The University of Southern California (USC) is a private research institution based in the heart of Los Angeles, Calif. The institution is home to nearly 50,000 students and 4,700 full-time faculty. USC offers a diverse learning experience and serves as a global center for arts, technology and international business. It is currently ranked 19th among more than 1,000 public and private universities.
The Challenge at USC
Being one of the top-performing universities in the world, USC says it faced the challenge of upholding its premier reputation in spite of the many restrictions that were in place due to COVI-19. In fact, USC’s IT team had devised a plan for establishing a unified communication standard across the campus. However, due to the pandemic, the team had to pivot its design to accommodate a safer learning experience for students, faculty and staff.
USC knew its renovation had to be inclusive of both in-person and remote learning technologies. Ultimately, it needed to create a universal hybrid/hyflex standard across campus where students have the ability to learn from anywhere in the world.
The institution says more than 300 spaces needing to be refreshed across campus. Thus, finding the right AV partner that could provide the best services and support was a must-have for USC. The institution required extensive resources, both physical and technical. It also required a trustworthy partner to get the job done right in the very first attempt.
Given these requirements, USC selected Spinitar to resolve its challenges and provide the right AV solutions and support services for the institution’s betterment.
Approach by USC and Spinitar
La Mirada, Calif.-based Spinitar worked closely with USC’s Director of Learning Environments, Joe Way, who was tasked with designing a standard hybrid/hyflex solution throughout campus.
Per a statement, Way had tremendous experience in the latest technology solutions. Thus, he knew the necessary equipment to accomplish a modern solution for the institution. USC partnered with Spinitar to procure this necessary equipment, install the solutions and provide the labor needed to successfully complete the massive overhaul.
Spinitar also turned to its manufacturing partners (Crestron, Shure, and Zoom) to provide the equipment for the hybrid and hyflex enabled spaces. The company then deployed its top industry-trained and certified AV installation technicians and programmers to USC’s campus. The team had to integrate, program and support technology in 300 rooms across campus.
“Spinitar was a natural partner given the scale and capability, proximity, history, and a combination of many things that allowed them to be the ideal partner to help us in our journey,” says Raj Singh, manager of AV/IT design & engineering at USC.
USC wanted a solution that was not restrictive in any way. Being a large campus with a number of different spaces, it wanted a solution that would fit all of the AV molds.
Thus the room upgrades included the following:
- Over 300 general use classrooms
- Over 100 conference rooms — Offices, group study spaces
- Large auditorium
- Lecture hall(s)
- Traditional building(s)
- “And every other space that needed an AV system to connect to the globe,” remarks Way.
USC created a hybrid/hyflex standard that is inclusive of cloud services, software services, AV solutions, IT solutions, and more. These include:
- Zoom Room(s)
- Crestron UC-ENGINE
- Crestron Flex – Video Conferencing System
- Crestron’s XiO Cloud
- Shure IntelliMix Room
- Shure Ceiling Array Microphone
Due to the constant shifts in education during COVID-19, USC focused on providing a holistic classroom experience that was easy to use with incorporated features. Some of these features include automation, full voice control, easy accessibility, closed captioning, and high-quality audio and video components.
USC now facilitates state-of-the-art modern technologies. These technologies allow students and faculty the ability to communicate and collaborate across the globe.
With the hybrid and hyflex enabled spaces, the USC enterprise successfully invested in a solution built to grow with the institution. At the same time, it allows teaching and learning to happen simultaneously across campus and in any space.
Through Spinitar’s added customer success services, cloud services, and managed services, USC staff can now rely on the support of its partners when managing and updating their AV infrastructure now and in the future.
Click on “View Slideshow” on upper-right corner for images of the USC classrooms. All images courtesy of Spinitar.