TECH TALK

May 2020
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PROJECT SPOTLIGHT

Education Technology Services Company

Location: Chandler, Arizona

About the project: When Zovio moved into the Arizona market last year they wanted to make a big splash. The client's brand new 130,000 square foot Chandler headquarters required technology as immersive and cutting-edge as the company itself. They partnered with Immedia to create a jaw-dropping environment full of the latest and greatest audio visual available. Zovio had previously decided to use Zoom video conferencing as their standard video conferencing platform, providing their end-users a consistent and inviting user-interface in every room. The majority of the conference rooms are built around the Crestron Mercury console, providing the client high-quality audio and intuitive touch-screen control of rooms with plug-n-play hardware. Larger video conferencing spaces feature Shure Dante-enabled tabletop microphones, which take advantage of the building-wide audio visual VLAN to reduce and simplify system cabling. Lumens USB PTZ cameras offer their staff clear and precise video, and Zoom meeting controls are provided via Crestron touch panels for the most reliable experience possible. The tour de force is the Planar LED video walls from Planar’s DLX product line. The Z Boardroom features a 20’ wide, 5.5’ high 32:9 LED video wall utilizing Planar’s .9mm product, an absolutely stunning installation that supports dual-screen video conferencing scenarios with incredible clarity in life-size scale. Just outside of the Z Boardroom is the Coliseum, a two-story all-hands meeting space complete with stadium seating spanning from the first to second floors, Zoom video conferencing with production-style camera switching between five PTZ cameras installed throughout the space, and a 28’ wide, 7.8’ high 32:9 LED video wall utilizing Planar’s 1.8mm product. Most impressive yet, the lobby includes a Pete’s Coffee completely surrounded by a 10’ high, 50’ wide floor-to-ceiling video wall utilizing Planar’s 1.5mm LEDs. The installation features two right angles as it zig-zags around the coffee bar and an elevator door right in the middle of the wall itself. Because we knew that these awe-inspiring video installations would require an incredible amount of novel content, Immedia helped coordinate for a 3rd party content creation team to partner with Zovio's internal marketing group to generate bespoke video content for each installation. The final product is in a league completely of its own, and is unparalleled in the burgeoning Silicon Desert tech community of the greater Phoenix area.

Notable TechnologiesPlanar DLX LED video walls, Planar LCD video walls, 32 Zoom video conferencing suites, outdoor entertainment systems,fitness room entertainment systems, building-wide speech privacy systems,building-wide Crestron control systems.

TECH UPDATES

3 Tips for Remote Workers

Organizations of all types, from schools and small businesses to government agencies and large corporate enterprises, are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if your company had already embraced the power of video collaboration, you may not have used it in quite the extent to which you are now.

Working remotely brings about a whole new set of challenges; most of which revolve around your state of mind and the technology you have access to. Trends come and go just as technologies evolve; how you adapt to your environment, however, is something that is completely within your own hands. Here are three helpful tips to maximize your work-from-home performance.

1. Go to your virtual office every single day. It’s important you maintain your schedule. Like we mentioned earlier, this is all about your state of mind. Wake up, have your cup of coffee and get your family ready. Do all the things you would normally do and continue your routine. Of course, we would all love to roll out of bed and throw some sweatpants and a t-shirt on but stick with business-casual or a ‘jeans-Friday’ mentality. Keep your lounging at the house/family time separate from work as best you can. Then go to your new ‘at-home office’, wherever it may be.

2. Be aware and present. Meeting with people down the hall or in a conference room is much different than meeting with people in a virtual environment. Not only must you think about how you interact with your colleagues, but how others are interacting with you. Remember things like:

- Limit distractions. Working from home, let along during a ‘stay-at-home’ order, can bring all sorts of distractions. Whether its dogs barking or kids playing, these interruptions can make a significant impact on the amount of work you’re able to get done. So, as you go into meetings, take a second to close your door (if you have one) and mute your microphone. Any way that you can minimize disruptions is a plus.

- Make your “presence” known. No, we don’t mean become the center of attention. What we mean here is to use the presence engine within the applications you use to collaborate with colleagues. For instance, Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Teams allow you to set yourself to “available,” “away,” “busy,” “do-not-disturb,” etc. This is like walking down the hall and seeing the person you need to speak with is already in a meeting room, on the phone, or otherwise engaged. Similarly, if you are unavailable or in ‘crunch time’ trying to complete a task, set yourself to “busy”.

- Mute your microphone and/or turn off your video when needed. With stay-at-home orders we are faced with an unrelenting storm of phones ringing, kids running around the house, someone or something always needing your attention. We are also faced with something not many people have experienced: network congestion. Poor video quality and dropped calls are much more prevalent and while we can’t get rid of these issues, there are things you can do to improve the overall experience for everyone involved. Turn off your video when it is not needed – like when you step away, move to another room or just need to decrease the bandwidth you are using. Don’t forget to let your attendees know! It’s not unheard of for people to think you dropped off the call if your video turns off.

3. Utilize the tools at your disposal. Take the time to learn your tools and understanding how they best benefit your world. Instant messaging, video conferencing, task management applications, file sharing – there truly are tools for everything you can think of. That’s only half the bottle though; having access to these tools don’t make you productive. It’s imperative that you work with the tools that fit your needs and make you the most efficient worker you can be. When all is said and done, the most important thing to remember is to remain organized, communicate, and use the tools that help you do the things you do better.

We know working remotely means something totally different to each one of us, and none of what we mentioned can be done 100% of the time. If you take the time and begin making some slight adjustments, you’ll soon develop new habits and create your “new normal”.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” – James Clear

MEET THE TEAM

Pete Vergnetti
Design Engineer
What do you do in this position?
I gather the pieces and parts of an audio-visual system to accomplish the client’s needs for their spaces.
What is on your personal/professional wishlist for the next 5 years?
Working on CTS-D, CTS-I, and to gain more knowledge of large audio systems and be more network savvy.
Describe your last random act of kindness:
Held the door open for an elderly person with a walker at a store.
Before working at Immedia, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
I don’t think I’ve had an unusual job, but the most interesting would probably be an embedded systems programmer writing code for microprocessors, microcontrollers, and field-programmable gate arrays. Basically, the circuit board is dead until I loaded code to make it come alive. It’s a completely different mindset.
What are your 3 words to describe Immedia?
Driven, Kick-ass, Family.
What are your core values and can you briefly describe how they can impact Immedia’s mission.
I try to keep things simple by living the “Golden Rule”, stay positive, and be reliable. I think if a client feels like they are treated fairly and are given a reliable system, they will think of that when they are in need of an upgrade or simply in a jam and need some help and may end up giving us a referral or two.
How does Immedia's vision affect your own life?
Interesting question, but believe it or not, I have very little technology at my house. No smart plugs, no crazy LED lights, no voice assistants that run anything cool, just an AV receiver that connects to an LCD display! I think that other crazy stuff will come later once I have some other home projects completed!