Focus On Corporate AV: AV Powerhouse
Feb 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By Jessaca Gutierrez
A cutting-edge installation equates to ease of use for a leading law firm.
When the Ohio-based Jones Day law firm moved from its Columbus corporate office to a new building in the downtown Arena District to accommodate its growing staff, the firm knew it was the perfect time to do a major AV overhaul of its old AV and videoconferencing system. With more than 100 lawyers and staff working at the office, and a client roster that includes more than 250 Fortune 500 companies, the space demanded versatile, cutting-edge systems that could easily deliver depositions as well as staff trainings and partner meetings.
Jones Day previously used a Polycom iPower 9000 series videoconferencing system, which is still used as a mobile videoconferencing unit for the firm. However, the firm wanted a built-in system for the new corporate office. “The Polycom iPower 9000 was pretty much state-of-art at the time, but we had the opportunity here to work with a complete new space, and to build the room around the technology,” says Joe Sabol, the company's director of production services.
While the new office was a blank slate for the Jones Day staff to build to its liking, the new space wasn't without its challenges. One of the conference rooms in the office can be divided to create two smaller rooms for smaller meetings. This division provides the staff with the flexibility it needs, but it proved to be an obstacle in the AV installation. “The divided conference room was a challenge, especially from a control standpoint,” says Dave Sinibaldi, Industrial Video, sales consultant for the Ohio Jones Day office. “With things being so complicated from an engineering standpoint in the room, how do you design the control system so it is easy to maneuver through and use?”
Tracy Brletich, the programmer for the installation, worked closely with Sabol to design a system that would accommodate the division. Two AMX control systems were programmed to use in either a combined mode, when the room is configured as one large space, or a separate mode, when the room is divided. Both of these systems include an NI-3000 NetLinx integrated controller and a 12in. Modero touchpanel that controls a multitude of equipment, including 20 Audio-Technica AT891R cardioid condenser boundary microphones, two independent rackmounted audio systems, and a Sony VPL-FX51 LCD projector.
With the help of an AV consultant, Sabol had solid plans of what would go in the new office before the project even got underway. Even during the installation, little changed. But there was one minor change in the boardroom that revolved around an impressive 22ft. marble table. “The original design was for the table to have a cable trough with all connectivity located inside,” Sinibaldi says. “But since the table was so large, you practically had to lay across the table to get to the cabling. I had trouble reaching it — and I am 6'3".”
To make it less cumbersome for meeting attendees to reach the cabling, architecture firm Lehman-Smith+McLeish created a riser that was centered over the original cable trough, with multiple connection points located on the sides of the riser. “The riser was wider than the trough, so it solved the ergonomic issues and still looked nice aesthetically,” Sinibaldi says.
Most impressive is the videoconference room, which holds an endless list of presentation and videoconferencing technology. The room boasts two 50in. NEC plasma screens, an AMX NI-3000 NetLinx integrated controller, and a 12in. AMX Modero touchpanel, which all work to create a high-quality viewing experience that is easy to use. The room also includes a Sony EVI-D100 PTZ camera, ClearOne XAP-800 8-channel AEC microphone mixer, Extron Electronic computer interfaces, and Middle Atlantic RSH custom rackmounts.
Sabol downplays the firm's videoconferencing and AV savvy. Instead, he points to the ease of use the videoconference room, boardroom, and conference rooms provide for the lawyers. On the floor of each conference room are multiple FSR floor boxes that allow each lawyer to plug in their laptop, and then select from the control panel which computer screen to display on a dropdown projector screen or plasma.
“The ‘cutting-edge’ technology gives Jones Day the flexibility to meet their everyday needs for conducting business,” Sinibaldi says. “If they need a small, roll-up-your-sleeves type meeting room, they have it. If they have videoconferencing needs, they have it in their conferencing suite. If they have a large group to present to, they have it in their divisible conference room. What do all of these rooms have in common? They all have the latest AV technology in them, and most importantly, they are easy to use. People will not use rooms that they don't understand. With Joe Sabol's assistance, we were able to keep things simple. And that equates into rooms that are used all of the time.”
The AMX Modero touchpanels in the Jones Day law firm's videoconference room provide meeting attendees with a simple, easy-to-use control panel for the AV and videoconference technology installed in the room.
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