The way we work today is changing and our workplaces are having to adapt to the ever increasing demand for mobility. Mobile devices and cloud based productivity apps mean that employees are connected to their tasks and colleagues no matter where they are or what time of day it is. At the same time, businesses are embracing big data, and trying to figure out how they can integrate the Internet of Things into the workplace in order to improve productivity,
performance, customer interactions, critical decisions and revenue generation.
Becoming the Connected Workplace
Transforming an office into a Connected Workplace has moved on from the days of Bring Your Own Device and into the unlocking of staff potential. Successful IT teams will not just support, but anticipate the various applications and service needs as well as the devices to support the business requirements. Remote working, which has been one of the most successful trends over recent years, will be replaced with smart offices that will act more like creative villages to make staff more productive, healthier and happier. Innovative tech companies such as Google and Facebook are leading the way with this by building offices that bring their people together in a more innovating and effective way. By harnessing the power of the cloud and the internet, the Connected Workplace means that not only will your office be able to recognise that you are heading to work, through your mobile phone, smart watch or even your in-car system, but it will be able to get you completely set up for the day. The office will automatically turn on your desktop computer, inform you of your schedule for the day, and print off any documents you have been updating while working remotely.
Everything Can Be Connected
The ability to connect any number of things and applications together to improve productivity is round the corner and one area undergoing major change to be part of the Connected Workplace is printing. Whilst print does still remain a necessity for many businesses, particularly large enterprises, documents are undergoing a digital transformation from traditional paper to files displayed on-screen, on mobile devices, and shared by cloud services. At Samsung Print, we are seeing a huge demand from our customers and are working with a number of specialists such as Danwood who have already embraced this. Working closely with Samsung they are able to provide a consultative approach to the customer, blending decades of managed print experience with the ability to deliver digital convergence across screens, mobiles and tablet devices. Today’s mobile approach means that it is increasingly important that employees are able to print from any device they are working from. It’s also crucial to be able to scan physical documents into digital versions directly so that they are available on mobile devices via the cloud. Cloud printing including Cloud Connector for Samsung printers, and MFPs is an innovative mobile printing tool, which lets business users manage their print operation from any device, at any time and from wherever they are. Working closely with Samsung, partners are able to help clients rethink their approach to print and introduce them to the connected workplace in order to unlock the potential from digitalisation, mobility and the cloud.
The Connected Workplace
Smart technology is empowering the rebirth and rejuvenation of the office, making it an environment where we will be happy to work. The Connected Workplace will allow employees to communicate intuitively, face-to-face, to consult and collaborate to solve the increasingly complex work situations. As we see more innovation, such as smart systems that can handle the masses of data and scheduling that makes a modern office run smoothing, we will see less stresses and less overworked workforce. In return we will see happy, positive employees who have time to be more creative and productive, which will ultimately benefit the business. For more info on the Samsung Connected Workplace please call Digicom on 01 4600022
Greg Clarke tells Sean Gallagher how he swapped fruit and veg, and fax machines for high-tech office success
Not very long ago, having a fax machine was seen as being ahead of the curve when it came to using technology in business. Today, faxes have largely been replaced by photocopiers with integrated scanners that speed up the transfer of documents while eliminating waste and reducing costs.
Similarly, advances in video conferencing have greatly reduced the time and cost associated with staff having to travel to face-to-face meetings with other colleagues or customers located in different parts of the country or indeed the world.
One company at the forefront of helping firms keep up to date with such advances is Dublin-based Digicom. Set up in 1997, it employs 36 and has an annual turnover of more than €8m.
“Our business can largely be divided into two main areas,” says managing director, Greg Clarke at the company’s headquarters in Dublin. “Firstly, we specialise in office print technology which includes supplying, installing and servicing everything from printers, and photocopiers to scanners and document management systems and software. These take care of the needs associated with running a modern office facility from capturing and importing documents to managing, storing, indexing, archiving and delivering documents throughout an entire organisation. We also provide security systems that protect these documents against unauthorised access.”
Greg then points to recent research that shows that workers can spend up to 20pc of their time filing or searching through paper documents. They can also spend as many as 10 hours a week searching for documents that were incorrectly filed or recreating misplaced ones.
“By implementing document management in a digital format, employees can now instantly retrieve documents within a digital repository through a simple search function that allows companies allocate a lot more time to using information and a lot less time trying to find it,” he says.
“The second part of our business involves the supply, installation and servicing of all things audio visual from large format LCD displays used for video conferencing and unified communications to digital signage and digital room booking systems,” Greg says.
His customer base includes large firms in the finance, tech, professional services and pharma sectors, such as Bank of Ireland, Northern Trust, HP, Indeed, Matheson, William Fry, Mazars and MSD. In addition, he works with a variety of local government clients including Cork County Hall and Roscommon County Council as well as a wide variety of small and medium-sized businesses.
“While most of our work is in Ireland, we also carry out work abroad, primarily in the UK and Europe, and usually on behalf of companies that are based in Ireland but who have staff and operations in other countries,” he says.
From Dun Laoghaire in Co Dublin, Greg spent his teenage years helping out in the family’s fruit and veg wholesale business. There he would regularly be called upon to do everything from unload bags of onions to mucking out fruit that had gone off. “It taught me a valuable lesson about the challenges of dealing with products with a short shelf life where you had to either sell it or smell it,” he says.
