With over 1500 staff ensuring 70,000 customers across the North East and Teesside have access to homes and support, Thirteen Group were keen to implement modern workplace technology and maximise desk management and meeting spaces at their new flagship three-story office in Middlesbrough.
Thirteen Group had previously worked with Visavvi in 2018 and were delighted with the outcome – making us their Audio Visual partner of choice. The initial brief provided by the client for a comprehensive visitor management system with desk and room booking alongside equipping multiple meeting, collaboration, and open plan desk spaces. This was the starting point of a highly detailed consultation with account manager John Andrews. John spent many hours working closely with Thirteen Group to really understand their wide range of needs before providing his recommendations.
The resulting facility provides a cutting-edge workplace environment with extensive meeting and collaboration facilities accessible via a highly effective room and desk booking system featuring the first-ever UK installation for GoBright.
GoBright workplace monitoring and management
Unable to physically view the spaces because they were in the middle of refurbishment – the initial consultation was done solely from site plans and floor drawings. John explained, “Thirteen Group had a very specific set of requirements for the desk and room booking system, I went through the features of several booking system providers and the only one that could provide all the deliverables was GoBright.’’
Being new to the UK market and with no previous UK install to reference it took a lot of trust from the client to select our recommendation of GoBright. “Thirteen Group flew out to GoBright in the Netherlands to see the solutions first hand and the visit confirmed Visavvi’s recommendation that this was the right solution for them’’, said John.
Maximised workplace utilisation
The GoBright solution has several unique features making it the perfect fit. These include a self-service visitor registration system, room booking panels and multifunction desk pucs with status LED’s indicating their current availability state. Complemented with under desk occupancy sensors and outlook based booking system, the management and reporting platform provides real-time and historic booking and utilisation data – all of which provide vital information on workplace utilisation.
10-inch interactive screen is used at the entry point to the building. Visitors register their arrival, have their photograph automatically taken and then are issued with a photo ID visitor badge. The system then notifies their host of their arrival. All of which improves the visitor experience and free’s up resources to concentrate on other vital work.
Visitors and staff are then directed around the building using a series of strategically placed way finding LCD screens. These show real-time room and desk utilisation information allowing staff and visitors to easily and quickly find their intended destination or free workspace.
The reporting and management platform allows Thirteen Group to regularly monitor and review workspace utilisation allowing them to provide access to workspaces that are more in demand providing greater workplace agility. Importantly, actively monitoring user visits and workspace use allows Thirteen Group to maintain an accurate record of who has used which space.
Collaboration and meeting spaces
As an organisation with multiple offices and staff working remotely from home being able to keep colleagues and partners connected is vital to Thirteen Group activities. To enable team video communications Visavvi provided a variety of devices across the building.
A premium USB video bar, the Poly Studio provides the natural feeling of a real meeting. With patented NoiseBlock technology the solution intelligently tunes out distracting background noise that could interrupt the meeting allowing remote participants to better focus. Acoustic Fence ensures that all sound outside a defined space is removed completely, allowing the Studio to be installed in open-plan collaboration and meeting spaces without physical barriers.
The High Definition camera with auto framing and speaker tracking ensures remote participants are able to concentrate on the flow of the meeting – right down to body language and facial expressions. It’s as close to being in the room as you can get. Being a USB device, users can use their preferred conferencing app, Teams, Webex, Skype, Convene, Zoom so user adoption is rapid and training minimum. Plug in the USB and individual’s laptops connect to the studio without additional drivers or software.
With their 4.2m pickup, Poly Studios were installed in a number of rooms with Poly’s painted NoiseBlock capabilities it automatically removes background noise such as keyboard tapping and shuffling in the room to deliver exceptional remote and in room audio clarity to video and voice calls.
Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub 500
A number of rooms were installed with Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub 500 collaboration systems connected to Logitech Rally pan, tilt, zoom cameras. The combination provides one touch joining to Microsoft Teams meetings. The Hub 500 allows meeting users to schedule meetings and join from one click on the Hub’s 11.6 LED touch screen in a native MS Teams environment. With a 360° microphone array with Dolby sound, meeting participants are crystal clear.
In all meeting spaces content sharing is made easy with the installation of Barco Clickshares. Clickshare is a wireless presentation system that allows all meeting participants to present and share content seamlessly at the touch of a button connected to their own device. This removes the requirement for cables to be shared between participants improving meeting flow, interaction and reduces cable and hardware failure.
Throughout the building, professional LED screens have been installed in a variety of size to provide exceptional viewing of all presentation and meeting content. Avocor 65” Windows Collaboration Display (WCD) screens have been installed where content interaction and video calling is required. WCD’s allow meeting participants to bring their own device and collaborate in real-time with remote participants in Microsoft Teams video calls. With built-in camera, microphone, speakers and 4k image resolution screen with 20 simultaneous points of touch it provides the perfect platform for interactive collaborative meetings. In addition, AMX control panels provided, Visavvi designed an intuitive user interface that fast tracks user adoption and room control.
Throughout the building, digital signage screens relay important organisation information keeping staff and visitors updated. The Signagelive platform provides the perfect canvas for multiple contributors to provide content that is instantly displayed on the screens. Prebuilt playlists or schedules can be created and updated easily from the contributor’s own PC’s.
Through detailed project management, the whole project was successfully delivered within tight timescales. “It was not without challenges as access to the building was delayed several weeks due to building delays. Our committed team of programmers and engineers ensured the whole facility was ready for employees to move in on the original date”. Commented John.
"Installation was done to a very high standard and Visavvi worked hard to ensure that the project deadline was achieved and Thirteen could move back into the building on time with the equipment in the meeting rooms". Commented Chris Archbold, 13 Groups Network & Infrastructure Specialist.
Building on the success of the project Visavvi is busy working on further installations at Thirteen’s Groups' other offices.
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