It was serendipity when Jim Reinhart, CEO of TEKVOX, met Diana Keller, Co-founder and President of SKG Inc. while they were walking their dogs about four years ago. During the ensuing conversation they discovered that TEKVOX’s unique A/V control solutions and SKG’s innovative workspace designs were complementary businesses and natural partners. Thoughtfully integrating A/V technology with well-designed office furniture makes for better overall office design and a more efficient and engagingworkplace and avoids destroying expensive tables and consoles to adapt them to A/V use.
Reinhart and Keller have forged a partnership that has expanded business for both of their firms. They have teamed on a project for the Leander Independent School District and on the entrepreneurialincubator classroom facilities at Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park; they completed a job for X Technologies in San Antonio and partnered on A/V collaboration tables and videowalls across a wide range of industries.
“Tech means equipment, power and cabling. Office or instructional furniture designed with no thought about how it will be used can be pretty but also pretty expensive to effectively use,” says Reinhart. “How do you put tech in a typical marble-topped executive conference table? We’ve encountered this time and time again with our line of drop-in solutions. It costs the customer a lot of time and money to do this at installation time when the actualuse-case hasn’t been comprehended.”
From the outset, he and Keller were on the same page in wanting to achieve the best results for clients investing in cutting-edge technology. Keller refers to creating “holistic work force solutions that fuse technology, furniture and the workplace environment, something most companies don’t even consider,” Reinhart points out. “It’s about functionality, aesthetics and economics; you have to own the whole experience. TEKVOX spends a lot of time thinking about how to install equipment, and SKG drives thoughtfulness in design:what happens when people use the furniture.”
He notes that SKG has been “in the forefront of integrating technology with design, materials and furniture to create a comprehensive solution. They supply solutions not just furniture. This kind of support creates a long-term bond with the customer.”
Keller recalls that when SKG opened in Austin 25 years ago the company was already more forward thinking than the competition and well prepared for the area’s rise as an innovation hub. “There’s been lots of growth in high tech; we see the area just exploding,” she says.
Partnering with TEKVOX positioned SKG to take advantage of the high-tech boom: Keller estimates that technology and furniture packages now comprise about 30% of SKG’s total work.
“We understand each other’s products and philosophies,” Keller says of TEKVOX and SKG. “We want our clients to press the easy button: It’s such a pain for clients to have to deal with multiple vendors. With TEKVOX we can collaborate easily without going through layers of infrastructure.
“The tech is there today to push us toward a hands-free environment. A conference room should know what tech you have and be able to adapt to the install. Our workplace should respond to us; we have to become digitally fit and literate in technology in order to maximize how to use it.”
On TEKVOX’s part teaming with SKG streamlines the process for customers investing in TEKVOX’s line of easy-to-use drop-in solutions. They gain the benefits of one-stop shopping and workspaces tailored for innovative A/V technology and creative collaboration.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time, and effective A/V communication across distances has become a necessity for many sectors. TEKVOX and SKG are working to develop a financing option so clients such as small municipal governments can set up livestreaming environments for the first time.
“We are interested in seeing what we can do to get them working on a distance basis with their constituents so they can get the word out from their homes, chambers or whatever venue may require livestreaming,” says Reinhart.