Episode 45: Joe Way On Simplifying Everything with Software & Customer-Centric Design

USC tasked Joe Way, Director of Learning Environments, to create the single best IT Department in all of academia. Joe tells about what it was like to achieve that vision.


  • Look at what companies like Google and Amazon are doing instead of other universities.
  • Software Driven. Does not want to own black boxes.
  • Simplifying everything by considering the entire customer workflow.
  • Realized that AV over IP is just another distribution system and not taking full advantage of the network the way IT does.
  • IT focuses more on Security and Access Management.
  • Changing the UX by focusing on connecting services instead of boxes in lecterns.
  • Training is the biggest challenge to an IT-centric approach. AV is easier to troubleshoot because it is all signal flow. In a software-based system, there is much more to consider than the physical layer alone.
  • Relationships with “the rest of IT” was a key to success. Examples include Infrastructure, UC, Application Services and Computer Science.
  • There is a huge opportunity for integrators in managed services.
  • Key selling points are scalability, a frictionless user experience and everything remote including setup, configuration and service.
  • System upgrades take advantage of and can be triggered by third-party service upgrades like Zoom.
  • Adopting the users language helps create the most useful designs.
  • Bringing in a PR major to effectively use Digital Signage for marketing and messaging.
  • Be fearless!

Mentioned in this episode…

  • University of Southern California
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Crestron
  • Shure
  • ISE
  • SDVoE
  • BrightSign
  • Zoom
  • SolarWinds