A move to a new headquarters for security firm Arco saw the integrator steer the client towards a solution filled with BYOD and collaboration technology.
Established in 1884, Arco’s head office in Hull has a long history of protecting people. Due to a reconfiguration of the city’s transport system, the existing Arco office has been subject to a mandatory purchase order by the local authority, and the search for a new building in the city of Hull led them to the site of the old Blackfriargate fruit market. Planning for the new office and co-working space began in 2019, and after a period of evaluating different AV companies, Arco selected Visavvi for the design, installation and support of AV technologies.
Arco wanted to create a showcase office with technology at the heart of business collaboration and communication. They’ve committed to using the RingCentral platform, says Steve Gore-Browne, account manager at Visavvi. “They wanted each room to have a dedicated iPad running (the cloud communications platform) RingCentral. But once we had discussions with them about what they could do, they quickly realized that there was a huge benefit to having these independent rooms, so they could run any communication platform. The client wanted a seamless AV experience, says Gore-Browne. “So regardless of the floor you’re on or department you’re on within Arco, you can walk into a room and seamlessly, without any training, set up a video call and collaborate with suppliers or colleagues from a meeting room, but with the flexibility to do so from the user’s own device. The dual benefit of designing AV systems like this is not just the performance benefits that end users get, but also the cost savings of doing it at the same time, “rather than putting PCs or dedicated iPads and make that system work,” Gore adds. -Brown.
After several detailed discovery meetings, key technology pillars were identified and agreed upon. Visavvi then designed a range of environments to meet Arco’s needs. With over 1,600 colleagues nationwide and up to 600 based or working from Blackfriargate, it is essential that a digital signage system delivers content internally to colleagues and externally to 15 visiting customers different screens. Basically, the system needed to allow multiple content providers to independently create and deliver content to the system. Visavvi specified Onelan CMS, which has the ability to securely manage and distribute content over the corporate LAN, providing sufficient scalability for future expansion to other offices.
Room booking and tracking is once again handled by Onelan, this time through its Reserva Edge product. Throughout the building are 33 10-inch Reserva panels installed outside meeting rooms and shared collaboration spaces. It provides room availability, room capacity, room equipment capabilities at a glance and when integrated with Onelan CMS can be used to display digital signage content .
The collaboration facilities were essential for Arco, as an existing RingCentral user he uses the platform extensively for his office telephony, messaging and video communications. To optimize the platform’s usage and capabilities, Visavvi recommended a range of Poly video collaboration products that can be used with the RingCentral ecosystem. Deployed in multiple room configurations, Poly products deliver a quality video and audio experience to all meeting participants. In the largest conference room, a Poly G7500, combined with a Poly EagleEye Director tracking camera and a Biamp audio system, were installed.
In a series of formal and informal meeting spaces, collaboration centers, group meeting and discussion spaces, Arco wanted to provide full audio-visual, presentation and communication capabilities to its teams. It was important that each space was simple to use so that fellow visitors could use the spaces quickly without the need for specialist training or instructions. Barco Clickshare Conference CX30s were installed in each room. CX devices, when connected to third-party video collaboration hardware such as Poly Studio, allow users to use the room’s camera, microphone, and speaker, wirelessly, via the USB Clickshare button on their laptop.
Arco wanted to make a statement by creating a highly flexible, technology-rich and versatile environment. Accommodating 16 people in meeting room configuration and more than 60 in auditorium configuration, the room is an impressive space for meetings, presentations and video collaboration. Centered around a Philips 6 x 9 video wall, powered by a Datapath processor, the space is used for internal meetings and client briefings. The vast majority of the technology is hidden away in a bespoke credenza, built to order by Visavvi. “We got the colors of the wood from the design team and built it to match the furniture in the meeting room exactly,” adds Gore-Browne. Audio visual hidden in the credenza is accessed via a custom-programmed Extron matrix content selector and touchscreen control system.
Conference room collaboration is handled through a Poly G7500, with a Poly EagleEye Director providing automatic camera tracking.
An additional ceiling-mounted pan/tilt/zoom and autofocus camera from Angekis is placed at the rear of the room and is used during training and briefing sessions at the front of the room. Content sharing is again supported via a Barco Clickshare CX30, with extra Clickshare pucks added so that multiple participants can display their content simultaneously on the huge video wall. Designed around a flexible AV matrix switching infrastructure, meeting participants can select any AV input and select where content is displayed on the video wall.
With the movable partition wall retracted, the space opens up to increase room capacity creating a larger auditorium suitable for corporate briefings, trainings and large group presentations. In the annex area, repeater screens were installed to ensure attendees could clearly see content throughout the space.
The reception area was a later addition to the early plans and was designed with a 12 x 55 inch video wall to provide visual impact. To allow the space to be used for public meetings and announcements, Visavvi installed several Extron ceiling speakers and a Sennheiser wireless microphone system. Additional display devices were located in a cafe waiting area and at reception to provide additional information points for visitors.
“From the start, it was essentially a collaborative project, with our team working closely with Arco’s specialists. During the design phase, several discovery meetings were held where specifications and design concepts for the final system were discussed and agreed upon. The delays caused by Covid in the early planning stages ended up being an advantage,” says Gore-Browne. “We had time to sit down and sort everything out, everything was meticulously planned so that when we were able to get there, everything ran seamlessly.” We provided M&E drawings for each part, then we passed them on to the relevant contractors to make sure everything was correct for each area.” Detailed planning was key to the smooth running of the installation, adds Gore-Browne.
Going forward, Visavvi has a service contract to ensure that any issues are dealt with promptly. The relationship between customer and integrator is clearly strong, as this last quote from Daniel Spurgeon, IT Manager at Arco illustrates; “After months of working together, what Visavvi has delivered has been very well received by the board and the whole company. The feedback we have had has been excellent. , Visavvi has seamlessly facilitated this transition.”
Extron Ceiling Speakers
Barco Clickshare CX30, Clickshare CSE-200
Datapath Video Wall Processors
Extron Button Control Panel
Onelan Digital Signage Players, Reserva Edge Room Booking Display
Poly Studio, Studio Array Microphone Extension, Studio X50