Phase Shift Consulting: The Go-to Partner for Purpose-built AV Technology Solutions

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Tony Warner, President Across classrooms to boardrooms, from direct view LEDs to projection mapping and unified communications, today’s audiovisual (AV) systems play a critical role in helping people communicate in innovative ways. However, it can be quite an overwhelming experience for enterprises to dive into this vast environment of diverse systems and technologies. Today’s AV technologies have become very purpose-specific, meaning there is no such thing as a one-sized solution. For instance, although there may be 'common points' in terms of the underlying technology, AV setups for telecommunications may not fit the bill for security surveillance and vice versa. As a result, AV solutions need to be more purpose-built; they must be designed cohesively, with adequate forethought and planning. The work has to start, right from the architectural framework of the location, as early as possible. Needless to say, such precision work demands a specialist that can coordinate all of the various design requirements with the various project design entities. This specialist should not just be someone who comes into a project late in the process of setting up an AV system. Instead, they must be someone who can work together with their client to build it up from scratch. This is the philosophy at Phase Shift Consulting. The company is a veteran in the technology consulting space, specializing particularly in providing AV technology services, along with holding immense expertise in telecommunications, security, and smart building technologies—all of which, in today's day and age, are connected dots for attaining superior technology solutions.

“We can’t be short-sighted in today’s world and only deliver AV. We prefer to refer to ourselves as technology consultants, delivering audiovisual, telecommunications, and security solutions with a holistic perspective,” states Tony Warner, President at Phase Shift Consultants.

The team at Phase Shift often works alongside architects and is involved with their clients from the earliest conceptual stages of a project to its final tweaks and adjustments. The company actively involves themselves in everything from deciding the size of the control rooms to the aspect ratio of a conference room for optimized sight lines to video displays. They also collaborate closely with the architect, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and structural engineer owing to the different disciplines that touch AV systems, such as the cooling and electrical requirements. “We're a customer service firm; we just use technology design as a platform for delivering that,” states Warner.

History in the making—behind Phase Shift’s unique stance in the market

While Warner believes that it is easy to look at Phase Shift’s work in terms of technology design alone, he also knows that it's the client-relationships that really make the difference at the end of the day.

We can’t be short-sighted in today’s world and only deliver AV. We prefer to refer to ourselves as technology consultants, delivering audiovisual, telecommunications, and security solutions with a holistic perspective

In this respect, the company strives to deliver a superior level of customer service, which is essentially how they differentiate themselves from the rest of their competitors. As technology designers, Phase Shift also strives to be in sync with the trajectory of future technology trends. Warner’s experience has been a crucial contributor to this endeavor, as he spent a significant part of his career—prior to Phase Shift—in very large multi-discipline design firms.

In his experience, he observed that many times ‘horsepower’ and heavy focus on financial bottom line can come at the expense of design excellence, customer service, agility and project efficiencies. Taking things into his own hands, Warner began surveying the landscape, thinking to himself that there had to be a better way to deliver technology design in a more nimble, customer-centric, and value-bound manner. He soon launched Phase Shift and set out to hire some of the most talented people in the industry. Soon, Warner found himself surrounded by talented people and set his core mission to stay nimble and efficient, focusing on never getting bogged down with overhead and administrative bureaucracy. Phase Shift would always seek out things that matter most—delivering great design and customer service. “We've been able to provide quality service to our customers and haven't had any regret. I think our clients appreciate that mindset and that approach,” states Warner.

AV solutions that address every intricate need

Phase Shift's passion and commitment to their customers runs deep. Be it any scale or level of granularity in their AV needs; the company is always ready to leap into action to deliver the most specialized solutions to match each criterion. Many times AV companies will come into a project later on in the building process, giving clients a mere checklist of equipment and a proposal. Oftentimes, this is not inclusive of all the various coordination aspects critical to ensuring a project's success. With a dedicated team of specialists always on call, Phase Shift provides total peace of mind for all customers by engaging with their client teams on every point and detail.

By coordinating all of the various design requirements with all of the various project design entities, Phase Shift can attain total transparency for their clients. "If we have a large amount of AV equipment, say in a hot climate, we then need to coordinate that with the mechanical engineer to make sure that a space is cooled properly.
Sometimes if we have very heavy AV equipment, like an LED wall, or heavy loudspeakers, we coordinate that with the structural engineer,” says Warner. Phase Shift thereby works very well with the teams, helping avoid unnecessary snags. Such is the nature of Phase Shift’s engagement on every project they are in. Furthermore, by working with the client in advance, Phase Shift can gain a holistic understanding of a project’s big goals and what the project is meant to do.

For instance, the company has supported the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the top business schools in the world, with multiple AV design projects. Having recognized the value of having an independent consultant engaged early in the design process, the school is able to attain substantial cost savings over the project's total cost. As the liaison between the client and their architectural team, Phase Shift can take the technical requirements and translate that into the complete solution for the client’s space. The company has, to date, done multiple projects with them, and they are a key client.

Having carved a niche in the AV services landscape, Phase Shift is now involved in many different vertical markets such as government, corporate healthcare, academic, houses of worship and museums. A lot of these sectors had come to a complete standstill during COVID. But by being well diversified across different vertical markets, Phase Shift remained nimble and was thus able to pivot and focus on markets that were still doing well.

The Powerhouse Team that Propels Great Innovation

To Warner, Phase Shift’s number one driving force is the team—the force directly responsible for the company’s continued agility and nimbleness. "One of our core values is employee wellness and work-life balance. I'm a firm believer in, accomplishing more with an employee working 10 hours who is engaged and refreshed, than with an employee working 40 hours, who is tired and exhausted.”

Phase Shift is unlike other companies in this regard, focusing more on the macro than the micro. Rather than quantify progress purely based on hours worked, the company prefers to ensure total customer satisfaction and looks at each project holistically to put in the hours that are required to service that project and that client. This approach Warner feels, energizes the employees and helps them focus on where they need to be. In an effort to maintain a low overhead, the entire firm has always from day one, been virtual. Even before COVID, Phase Shift has been completely virtual, and everyone works from home, which has allowed everyone to maximize their work-life balance. It also allows the company to recruit and attract the industry's best talent, regardless of where they're located.

Consequently, Warner believes that it creates a workforce that's engaged, and that in the long run, produces better results and better service to our customers. “It's like the old saying that goes, if the employees are happy at the end of the day, they're more driven to serve our customers better.” The company continues to hold these tenets in high regard and looks forward to growing its business to greater heights in the months to come, both technologically and on an interpersonal level.

Phase Shift Consulting

Columbia, MD

Tony Warner, President

Offers services in AV, IT, security, medical communications, and the internet of things

Phase Shift Consulting