Troy Tingle, Instructional Technology Manager at Western Nevada College (WNC) in Carson City, NV recalls that just a few years ago, his audio video equipment included tower computers and Sony Trinitron TVs. Some instructors were still using 35mm slide projectors and DVD players that were pushed from classroom to classroom on a cart. Now, instructors are learning to run presentations in Zoom Rooms using their phones.
As he helped his organization transform its information technology infrastructure, Tingle is glad to have had the help of Quest’s Kevin Porsch and his Infrastructure Services team.
“Before we started working with Kevin,” Tingle says, “our IT department was dealing with constant problems, from lost remote controls to instructors whose laptops could not sync with the display screen in the classroom. Or an accounting professor would want to show spreadsheets using QuickBooks, and we didn’t have licenses for that software.”
Three years later, service calls have plummeted, the college’s AV offerings have improved dramatically, and both instructors and students are happy. Tingle appreciates the fact that his Quest team was expert at handling not only the hardware, software, and related technologies the project required, but also the logistics, legalities, and regulations.
At the start of the project, the college had received funding to install a commercial Audio Visual (AV) system, and Tingle had a lot of decisions to make. The first was which of two AV industry giants to work with: Crestron or Extron? WNC came to Quest for its vendor agnostic direction and support.
“Kevin is very knowledgeable as an AV engineer,” Tingle says. “He’s not just the salesperson—and I don’t mean that in a derogatory manner at all. It’s just that he has the training and the knowledge to really know what will work best for us.”
Tingle came to Quest for help again last spring, when COVID-19 forced most of the college’s students out of physical classrooms. While the pandemic was causing crises in many educational institutions, WNC had a slight head start setting up for remote education. Because the college serves a large and sparsely populated area, it already had distance-learning infrastructure in place; however, that infrastructure had become obsolete. Tingle says Quest made it easy to set up Zoom Rooms, get the appropriate licensing, procure webcams and webcam-equipped laptops, and set up physical classrooms for hybrid learning.
Tingle says these problems were easily solved only because Quest’s relationships with multiple vendors enabled them to select the right solutions. Although Quest ultimately recommended the Extron, WNC can use Crestron equipment when that is more appropriate.
“Kevin has done the research and he knows which device will give us the biggest bang for our buck,” Tingle stated. “And Quest isn’t stuck with one vendor and pushing the thing they happen to sell. They’re really about being flexible and working with whatever vendors can provide the best service for the specific requirement. And that’s exactly what we need.”