The Right AV Drives Innovation. Here’s How.
When Benchmark—an electronics engineering and manufacturing firm with clients in the aerospace, defense, and medical industries—decided to move their headquarters to Tempe, Ariz., it was about more than gaining a new building. Benchmark opened their doors in 1979 as a manufacturing subsidiary for medical devices but had been looking to reposition themselves as an engineering and manufacturing innovator. They needed a headquarters that matched the new goals and direction of the company—a 63,000-square foot Innovation Center that would help the company attract and retain top talent, and where those employees could drive advancements in technology design.
Overcoming Challenges to Better Innovation
With locations across the United States, Europe, and Asia, ease of communication and collaboration across dispersed teams was a critical obstacle Benchmark needed to overcome. Without effective collaboration between all their employees, Benchmark couldn’t achieve the industry-leading innovation their new headquarters was meant to spur. In particular, Benchmark needed standardized, turnkey conferencing solutions that were easy for everyone in the company to use.
Benchmark also wanted their new headquarters to feature unique technologies that reflect their status as an engineering and manufacturing innovation leader. As the centerpiece of their innovative technology, Benchmark envisioned a two-panel wide by four-panel high rotating video wall—dubbed the “Wow Wall”—for the new building’s lobby. Specifications for the wall included interactive touch capability and the ability to rotate 180 degrees so the wall could convert from an outward- facing display that greeted visitors with Benchmark content, to an inward-facing display that could be used for presentations and meetings. The design was complicated by Benchmark’s desire for a clean, artistic look on the front of the wall. The right solution had to deliver the aesthetic Benchmark wanted, while still delivering reliable functionality.
The Right Partner for a New Start
To realize their vision, Benchmark needed an AV partner that could match their ingenuity and do it on a large scale, and they turned to Level 3 Audiovisual.
Working with Benchmark’s architecture and IT teams, Level 3 AV outfitted flexible rooms that could accommodate a variety of meeting styles for both on-site and remote employees. The spaces to be outfitted included individual offices, conference rooms, a boardroom, a break room, and a multipurpose room that could be divided into smaller spaces or opened up for large meetings. To facilitate the reliable content sharing and collaboration Benchmark needed, Level 3 AV installed solutions including:
- Altona wall-mounted cameras
- Tabletop Polycom Trio providing microphones and audio capture for video conferencing
- Room schedulers compatible with Exchange, O365, or Google Calendar
- Wall-mounted displays for each space
- Transmitters/receivers to send video signals to each display
- Ceiling speaker and ceiling microphones with echo cancellation processing
- Tabletop touch screens to handle main functions of each room
Because Level 3 AV adheres to strict AV9000 standards for every project, the solutions they delivered were vetted, reliable, and ensured the highest quality results for every Benchmark employee around the world. By partnering with Level 3 AV, Benchmark could rest easy that they were getting AV solutions to effectively and affordably meet their current and long-term needs.
“We follow a thorough AV9000 Quality Management Process that includes top-notch industry standards,” said Catalin Ionita, CTS, CQT, PMPM, senior project manager from Level 3 AV. “Many other companies are not able to provide these services because they are not AV9000 compliant.”
Level 3 AV was also highly qualified to deliver the rotating video walls, having created and installed innovative video wall solutions for the New York Institute of Technology and the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor Law School. To address the challenge of getting both the right functionality and the right aesthetic, Level 3 AV worked closely with the architect and general contractor to create a detailed design package that clearly showed how the equipment should be installed and where cover panels and access points should be fitted.
“We had to ensure that the video wall solution for the Innovation Center was designed in such a way to ensure the long-term reliability of the equipment as well as making sure we could access the equipment for servicing,” said Max Sherwood, CTS-D, CQD, Level 3 AV’s design engineer.
A Successful New Beginning
“A holistic approach that included communication and collaboration with all the other teams working on the project was key to its ultimate success,” said Mique Malloy, director of business development at Level 3 AV. And that approach paid off. The Innovation Center has become a blueprint for other Benchmark locations, while also serving as a symbol of the company’s ingenuity and inventiveness for the world to see.