“We wanted to improve the quality of our offering to our clients in terms of work space,” explains Terry Akers, Head of Management Standards at Gemserv. “The move to the new office meant we could provide six client meeting rooms and five internal staff meeting rooms and this gave us the perfect opportunity to look at new solutions and upgrade our technology. We had an idea of what we wanted to achieve, for example we knew we wanted to introduce a room booking system and wanted wireless solutions in the meeting rooms, but we were looking for specialist knowledge and guidance.”
Gemserv is a specialist market design, governance and assurance service provider. They provide high quality impartial advice to competitive utility and environmental markets and their participants. They liaise with some of the most influential decision makers in their sectors in the UK and Ireland at their London offices so when the time came to expand their facilities, they set out to upgrade their AV capability to reflect this.
The Gemserv Group is based in the City of London and employs 120 staff. Originally established to govern the domestic retail electricity market, today it works with a wide range of clients, including pan-industry bodies and trade associations, sector regulators and government departments. The group provides a range of services including consultancy, market design and governance, information security, operational and administrative services.
A major component of their offering is to provide their clients with a state of the art environment in which to carry out their business so when the company moved from their 7,000 square foot office space in Fenchurch Street to larger premises at 8 Fenchurch Place, they were keen to improve their facilities.
The six meeting rooms in the original building were equipped with wall mounted screens with unsightly wires and there was no booking system in place so it was impossible to maximise their use.
As the project manager for the office move, Terry met with two specialist AV companies, Project Audio Visual Ltd and one of their competitors, fully briefed them and invited them to make their recommendations.
Carl Bastin, Project Audio Visual’s Ltd Sales Manager takes up the story. “The first step when we are invited to make a proposal is to understand the real needs of the customer. In many organisations the meeting rooms are almost incidental, however for Gemserv they form a vital part of their customer offering and so it is imperative that we get them right.”
As Carl says, “As well as superb quality, the systems had to be easy to use without a lot of training, reliable and represent good value. We worked closely with Terry and the IT Manager to ensure the solution was the best for them, providing lots of information and carrying out demonstrations of the equipment on site so they could feel totally confident before making the financial commitment.”
Evidently it was time well spent. Terry opted for Project Audio Visual Ltd because he was impressed with the time they took to explore what he needed and the way their suggestions addressed his requirements.
Project Audio Visual’s Ltd recommendations included professional LED screens for all the meeting rooms and Draper 2.4m ceiling mounted electric projector screens with Optoma VGA and HDMI projectors in some of the larger rooms. The projectors are controlled by Extron wall panels so no trailing cables, and the problems of lost controllers and exhausted batteries have been permanently eradicated.
Another key part of Carl’s solution was the use of Barco ClickShare wireless presentation devices. These enable multiple people to share their content quickly and easily on the central screen, from a tablet, computer or smart phone, eradicating the compatibility issues people often experience when using meeting rooms that are not their own.
“Overall, the installation went without a hitch,” says Carl. “We liaised with Maris Interiors, who were coordinating the refit of the new building, to arrange cabling and first fix times. The installation of the screens was left to the end of the schedule to minimise possible damage due to dust they were exposed to. We had to troubleshoot a couple of teething issues with the ClickShares and Extron panels but they were ironed out quickly so as not to cause any delay.”
Project Audio Visual’s Ltd proposal also comprised Evoko Room Manager. This room booking system links with Microsoft’s Office Outlook 365 so is visible to everyone and meetings can be booked through the usual calendar application without any additional software required. The status of the room is displayed outside and indicated by a red (in use) or green (available) light so it is easy to see if it is free without disturbing those inside. Consequently, Gemserv can now book a meeting in advance or identify an appropriate room at short notice very easily, which enables staff and their clients to get maximum benefit from their now impressive new facility.
They provided expert guidance and explained in simple terms, no smoke and mirrors! Their guidance was excellent during design and installation and that level of support has thankfully continued to this day,’” says Terry. “They are a great team to work with and always very quick to respond to our needs. They even provided us with a 12-month maintenance contract.”
The contract binds Project Audio Visual Ltd to an 8-hour maximum response time, but as Carl explains, “This is not always appropriate as the rooms are now in use so much of the time. We always try and fit in with our customer so instead it we liaise with Gemserv and schedule an engineer visit early in the morning or whenever the room is next available.”
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