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eircom, Dublin

An upgraded calling package. A telecoms company’s HQ includes a high-spec area where business and technology can cross-fertilise.

Ireland’s largest telecommunications company, eircom, has a new state-of-the-art, ecofriendly international headquarters at the €750 million Heuston South Quarter development in south central Dublin. Six companies tendered for the AV subcontract, which was worth around €1 million.

The successful company was integrator Meritec, which was tasked with designing, specifying and installing comprehensive audiovisual and subsystems under two separate contracts. The more challenging of these was to deliver the futuristic NGX (Next Generation Experience) customer demonstration area; the company was also tasked with equipping 26 meeting and conference rooms, a main boardroom on the top floor and an auditorium.

The NGX was the brainchild of Mike Davidson, marketing director, eircom corporate markets. Explaining the concept, he states: “eircom has long-established relationships with ICT executives. Working together, we jointly define and implement complex ICT solutions to meet technical requirements. However, ICT is also a fundamental enabler for operational managers. It’s therefore vital that ICT and business executives understand what ICT delivers in terms of business outcomes, by clearing away the jargon and focusing on the experience. NGX was created as a cross-functional workshop environment, to present ICT in context by enabling business and ICT execs to work together to address strategic business issues.”

Visitors are greeted by two 103in flatscreen display panels, which broadcast a wide variety of content, and an interactive multi-touch screen table. Also included is HD videoconferencing, which provides a realtime link to strategic partners and industry experts located around the world.

Meritec specified BSS Audio’s new generation Soundweb London BLU-160 in the NGX as an audio routing matrix over the five zones, configuring it 8-in/8- out. This communicates via RS-232 two AMX touchscreen controllers, which control the entire installation.

The BLU-160 takes five inputs from an Extron CrossPoint matrix switcher, which handles the video routing and is in turn fed by various computer video, IPTV and content management signals. Further Soundweb inputs are provided by two mic inputs and videoconferencing. A second BLU-160 (and BLU- 120 I/O expander) is located in the boardroom where there is a requirement to mix 10 boundary mics, podium mic and radio mic – as well as separate videoconferencing.

In both the NGX and boardroom, JBL loudspeakers are driven by Crown Cdi 1000 amplifiers. In the former, 17 Control 26CT and three rebated Control 25Ts provide discreet directional audio. Multiples of the smaller JBL 24CT recessed ceiling speakers are used in the boardroom, alongside projection and videoconferencing cameras on a ceiling lift.

Summing up, Davidson is satisfied that the business objectives have been met. Meritec director Ronan McLaughlin adds: “We are delighted to have been involved in such a significant development at eircom’s new corporate office, enabling them to make best use of nextgeneration technology.”