As the integration industry knows all too well, it’s not always easy to let go of traditional practices and ideas.
Businesses across all markets have failed due to their inability to adjust to new trends, but City Electric Supply (CES), a family-run electric supply business with over 400 stores in 28 states, knew better than to fall into the “comfort zone” trap.
Look no further than the company’s new headquarters in Dallas, Texas to see an example of CES’ appreciation for both the past and the future.
In May 2015, having found growth and success in both the US and European markets since its opening of its first location in 1986, Thomas Hartland-Mackie, owner and CEO of CES, purchased what used to be known as the Belo Building at 400 S. Record Street in Dallas, and almost immediately began a top to bottom overhaul of the high-rise.
Hartland-Mackie understood the need for a space that could foster collaboration and communication to help further the success of his business. CES wanted to stay current and create a space that best fit the needs of today’s changing workplaces.
Renovations were not only intended to update the architecture of the building, but to modernize the infrastructure within, including a thorough modernization of the meeting rooms, conference halls, and other spaces where CES employees worked together.
CES hired Stravis Consulting, a Dallas-based technology consulting firm, to oversee the design and installation of the tech infrastructure throughout the building, now officially rebranded as 400 Record.
“Being that Thomas [Hartland-Mackie] was taking control of the entire building, it was necessary that the hardware we installed be both scalable and require as little hands-on management as possible,” said Brian Farragut, managing principal for Stravis.
Stravis’ goals for the install were as follows:
- provide turn-key collaborative solutions
- ease of connection, hardware uptime
- general user-friendliness in the interface
Many of the rooms at 400 Record, and especially CES, would also be geared toward small-team collaboration.
Aside from the larger training room and the conference rooms, CES was planning on employing collaboration spaces with a smaller footprint, with an emphasis on scrum-style meetings and mobility.
“Being that Thomas [Hartland-Mackie] was taking control of the entire building, it was necessary that the hardware we installed be both scalable and require as little hands-on management as possible.”
-Brian Farragut, managing principal for Stravis
Collaborative features and the ability to switch between devices on the fly were preferred, but not at the expense of the kinds of functionality that traditional meetings would require.
Stravis integrated wePresent hardware into the network at CES and throughout the rest of the building to achieve the collaboration goals CES envisioned.
The wePresent hardware provides the ability to mirror to just about any display from anywhere in the building, allowing teams the agility to move from room to room as the need requires, calling short meetings and then reconvening later to compare results.
Meeting spaces such as CES’ Churchill Board Room are equipped with a wePresent WiPG-2000 gateway, with up to four devices to be displayed on the room’s displays, giving the occupants the ability to collaborate in real-time, side-by-side.
CES also boasts a videoconferencing room, where up to eight people can participate in video conferences across five displays, each powered by a WiPG-2000 gateway, and controlled by an iPad running Crestron conference control software.
Spread throughout the CES office are a multitude of huddle spaces that cater to small team meetings of two to four attendees. In addition to those rooms, mobile carts fitted with wePresent gateways and large displays allow meetings to take place anywhere team members can roll a cart. These carts are intended to be plug-and-play, and allow quick meetings to take place at the CES corporate offices.
The wePresent solution installed by Stravis has enabled CES’ new headquarters to become the collaborative environment it needs to continue to grow and succeed in an ever-evolving marketplace.