The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Vurv Technology, Jacksonville, Fla..
May 10, 2007 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles
When Vurv Technology began construction on its new world headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., it was the crowning touch on a complete company makeover intended to set the firm on course for 21st-century success. Vurv is in the business of providing technology solutions to companies for recruiting, developing, and managing their workforces, so it was clear that Vurv itself needed to have the latest technology for internal communication and product promotion. For this, the company turned to Atlanta's Multi Media Services, a design/build integrator providing turnkey AV technology solutions to companies across North America.
The project's first big challenge was the time frame.
“It was a fast-track project because they were already under construction, and so they knew they had to act fairly quickly,” says Robert Cameron, co-director of the Corporate Solutions Group at Multi Media Services. “They wanted to improve the way they were communicating with employees within the company, and the way that employees gained access to information outside the company.”
The job had two technical goals. The first was to outfit a corporate boardroom for videoconferencing with clients to enable direct demonstrations of Vurv's workforce recruiting and management software. Once Cameron saw the plan for the boardroom and its high ambient light levels, it was obvious that the room's rear-screen projection displays would have to compete with a lot of Florida sunlight. The solution was a pair of high-output Sharp XGMB70 DLP projectors fitted with short-throw lenses painting images onto 100in. Da-lite Da-Plex screens using Da-lite first-surface mirrors and anti-glare surfaces.
“Engineering for the optical throw was calculated down to a tolerance of less than 1/2in. error for correction, given the throw distance/lens options and screen size we had to work with,” Cameron says.
RS-232 source switching is Crestron-controlled. Two Crestron AV-2 control processors and a 10in. Wi-Fi touchpanel also bring together an Extron matrix router for the signage network, Biamp AudiaFlex audioconferencing technology, Polycom VTC 8000 videoconferencing tools, and Lutron Graphic Eye lighting control. Local laptop PC input is instantly available, along with video from a variety of infrared-controlled media players and incoming feeds from satellite and cable sources.
The second goal was to provide an array of digital signage screens to keep employees up to date on events within and outside of the company. For this, Joe Loughman, the project manager with Multi Media Services, deployed a series of 10 strategically located 37in. and 42in. Sharp LCM 3700 LCD displays.
“An Extron 16×16 HVA matrix router in concert with Key West digital signage products was utilized for this aspect of the project,” Loughman says. “For example, MX5 Digital Signage Creator and MX5 PIP Live Video Module were two of the major components that allowed Vurv to create and distribute content to various display devices throughout the facility.”
The display server's video signal was distributed on Cat-5 twisted-pair with Extron transmitter/receivers on each end for the twisted-pair conversion. Much of this Cat-5 for video distribution had to run through conduits in hard-to-reach places. The 15ft. exposed-beam ceilings proved to be as daunting as the schedule.
“A lot of the work was done on some very high ladders, working around ceilings that were very high, all open with no grids,” Cameron says.
Staff training is a critical factor in achieving success, and Multi Media Services took this phase of the project very seriously.
“They had one person who was the point of contact for the management of that system, and we provided training for that person and one other employee,” Cameron says. “We went over the 50,000ft. view the first day, and on the second day, we went into some very specific scheduling applications.”
The plan was for Cameron to get the first call in the event of operational problems, but the training plan must have worked. “Other than a few initial questions, we haven't had a call from them,” he says.
After completing such a project and turning a company loose on the equipment and software, that's good news.
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