Whitlock Multiplies HQ Collaboration with Tech Refresh

Published: 2016-07-14

CDK Global is the world’s largest provider of integrated IT and digital marketing solutions for the automotive retail industry. Formerly ADP Dealer Services, the company was looking for a change in scenery as well as name when it reached out to Whitlock to transform its headquarters into a collaboration hub.

Whitlock, having been the primary solutions provider in video collaboration and unified communications to the company for more than four years, provides services and support for CDK teammates in locations from Seattle to Berlin and across India to ensure agility and innovation stay at the forefront of the company’s culture. This includes adopting new video technologies and embedding collaboration across its global workforce.

That is precisely what Whitlock set out to do when refreshing CDK Global’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Whitlock understood that CDK Global moves fast and embraces change to maintain its edge above the rest of its competition when CDK approached them for this project back in late 2013. Whitlock worked with Keith Blue, design and implementation engineer and program manager at CDK Global, to learn what the company needed.

The goal was to have a way to collaborate using video or whiteboards in every space, enterprise wide. Whitlock served as an advisor on setting standards and designing all audio and video collaboration solutions throughout the facility, and also worked closely with the architect and other general contractors to deliver the best solutions.


Photos: Look inside CDK Global’s new Hoffman Estates, III. facility

Together, CDK and Whitlock came up with a list of different types of environments that needed to be addressed, and what the environments would need to be capable of in terms of technology.

Collaboration would need to be everywhere. CDK has a number of spaces for collaboration with teams in other locations to maximize teaming across the global workforce. CDK and Whitlock implemented more than 100 huddle spaces, conferencing rooms and training areas with video technologies for improved collaboration and learning across the facility.

CDK wanted immersive lobbies not only in Hoffman Estates, but across its Chicago-area facilities. Video walls were added to multiple lobbies to provide an opportunity for sharing important company messaging, news and brand imperatives.

CDK employees need to embed video collaboration into their daily routines. Open environments such as dealer showcase areas, briefing centers, cafes, workout facilities and auditoriums were outfitted with technology to help foster collaboration, and these technologies get high use and make the teams more effective.

Simulated training rooms at CDK Global became flexible, video-rich spaces that replicate the real-world experience of being inside a car dealership to train a range of professionals on the latest applications.

Integrator Takeaways:
1. Whitlock worked closely with the architect and other general contractors to deliver the best solutions.
2. Along with designing all audio and video collaboration technology in the space, Whitlock set standards for the technology.
3. Whitlock took a tiered approach; first huddle spaces and conference rooms, then executive offices and personal workspaces, and finally the collaborative auditorium.

End User Takeaways:
1. CDK Global worked with Whitlock to express what the company needed in terms of an update.
2. The CDK Global building refresh was done in stages so that the company did not disrupt workflow.
3. Business objectives for CDK global were twofold: first to improve customer relationships and service, and second to improve the working environment for its staff.

Equipment Highlights:
Crestron Presentation & Control, SMART Interactive Whiteboards, NEC Displays, Christie Projectors, Chief Mounts

As CDK Global is primarily an open work environment, sprinkled throughout its facilities are smaller huddles spaces used for private meetings. Video in these areas enables presenting, annotating and collaborating on sensitive business issues.

The building refresh was done in stages over a one-and-a-half year period from 2013 to 2015 so that the company would not disrupt workflow and could manage the adoption in a smart and logical way. Public high impact areas such as huddle spaces and conference rooms were tackled first. Executive offices and personal workspaces were then outfitted with technology. The final stages of implementation included completing a highly collaborative auditorium for internal meetings and streaming to other locations.

As a leading technology solution provider, business objectives for CDK global were twofold: first to improve customer relationships and service, and second to improve the work environment for its staff. CDK Global took on a bold stance in implementing a smart and forward-thinking workplace, along with adopting strategies to increase utilization of its key investments.

CDK vastly increased the number of collaborative environments across its headquarters. Through this effort, the company was able to achieve support for customer engagement, marketing, operations, customer service and employee retention.

All meeting spaces and desktops have been video-enabled, more than 100 displays in all. Multiscreen collaboration and modular work environments give CDK employees access to information and people from nearly anywhere in the building, improving customer and employee experience. Customer touch points have been illuminated with engaging video content in lobbies, cafeterias and break rooms. This has helped to drive two-way conversations to support the CDK brand and position as a global market leader.

The project was smooth, well run and delivered great results to the end user. The latest stats show that CDK employees in Q1 of 2016 engaged in internal video conferencing at a rate four times what it was two years earlier. CDK’s global video network now includes nearly 150 rooms, stretched across 25 countries and 49 cities worldwide.

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