Williams, the Fortune 500 company that’s responsible for handling 30% of the natural gas in the U.S. that’s used to heat homes, cook food and generate electricity wanted to improve the videoconferencing experience in their training areas and conference rooms by outfitting those spaces with devices certified for use with Microsoft Teams software.
After exploring competitive solutions, Williams determined that Crestron Flex and XiO Cloud would deliver the necessary collaboration tools, technical support and device management for those spaces. Although this project began pre-pandemic, the ability both to connect dispersed teams virtually and to provide remote technical support to any office have proven invaluable in these unusual times.
Crestron Flex’s scalable solution enabled Williams to continue to expand with collaboration technologies throughout its office. Crestron Flex has helped create a highly effective conferencing experience for connecting teams whose members are currently working onsite and remotely because of the pandemic.
Williams has been able to leverage its larger rooms to safely host the executive leadership team in-person; at the same time, the group can bring in remote participants with Crestron Flex.
Building on this success, the Williams team is beginning to expand its capabilities to round out the intelligent office experience. Both the Williams IT team and the employees who utilize the technology daily are being very well served.
Designing for a Hybrid Work Model
Williams worked with VSGi, the nationwide, end-to-end AV integration firm focused heavily on collaboration technologies for this project. The history between the two stretches back to 2017. The integrator played a pivotal role in effectuating a technology refresh at Williams’ Tulsa, Okla. location. The conversation soon turned to connecting remote workers in all offices. That discussion then evolved to supporting the company’s need to reintroduce workers back to the office while, simultaneously, supporting a hybrid-work model throughout the company.
VSGi worked closely with Williams to develop and implement a flexible technology plan, and it provided the client with solutions for all workers — without regard to their location or job function. The integrator’s team conceived the complete design, while also developing plans for product acquisition, installation and training.
VSGi provides Williams with investment protection through ongoing maintenance and onsite technical-support services. VSGi partnered with Crestron to provide the core AV equipment for all spaces to accommodate core client requirements. VSGi chose Crestron because of the company’s breadth of product offerings, as well as the products’ reliability.
Equal Quality Across Spaces
The project’s scope was quite ambitious. Williams needed not to equip one impressive meeting room, but, instead, to deliver a standard that would provide that same level of quality to every meeting space.
After exploring competitive solutions, Williams determined that Crestron Flex and XiO Cloud would deliver the necessary collaboration tools, technical support and device management. Crestron Flex has enabled a highly effective conferencing experience that capably connects teams. The XiO Cloud device-management tool allows the Williams IT team at headquarters to monitor devices, update software and view the status of in-room devices.
It also proactively notifies IT when a device is down (as opposed to only being alerted when an employee encounters a faulty room). The Oklahoma-based IT team is now able to remotely assist an employee at any office location by controlling their touchscreen to get a meeting started. What’s more, IT can help with any device features, as well.
Williams integrated Crestron and Microsoft Teams panels to create a cohesive meeting-room experience, bringing together room booking and the in-room collaboration software. The Crestron Scheduling Panels integrated with Microsoft Teams allow employees to see which rooms are occupied at a glance; purple illumination indicates a space is in use.
Employees can locate the green lightbars to identify which rooms are available, and they can book an open space with a simple panel touch. In addition, the integrated systems work with occupancy sensors, which communicate to the panel to release the room if employees don’t show up for their scheduled meeting.
Exceptional Customer Support
The systems conceived by VSGi and Crestron clearly have dramatically improved Williams’ internal collaboration, meeting effectiveness and IT support. On the topic of support, Crestron strives to deliver ongoing support to Williams’ Young and Wedding, as well as their team, if any issues arise.
“Crestron’s True Blue Support was already a major reason why we chose Crestron Flex for Microsoft Teams devices,” Young explains. “Adding Flex Care to significantly increase the speed and responsiveness of support and decrease downtime is the icing on the cake.”
Unsurprisingly, then, Williams is extremely happy with the outcome that VSGi and Crestron worked together to achieve. The ability to collaborate with employees in the office and at home has given the company the opportunity to grow like never before. It’s a prime example of an integrator coming together with a vendor to meet and exceed client needs, thereby enabling the customer to reach new heights of success.
- Crestron Flex
- Crestron room scheduling touchscreens
- Crestron XiO Cloud
- DM NVX 4k60 4:4:4 HDR network AV encoder/decoder
- Air Media wireless presentation system
To view additional photos of the VSGi’s installation at Williams, click view slideshow in the the upper left hand corner.