gameiro but have included injury doubt Nicolas Gaitan on the bench.Confirmed teamsAtletico Madrid XI: Oblak, Juanfran, Godin, Savic, Luis, Gabi, Koke, Saul, Carrasco, Griezmann, TorresSubstitutes: Moreira, Lucas, Gimenez, Thomas, Cerci, Gaitan, CorreaLeicester City XI: Schmeichel, Simpson, Benalouane, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Okazaki, VardySubstitutes: Zieler, Chilwell, King, Amartey, Slimani, Gray, UlloaLIVE ON talkSPORT: Atletico Madrid v Leicester City – click here to listen to our Champions League coverage