HB Communications: Designing Visually Connected Environments

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Dana Barron, CEO HB Communications has been an industry leader since 1946. After over 70 years in operation, they have evolved from a local technology vendor into a global strategic partner in visual communications and experience design for top brands worldwide. The companies passion for transforming the way organizations communicate and connect with technology has continued to position them as a leader in the Audiovisual communications market.

“At HB Communications, we design, build, and support audiovisual communication environments that empower organizations to communicate and connect in the most engaging way possible,” says Dana Barron, CEO, the Vice President of Marketing at HB Communications. The company supports AV solutions that include video collaboration, broadcast, creative services, digital signage, video streaming, specialized environments, and managed services for global support. HB has built a comprehensive suite of services designed to help any customer transform the way they communicate and connect with employees, partners, and customers.

A New Approach to AV Communications

Evolving alongside AV technologies from the very first day, HB Communications recognizes that organizations looking to create a truly successful strategy for AV require partners a lot more diverse than mere AV integrators. Although the firm builds, installs, and supports advanced technologies, it goes one step ahead by offering to its clients a suite of services focused on communication and experience design. “We leverage our partnerships with over 400 manufacturers and partners to provide AV technologies and develop creative communication strategies around it to ensure that our clients are visually communicating in the most engaging way possible,” says Dana Barron, CEO. “Many customers are looking to create a more cohesive global strategy for how they apply technology throughout their organization, they need more than an “installer,” they need guidance and assistance in vision development,” says Dan Barron, VP of Marketing

"At HB Communications, we design, build, and support audiovisual communication environments that empower organizations to communicate and connect in the most engaging way possible"

Nearly three years ago, HB Communications piloted a new strategy to transform the way they use technology at their headquarters. On taking a good hard look at their infrastructure and current communication strategy, the company realized that, even though it had many great technologies at their disposal, they had never truly developed a cohesive strategy and vision for how they wanted to transform their spaces with technology. They took this opportunity to truly treat themselves as a customer, so they could provide better guidance based on the best practices and concepts they had developed for themselves.

Consequently, the team at HB Communications came up with the idea of demonstrating the capabilities of their offerings by reforming their own organization rather than just showcasing it in a demo room, to lead by example. With the help of partners such as Samsung, CISCO, LG, LeGrand, Crestron, Shure and a variety of other top partners, they surveyed, analyzed, rebuilt, and standardized their entire communication ecosystem. HB Communications had thus developed an actionable ongoing strategy, which they then turned into a live instance, which displayed the true and entire potential of visual communications. “Since then, every time our customers came into our offices to see how we work, they noticed an organic example of our basic philosophy in action and its application in the organization,” asserts Barron.

We take a holistic approach with our customers. This is the differentiation that comes from having our diverse portfolio of specializations under one roof. These service areas align to our customers’ complete communication ecosystem

Interestingly, HB Communications’ transition toward becoming a 100 percent visually connected environment offered two essential takeaways that soon became an integral part of its offerings—HB Communications would soon showcase their potential to revolutionize the AV industry. The company identified that standardizing advanced AV technologies throughout an organization—local, national, or global—along with an ongoing action strategy, could offer perks beyond measure.

Standardization and On-Going Strategy

Many times, global organizations and companies with more than a single location deploy different technologies to support collaboration—be it with customers, or employees. More often than not, these tools—while they do serve the purpose—are siloed in nature and cannot function in a unified manner, making collaboration between locations very difficult. As a result, HB Communications offers standardization services to ensure that the technologies they deploy can work collectively and as a single system and strategy, making communication as seamless as possible.

Subsequently, the ongoing strategy comes into play to ensure that the collaboration continues to remain productive and seamless, since HB Communications helps clients figure out how they can make the most of these technologies, in addition to helping them install and maintain their technologies. For example, if a customer is looking to install digital signage throughout their workplace, HB Communications helps them understand the various aspects of successfully deploying it. They urge their clients to think about issues such as curating and managing content, budgets, and having a good workflow and staff to maintain it, to ensure that clients understand both the requirements of implementing an AV technology and the ways to make the most out of it. HB Communications points their clients in the right direction by developing an ongoing creative and operational strategy. Barron highlights. “Cloud and IoT blur the distinctions between deploying, using, and supporting a system – the idea that support is separate from the solution itself is old thinking.”

