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Saville AV upgrades UC at government agency with SMART Lync solutions

Saville AV has completed the installation of Smart Lync Room solutions at the Homes and Communities Agency offices in Gateshead, Leeds and London.

Saville AV has completed the installation of SMART Lync Room solutions at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) offices in Gateshead, Leeds and London. The integrator won the contract following a successful trial period of the Smart SRS Systems at HCA’s Gateshead office.

The HCA is a non-departmental public body that helps create successful communities by making more homes and premises available to the residents and businesses that need them. Sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the HCA also regulates social housing providers in England.

Saville regional technical manager, John Andrews commented: “We worked with HCA last year when they were looking at new solutions for multi-location Lync meetings. We discussed the SMART SRS Systems with them and they opted for a Proof of Concept pilot scheme, so we installed a system in their Gateshead office for them to try.

“The SMART Room System combines touch-enabled display screens, HD video camera, microphones and speakers with Microsoft Lync software. It enables high resolution video, audio and data collaboration, for a fully interactive, face-to-face meeting experience including users anywhere on their own devices.”

After a satisfactory trial period, HCA released a tender for two 70in SMART SRS systems for the offices in Gateshead and Leeds and a larger 84in system for the London office. Saville won the bid and installed the systems at the end of March 2015. In the first two months of use, the Agency identified that they were in use 46% of the time.

Amanda Staincliffe, head of IT service delivery at the Homes and Communities Agency explained: “The business requirement was to improve the meeting room experience for users taking part in Lync meetings. We had found some users were not confident in setting up the existing videoconferencing equipment. This often led to delays in the start of meetings, undermining confidence in using Lync as an alternative to arranging meetings in person.

“We evaluated a number of products and following a pilot, determined that the SMART Lync Room System met our criteria. It simplified joining a Lync meeting without any requirement from the user to set up equipment and confirmed that the quality of video and audio was excellent.

“The business case demonstrated that significant efficiency savings could be made by reducing the number of meetings where staff are required to travel. While reducing travel costs and improving productivity, staff would be able to avoid lengthy journeys and improve their work/life balance.”

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