Zurich Insurance Group is a worldwide company that covers large corporations, individuals, and all types and sizes of businesses in between. As it went about building a new North America headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., a Chicago suburb, Zurich wanted to make sure the new corporate campus would have the collaborative technology to provide a “Zurich experience” for employees and guests.
The Tech Decision
Zurich wanted to build a headquarters that elevated their brand, enhanced their recruiting efforts and retention of top talent, and improved collaboration within the facility and externally with their global employee and customer base.
Meeting at local events and national trade shows, Zurich and AVI-SPL were communicating well before services were needed at the facility. By the time the RFP process for an integrator began for Zurich’s NA headquarters in mid-2015, the familiarity between the company and AVI-SPL was a significant step for the potential partnership. What solidified the partnership was AVI-SPL’s ability to not only match solutions with Zurich’s needs, but instill trust in the partnership with transparency and an extensive scope of work.
One of Zurich’s top priorities was the need for a single provider capable of meeting its wide-ranging technology needs. This included AVI-SPL’s ability to collaborate with Zurich’s employees to design and create a custom GUI that was easy-to-use and consistent throughout the building, access to innovative technology, local and global tech support, as well as a vast array of onsite services to support large scale meetings of significant importance.
After a 7-month RFP process, AVI-SPL was awarded the project in January 2016 and hit the ground running in its effort to provide a new technology experience throughout the massive headquarters in a shorter timeframe.
With a goal to improve the experience and efficiency within these collaboration spaces, Zurich and AVI-SPL integrated solutions that were simple, reliable, and intuitive for its employees, starting with one simple-to-use interface throughout the facility.
AVI-SPL overcame multiple challenges with this project, starting with the project deadline.
After being awarded the project AVI-SPL was given 8 months to complete to ensure the facility could open its doors to employees in September of 2016. With no room for error, the challenge then became AVI-SPL’s coordination with the many parties invested in the project, including the general contractor, architecture firm, network design, and interior design firm. Solid communication between AVI-SPL’s integration team and its partners, as well as the variety of vendors employed by Zurich, was critical in ensuring the project remained on schedule.
The campus includes a variety of media, control, and communication functionalities, as well as an IPTV System, digital signage, extensive sound masking system, remote room management software & video production solution.
One of the more unique features in the building is its use of video. Utilizing the flexibility of Haivision, Zurich can stream video throughout the 11-story headquarters and expand application across its U.S. locations. From Zurich’s “Heritage Wall” (a digital display highlighting the company’s history), to digital signage, and IPTV, Haivision helps Zurich keep its employees and guests engaged and up-to-date.
Video can also be viewed on another one of Zurich’s more unique features, a Leyard LED video wall in its 250 seat Pilling Theater. Just one massive projection screen to the naked eye, the video wall includes over 100 displays providing the ideal brightness and contrast for the large space.
Adding additional value to the unique features listed above is Zurich’s media production services team, which is made up entirely by AVI-SPL’s onsite employees. This team supports Zurich’s daily operations, broadcasts content to several thousand employees, and provides professional service for Zurich’s on-site meetings.
Another unique solution was AVI-SPL’s collaboration with Zurich employees to design a custom GUI to be used throughout the headquarters, and ultimately established as the standard throughout all Zurich locations nationwide. The GUI was designed, programmed, and adapted based on the feedback of employees to allow meetings to start immediately, without complexities. This consistent user experience is a staple of Zurich’s enhanced collaboration and meeting room efficiency.
Collaboration and technology are found throughout the 783,000 square foot corporate campus. This includes digital signage in the lobby, fitness center, and a variety of social hubs like the conference center, cafeteria, theater, and huddle spaces, all equipped with the same technology to provide a consistent user experience, for employees.
The 11 story building has 300 meeting rooms, with nearly 200 being enclaves, or huddle spaces, intended for ad hoc meetings, as 75 percent of Zurich’s meetings are four people or fewer. For larger gatherings, Zurich’s Pilling Theater and divisible conference center (which combines up to 4 individual rooms) can accommodate hundreds of people.
The result is a campus that enhances communication and creates a positive and productive workforce that.
The massive facility has become one of the best digital workplace transformation success stories anywhere in the world and the technology integrated by AVI-SPL throughout the building was a critical component in making it possible.
In a recent interview with AVI-SPL, Jen Kyung, business lead for Zurich North America, said, “Employees are thrilled. They were so excited to move into the new building.”
In addition, Kyung shared that in their old headquarters, employees did not leave their space or floors often. Today, the vast amount of collaboration spaces has encouraged employees to explore, improved communication among coworkers, and boosted the company’s culture.
“Now it feels like everyone’s new home,” says Kyung.