Overall, such an approach ensures that customers invest in the right technologies, which are within their budgets, have seamless and effective communications across their organizations, and have an ongoing evolution strategy to stay on top of new opportunities and trends.

The Diverse Solutions Portfolio

Having spoken extensively about HB Communications’ approach to AV communication, Barron elaborates on how their idea on standardization and their ongoing strategy go hand-in-hand with their wide range of solutions and services. On the one hand, the firm offers six solution categories focused on empowering organizations to communicate and connect using audiovisual communication technology. On the other, the company provides a comprehensive support suite of remote monitoring and management, on-site staffing, technical and professional support services, and scalable, flexible support plans to take the “managing” burden off the clients’ shoulders.
With the first of its six key solutions, AV integration, HB Communications works with its clients to develop and deploy the most powerful environments to help them evolve their communications and experiences. The firm can help integrate systems into conference rooms, classrooms, auditoriums, visualization centers, critical response, and operation centers, LED video walls, audio systems, and control systems, and much more. Their second solution includes broadcast and post-production system design, including technologies for; content management, file-based workflow and disaster recovery. HB Communications also delivers collaboration solutions, with video conferencing and unified communication platforms, online meeting tools, interactive technologies, and supporting services like adoption services and network assessments. The fourth, HB Communications’ digital signage solutions cover everything from video walls and kiosks to interactive experiences and creative services to content management, delivery, and communication planning. The company helps connect organizations, employees, and customers with information by creating the best technology with the creative and strategy services that make that technology investment successful. If organizations prefer to combine all these offerings into one fully-fledged solution, HB Communications can even help build a complete holistic ecosystem which includes the right services and technologies offered as a service.

Additionally, the company develops and produces live events for any internal and external events. The live events wing of HB Communications is called HB Live, an entity that offers end-to-end live events solutions that includes event production, creative services, and technical production, among others.

“At HB Communications, we take a holistic approach with our customers. This is the differentiation that comes from having our diverse portfolio of specializations under one roof. These service areas align to our customers’ complete communication ecosystem,” says Dana Barron, CEO. He continues, “By analyzing the current needs of our customers, as well as their current technology landscape, we can work together to develop a strategy and roadmap that will evolve into the future ensuring that the long term vision is unified into one strategy.”

Visual Communication—the New Status Quo

As an example of HB Communications’ capabilities, Barron sites an instance wherein his company helped a customer with its entire communication ecosystem including collaboration environments and digital signage distributed among multiple offices globally as well as creative content and communication services to ensure the experience in those spaces was engaging and modernized. Along with providing the solutions and services, HB also tailored a comprehensive support suite to ensure all spaces were adequately monitored and protected to keep the systems healthy and running smooth. HB also supported the customer with live event services for internal events that required a well-produced show and streaming to employees globally. “Whenever we get a chance to collaborate at the executive level, we see the best success because we are no longer just working on an “installation,” we are working on a cohesive vision for the future of communication and experience within the customers’ employee, partner, and customer-facing environments,” says Barron.

Since its inception, HB Communications has changed the way companies across the globe perceive AV communication. Looking forward, the company is focused on how they can better their solutions and services, especially on the operations and strategy front. “Our focus in the future is on developing a true strategy, working with our clients at the executive level to build multi-year visions and roadmaps that align with their budgets, pain points, and priorities,” says Barron. He continues, “We want to establish ourselves as the partner who will be able to help customers build a vision for how the future of communication and experience looks throughout their environments.

HB Communications

North Haven, CT

Dana Barron, CEO and Daniel Barron, Vice President of Marketing

HB Communications, Inc., is among the largest and most innovative Audiovisual System Integrators in North America. Founded in 1946 by Mackey Barron, HB designs, builds and supports audiovisual communication environments for organizations around the world. With headquarters in Connecticut and offices in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Ohio, HB serves its client needs locally and globally. It is recognized expert in AV Integration, Unified Communications, Video Collaboration, Broadcast, Digital Media, Global Managed Services and Live Events

HB Communications