Every technology project presents unique challenges. De Beers Group’s certainly did when the London-based diamond mining and retailer giant closed its Canadian head office in Toronto and relocated to Calgary.
The Tech Decision
It all started with a wish list. With input from the CEO and external and corporate affairs team, De Beers’ information management team submitted a wish list built from a technical infrastructure perspective.
That “360-perspective of digital needs,” as Teatrx calls it, became the cornerstone for the development of De Beers’ 25,000-square-foot, open-concept office space. The overall goal was to create a working environment that was inviting and collaborative, where employees could share and communicate their ideas with an easy-to-use AV solution.
For Teatrx, the challenge went beyond simply addressing De Beers’ technology requirements as the Calgary-based AV consultant oversaw the digital transformation to the new office, which draws on three 24/7 mining locations. The transition had to be seamless since, for De Beers, no loss of business connectivity and systems would be acceptable.
“Teatrx quickly understood the nature of the task at hand, the different requirements of each of our De Beers teams involved, and what success would look like,” says Tom Ormsby, head of external and corporate affairs, De Beers Canada.
Of course, project timeline was an issue. De Beers needed to complete the full transition from Toronto to Calgary by June 30, 2016 which was the target date for the closure of the Toronto location. Since the transition had to be seamless, collaboration was required to also overcome the parallel construction of the office, which was being completely renovated to meet De Beers’new workforce structure in Calgary. The employees would also transition over a 90-day period with staggered timelines as they moved from across the country to take up their positions in the Calgary office.
The diamond company was transitioning its business, pulling two stand-alone projects into a new integrated operations-focused organization in Calgary while reorganizing support for a third mine in suspension, as well as various projects and initiatives across Canada. Part of this transformation was an internal mandate to use the best available technology to their advantage, according to Teatrx.
The customer required wireless connectivity everywhere to facilitate portable devices and encourage employee mobility.
“Our collaboration with Teatrx was an excellent example of integrated teams working together towards one goal of turning our latest diamond dream into a reality,” says Ormsby.
One way Teatrx addressed De Beers’ high-stakes requirements was by developing 3D images and virtual tours to highlight the Audio-Visual workflow. This gave a visual representation of what the space would look like, allowing Teatrx and De Beers to collaborate on the expectations of the solution, while keeping the aesthetics and acoustics in mind, it writes in its application.
Designing a central Server Room for Audio-Visual equipment, servers, network switches, and unified communications equipment allows for service when needed, while keeping disruptions in the work environment to a minimum. The finished product features a hallmark executive boardroom that was designed from scratch using an existing open space in the office to become the centerpiece of technology and De Beer’s branding. The boardroom has functional expansion capabilities to sync audio and video for use simultaneously with an adjacent large open collaboration space where a Planar video wall displays customized digital signage.
Teatrx developed digital content at 1080p resolution for the screens. Aiming for zero visibility of wiring and cables, the consultant designed custom furniture including integrated retractable table boxes and cable management solutions.
The project took place over a 10-month time frame. Utilizing copper and fiber optic cabling for the space, Teatrx says it based its design on a centralized AV-IT server room. Once construction began, it overhauled the pre-existing room by re-routing the current data infrastructure to accommodate the integration and design of Teatrx Audio-Visual with the De Beers corporate network. Teatrx used detailed cable management to set up a fully organized infrastructure and complete wiring schematics for all equipment in co-ordination with DeBeers’ protective services, information management and ECA teams. As the project progressed, many requirements were expanded from their original scope of work, allowing for a refined and tailored custom solution.
In the end, Teatrx created an efficient and effective work space for the De Beers Group of Companies Operational Support Centre. Key elements included:
- A virtual receptionist
- Connected room booking panels
- Wireless streaming access coverage for company standard Surface Pro 4 tablets and teleconferencing capabilities, all integrated with a custom Crestron touch screen GUI
The most important parameter, of course, is the customer’s reaction. Ormsby marvels at Teatrx’s ability to work against “multiple deadlines and shifting priorities” while not causing any business interruption for De Beers.
Alex MacKay, principal geologist, mineral resource management, De Beers Canada, says it was actually “a pleasure” working with Teatrx. “They are highly professional, organized and the attention to detail is impressive as they understood our unique requirements and made sure they delivered what we were asking.”