August Alfonso, VP Facilities Operations & CIO, Del Mar College
1. In the light of your experience, what are the technological trends and challenges you’ve witnessed happening with respect to the Audio Visual Technology space?
Users (faculty) and audience (students) are expecting easy-to-use touch screen/ interactive AV controls. User expectation is all about enhanced UI.
2. Could you talk about your approach to identifying the right partnership/solutions providers from the lot?
I tend to surround myself with integrators that are always on the bleeding edge. This is assured by ensuring that these aggregators also do provisioning for k-12 institutions. I want to assure that everyone is aware/understand the entire student experience/expectations of students going through k-16.
3. Could you elaborate on some interesting and impactful project/initiatives that you’re currently overseeing?
As a CIO as well as V.P. for Facilities Operations, I am in charge of two bonds with a total funding of $296 million. The first two new buildings are expected to open on January 2019.A $46 plus million new building will follow suit by August 2019. A brand new campus is being designed with a projected occupancy date of August 2021. Del Mar College is growing very fast in reaction to the economic and population growth in this part of South Texas.
A simple life is the best life. It is the result, not the effort that matters the most
Discussions about the equipment part of FF&E have been strategically different than the past. The A/V component of the low voltage infrastructure of construction now requires even more attention. Going live with these three new facilities serving over ten different academic disciplines requires flexibility and special consideration as it relates to classroom A/V provisioning. A/V must be extendable to the various learning modalities that a classroom space can be utilized for at a given time.
4. What are some of the points of discussion that go on in your leadership panel? What are the strategic points that you go by to steer the company forward?
One must discuss affordability, total cost of ownership, ease of use, support requirements, standardization, and more importantly, adaptability to multiple teaching modalities’ tend to decide towards standards and being vendor agnostic in defining such.
5. Can you draw an analogy between your personality traits, hobbies and how they reflect on your leadership strategy?
A simple life is the best life. It is the result, not the effort that matters most. I lead with full disclosure of expected results and as a team.
6. How do you see the evolution of the Audio-visual arena a few years from now with regard to some of its potential disruptions and transformations?
I see classroom AV to get simpler. It would be ideal to have standard output interfaces as the expected AV set-up. Whereby one’s personal devices is expected to serve as the source of control/data.
7. What would be the single piece of advice that you could impart to a fellow or aspiring professional in your field, looking to embark on a similar venture or professional journey along the lines of your service and area of expertise?
Know what is expected of you. At each part of the journey/project. Know what the enterprise mission is, and your potential role/contribution to the big picture. Simplify matters for you and everyone around you by providing the relevant information as they become material.