This firm's new Asia Hub exemplifies its global workplace initiative.
Building a Better Working World
When this global professional services firm relocated their Hong Kong offices, their goal was to make the new offices their Asia Hub. The new office spaces needed to reflect the firm’s global initiative to create a more inclusive and connected working environment around the globe. At the heart of their vision was top-notch AV technology that matched and exceeded their global initiative to build a better working world. Verrex worked closely with their onsite IT and AV support teams to design and build an AV solution aligned with their inclusivity, connectivity, and flexibility goals. This project spanned two buildings, ten floors, 169 AV systems, and seven mobile Microsoft Surface Hub 2S meetings platforms and interactive whiteboards. The AV goals for the moving project included substantial AV design and build services to enable a better way of working with easy access to collaboration and connectivity in the new space.
This move spanned six floors in one building and four floors in a second location. The vision for the new sites was a transformation in how the organization worked, including a broader sense of community and AV system usage. The goal was to make technology available from within every meeting space. It included Collaboration Rooms, Huddle Spaces, Common Areas, Project Rooms, Meeting Rooms, Training Rooms, a 24-Person Boardroom, a BMC Studio, Digital Signage, a Video Wall, and mobile workspaces. In addition, the client’s expectations were clear that any room without a dedicated video conferencing system must have connectivity to allow presentations via HDMI to the main display plus USB connectivity for audio and video peripherals. The new responsive AV environment would foster a more interactive, inclusive, accessible, and flexible working environment.
The firm plans to use Microsoft Teams as much as possible for virtual meetings to align with the company-wide Modern Meeting Strategy. However, due to the timing of the project, Microsoft Teams is not available, so they are using an alternate network solution, 21ViaNet (a partnership with Microsoft and the Chinese government), in place of Microsoft Meeting Rooms and Microsoft Teams. As a result, Verrex fabricated these rooms so that in the future, they meet all the necessary power and data requirements necessary to deploy Microsoft TeamRooms devices and are also outfitted with more advanced cameras, microphones, and soundbars.
Along with creating a collaborative and more connected workspace, the firm sought to reutilize as many components as they could as part of a company-wide sustainability initiative. Verrex worked with the IT and AV support teams to make sure any existing hardware we reused was suitable for the applications running on it. If the device and application were not compatible, the Verrex Project Team alerted the key stakeholders and suggested replacement devices.
A significant and common challenge for any AV project in the pandemic has been the long lead times for products due to the global shortages of materials. Product delivery delays can span from 2 weeks to up to a year, impacting timely project completion. The effect on AV projects has been significant, with shortages and delays due to the scarcity of materials from microchips to glass. When delays were encountered on the project, Verrex communicated with the vendors to see if there was any way they could escalate the production in any way. Additionally, Verrex worked with the vendors to allocate delayed products from other projects that didn’t have an immediate need. In cases when the delivery timeline could not be improved, Verrex went back to the solution design with the client’s key stakeholders and looked to see if the same AV functionality was available utilizing products that had shorter lead times. Not only did these practices minimize the impact of long delays on equipment, but they also ensured we met the project’s timeline.
An additional challenge specific to this project is moving to two separate locations. Once again, planning, coordination, and communication amongst the client and Verrex project teams were vital to running the project seamlessly. There are subtle differences that must be accounted for to have a successful two-location project. For this project, some of the physical conditions of the two buildings were not identical; for example, the depth of the raised floor was different in each building. As a result, Verrex prepared two different sets of floor box materials and drawings to synchronize the same performance in the two buildings. Another logistical issue when dealing with a two-building installation is materials delivery. Verrex reviewed details and planned carefully to ensure that all the materials were delivered to the right job site. Additionally, Verrex built mockup room systems for the client to review and approve before the actual installation for quality control purposes. This eliminated any discrepancies on the installation standard with different installation teams working in each building.
Verrex worked closely with this client to achieve their vision of a more collaborative and inclusive workspace. The new office space symbolizes the firm's global work vision while showcasing top-notch technology. The Verrex team designed and built the rooms to be more inclusive and connected to transform how the organization works. In addition, Verrex worked closely with the firm’s management and onsite AV and IT teams to create an innovative and flexible workspace that supports connectivity between all people—employees and clients. Verrex supplied the AV design to match the firm's vision of collaboration and connection from boardrooms with retractable displays, training rooms with divisible walls, project rooms, huddle spaces, a 4X4 video wall, digital signage in open areas, and mobile surface hubs. The technology filling these spaces was top-notch from Crestron DM NVX® control systems, Arthur Holm 22” motorized retractable monitors, Shure® ceiling mics, Poly Studio videoconferencing, and Logitech Rally systems. To meet the goal of connectivity from all spaces in the new office, Verrex designed and built new AV-enabled areas and rooms with guaranteed easy access to collaboration in all rooms with a minimum of a display, camera, audio output, and microphone present in each room. In addition, the AV design enables users to connect easily to legacy devices by simply using adapters when necessary.
Overall, the client was satisfied with the project, including the installation quality and project management. They expressed their appreciation for the frequency of communication with the local representatives at the firm. In addition, they were impressed at how Verrex balanced the client’s global standards with local requirements.
Here are some highlights:
Employees enjoy utilizing the new small meeting rooms, where they can bring their laptops to any room with a display and have an immediate connection for a virtual meeting.
The firm’s senior management team loves the silent monitor lifts solution in the Boardroom and how it seamlessly integrates with the tailormade conference table.
They are extremely impressed and pleased that Verrex saved enough money elsewhere in the project to make the 4X4 video wall solution large enough for the 3-to-1 divisible rooms.
By following the company’s green initiative to reuse existing equipment whenever possible, we reduced costs and extended the firm’s previous technology investments, increasing ROI.