Behind the AV Programming and Installation at Henkel Dial, Part 1
Jun 10, 2010 4:02 PM, By Bennett Liles
Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.
When German company Henkel AG acquired the Dial Corporation, they built a huge new headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Level 3 Audio Visual was called in from nearby Mesa to completely outfit the facility with videoconferencing and digital signage. Jeremy Elsesser is here to tell the whole story on how Level 3 made it all happen.
Jeremy, it’s great to have you with me on the Corporate AV podcast representing Level 3 Audio Visual in Mesa, Ariz. You had quite a big project with the new Henkel Dial headquarters out there in Scottsdale.
That is correct.
But first tell me a little bit about Level 3 Audio Visual. How long has that company been around?
Well, we’ve been in business since 1996. We started out doing corporate AV or standard boardroom distributed audio/distributed video. About five years ago, we hired a educational sales person who got us on state contract, and we started a education division of our company focused on the K-12 market—interactive whiteboard technology. In the last three years, we have branched off further and specialized in the medical markets, developing telemedicine solutions and opportunities as well as different medical, O.R., and operating room technologies that are very specialized in that medical market. We do a lot of professional development in the education world. We’re doing a lot of IT integration, so very quickly our company’s going from what used to be the traditional audio/video integrator to truly a technology solutions provider and marrying audiovisual and IT. [Timestamp: 2:03]
Smart move for any AV company these days. So when the companies joined and decided to set up a new headquarters, how did you and Henkel Dial get connected on the project?
Our director of business development, Brent Stanphill, had a very great relationship with the inhouse AV support group that Henkel Dial utilizes and through that relationship—Henkel Dial had planned on building their headquarters for a number of years, so this project has been known around the valley for a number of years and when they finally geared up to do it, again, our director of business developments’ relationship with Greg Wolf, who is the inhouse AV coordinator for Henkel Dial, really is what brought this project into Level 3. We spent a couple of years taking him to tradeshows and developing ideas and building technology concepts with him so that when the time came for the new building to be built, it was a very natural transition for us to just go ahead and do the complete design as well as integrate it for them. [Timestamp: 3:09]
And running that huge place has got to be a mighty big job. The more I read about it, the more they seem to be into there. I understand the Henkel Dial is very big into videoconferencing.
They are. So Henkel’s based out of Dusseldorf, Germany. They own a number of different businesses. They’re very close to a Procter & Gamble. They have a number of large businesses under the Henkel umbrella, and having such a large business and geographically diverse the way they are, videoconferencing is extremely important to them. Obviously getting people back and forth from the U.S. to Germany can be very expensive. So many years ago, Henkel Dial started investing in videoconferencing technologies to reduce their travel cost and carbon footprint. [Timestamp: 3:55]
That headquarters building is a huge place. How many AV-equipped rooms do they have there all together?
Currently, they have 13 AV-equipped rooms. They have a total of 36 conference rooms in the building. We prewired the other 23 conference rooms, so when they’re ready to bring those rooms online, the cabling and infrastructure is already in place. It’s just a matter of connecting equipment on both sides and programming it. [Timestamp: 4:21]
So as the company and its job grows, the facility will be technically primed and ready to grow with it without tearing things out and starting all over. I think they have something like 10 more conference rooms in the new building than they had in the old place?
So you had pretty much a clean slate to work with—a brand-new building where you knew where everything was already without retrofits and so you’re able to go in there and just get right to work on it.
In that respect, it was ideal. We were brought in very early in the design process, worked hand in hand with the architects and the electrical engineers and all the different trade teams to ensure that our technology seamlessly integrated with the building. So yeah, from that standpoint, we very much got in early on and were able to capitalize on being brought in that early to make sure that one, we could save costs, and like you mentioned, not have to tear things out to get new things in as well as do a beautiful job on the project. [Timestamp: 5:20]
And this building and the AV outfitting of it represented a huge undertaking and certainly no small expense. So what was the problem with the old building and why wasn’t it good enough for the job?
Well, the limitations in their old facility, specifically, regarding around videoconferencing is that they did all of it off of carts. So they would drag carts around from room to room to room and try to schedule these carts, and as videoconferencing became more prevalent within the organization, obviously, you would see that there was a resource conflict. People would want to do videoconferencing. They didn’t have enough carts to accomplish all of that. Obviously when you bring a cart into the room, there’s cables on the floor, there’s things that need to be plugged into wall plates and made to function on a temporary basis, so they very much wanted to spend the money to not have to work so hard to accomplish the communication that they desired. [Timestamp: 6:12]
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