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Crestron helps Bayer’s new Reading HQ become a more enjoyable and efficient place to work

Future proof, simple to use technology in 60-plus work spaces is providing instant results in staff productivity, whilst calls to IT/AV support desk plummet

When German life science company Bayer relocated its UK headquarters to Reading, it required a fresh approach to meeting room technology, with an intuitive solution that would be simple for colleagues and guests to use.

With a goal to rejuvenate Bayer’s working culture, UK integrator Focus 21 was tasked with implementing a user-friendly AV upgrade across 60 collaborative spaces to have a positive impact on how employees felt about working. 

Crestron was specified by MiX Consultancy to provide a flexible and reliable infrastructure for meetings, whilst ensuring a future-proof and easy to use system for all.

Chosen technology included: Crestron DigitalMedia, Crestron Air-Media Presentation Gateway, Crestron Fusion and TSW-1052 and TSW-752 touch screens for flexible workspaces and reliable conferencing into the future.

“Employees of the new Bayer UK HQ have noticed an increase in productivity thanks to the simplicity of the USB connections, Skype conferencing, Crestron control and informative digital signage. Calls in to the IT/AV support desk have dramatically declined and the use of Skype virtual meetings has risen across the workforce, becoming the new norm”, comments Focus 21.

The integration brings the entire building to life with information and technology. The new office space features a central atrium, where employees have access to a multi-functional area for meetings or recreation, as well as Skype Rooms and presentation rooms. Crestron DigitalMedia underpins the system by providing an end-to-end solution for managing and distributing digital AV and control signals. The atrium’s welcome area also features BayerHub digital signage, powered by the Crestron system, to deliver a visual display of company news and events.

There are also dedicated areas showcasing Bayer’s latest scientific innovations. The centrepiece is BayLab, an area with Crestron controlled projectors and screens for wired and wireless presenting.

In the communal restaurant, employees can relax or take a working lunch in booths that feature individual displays, video conferencing and presentation points. Projectors showing world news, sports events or tailored corporate information are displayed in the main areas throughout the day.

Employees have access to the collaborative spaces and various conferencing suites across the three floors. To save time and to limit the need for IT support, Crestron AirMedia® allows colleagues and guests to wirelessly share presentations, files and videos from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, without the need to plug their devices in. This helps with the seamless delivery of information without needless technology disruptions, such as searching for cables and sockets.

The rooms are also fitted with Crestron SAROS IC6LPT Ceiling speakers to enhance Skype and video conferencing, which can be controlled via a variety of Crestron touch screens, including the awards winning TSW-752, TSW-1052 and TST-902. Crestron Fusion efficiently manages these meeting rooms and creates a streamlined booking process. Fusion also allows IT and FM managers to provide remote management of the building’s connected technologies and monitor usage.

“The wireless connectivity means that I can use my laptop as a mobile office, moving around our new home to wherever suits me without worrying about cables. The technology has also enhanced the meeting experience for home workers.” Carly Santer, Change Agent, Bayer UK.

Following completion, technology now spans four floors of the building, transforming Bayer HQ into a bustling hub of varied business and collaborative activity. 

The project has since been awarded ‘Best User Experience’ at the Crestron Integration Awards 2018, as judged by ISE MD Mike Blackman and AVTE editor Michael Garwood.