After school, he completed a degree in marketing in Trinity College before returning for a time to join the family business. However, he quickly came to the conclusion that his future in the business was limited due to the emergence of supermarket chains with dedicated fruit and veg departments. With that in mind, he headed off in search of a different career.
He began by selling electric typewriters before progressing to photocopiers and faxes. In 1988, and driven by a desire to experience life outside Ireland, he headed firstly to the Isle of Man and then to Los Angeles, where he spent the next seven years selling IT and computer software.
By 1995, he was ready to return home and set about establishing his own company, which was officially launched two years later. “I could see that all technologies were going ‘digital’ so that’s why I called the business, Digicom, standing for Digital Communications,” says Greg.
At the time, his biggest challenge was learning how to manage his cash flow. This was because investment in equipment was usually upfront while payment from customers was often slow.
Having worked abroad for years, he joined the Dublin Chamber of Commerce as a way to develop contacts and new opportunities. It was a move that would turn out to be invaluable.
In 2001, Greg hired sales director and now shareholder, Peter Fox to lead the development of the audio-visual side of the business. Originally from Cabinteely, Peter had built up a considerable track record in sales from selling franking machines with Pitney Bowes, paging systems with Eirpage and telco and internet services with Worldcom.
“We could see that technology was developing at a fast pace and that the nature of work itself was also changing, with many people now opting to work remotely,” Peter says. “Companies had staff in multiple locations and across different countries who needed to collaborate with each other regularly and we believed that video conferencing and webcasting would be the next big thing,” he adds.
They began to target young companies with growth potential on the basis that if they got in with these early, they could grow with them. Their strategy worked. As did their decision to approach FDI clients and the recruitment companies and office fit-out businesses that helped them get set up in Ireland.
“Our key differentiator in the sector has come from the extensive range of print and audio visual brands we stock but more importantly from our genuine commitment to providing impartial advice on what solutions best suits are clients’ individual needs,” says Greg.
Looking to the future, Greg and Peter see huge opportunities in both print and the audio visual as companies continue to seek out more efficient and more cost effective ways of doing business and communicating with staff, customers and wider stakeholders. “We plan to continue to grow at home and abroad and are confident we can double our turnover over the next three years,” says Greg. “We are always on the lookout for suitable acquisitions to help speed up that process and are currently undertaking research into developing a whole new division within the company that we hope to launch in 2017,” he adds.
After using the expertise he developed abroad, Greg, who is committed to giving back, became President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce last year. He is also a board member of www.bizworldireland.org, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches entrepreneurship skills to primary school students. “It’s my way of doing my bit to help develop the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs,” he adds.
Delivering best-in-class Audio Visual technology
Customer: Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL)
Industry: Real Estate
Location: Hatch Street, Dublin 2
Workforce: 70 000 employees across 10 locations in 80 countries
Talent retention is one the biggest challenges facing organisations today. Companies like JLL invest significant resources in recruiting the right candidates for their company culture and strive to motivate employees to pursue long-term careers with the organisation. JLL identified two needs:
creating open workspace environments promoting clear and transparent communication between colleagues,
ensuring reliable, seamless and up-to-date technology.
The Audio Visual technology deployed at JLL is simple to operate, functional and delivers up to a 4K standard.
Wireless presentation systems with Barco Clickshare: Users can simply share their laptop or mobile device’s screen directly onto a presentation screen. ClickShare works with all systems, all devices, all platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS).
User Interface User Experience (UIUX)
JLL sought a larger workplace to accommodate a growing, and increasingly tech-reliant, workforce and its evolving needs. The move also prompted to rethink the firm’s current AV systems. It was time for a technology refresh. JLL selected Digicom as its AV integrator to deliver a fresh collaboration platform at their Hatch Street offices.
Digicom worked with JLL’s IT team, architect, and general contractor to deliver a mix of new generation AV solutions to meet the expectations of a global, mobile, and traditional workforce.
Integrated spaces include: Lounge, Boardroom, Large and Small Conference Rooms, Video Conference Room, Video Collaboration Rooms and Open Areas.
Creation of an ideal work environment: JLL’s offices offer space, amenities, and experiences that meet the expectations and needs of a modern workforce:
– attention paid to employee work/life balance,
– social interaction,
– culture of collaboration,
– conferencing without limitations.
Discover a state-of-the-art Audio Conferencing boardroom with a fully integrated room control system
Customer: Ardagh Group
Industry: Manufacturing / Global leader in glass and metal packaging solutions
Location: Leopardstown, Dublin
Workforce: 135 in Dublin – 23 000 employees across 22 countries
Ardagh Group operate 109 manufacturing facilities in 22 countries worldwide with approximately €7.7 billion global sales. The new state-of-the-art Dublin office had very specific audio visual requirements for a variety of office spaces. Digicom was entrusted to deliver the complete audio visual high-spec fit-out.
Unique Audio Conferencing design: the triangular table and 3 screens allow for eye contact between all participants and a clear view of the presentation no matter where one is seated. The Audio Conferencing sound quality is second to none. The recessed screens and projectors are hidden from view when not in use to adhere to a sleek and uncluttered design.
Simplicity is key: all rooms functions are controlled via a single app on a dedicated iPad (lighting, blinds, projectors and screens, phone calls, volume, etc).
Video Conference Rooms
The VC room features a dual screen with a Polycom VC system along with a Videxio virtual meeting room service. Connection is easy and anyone can join via the internet, no matter the location or the device. This facilitates multi-party connections as up to 30 people can join the same call.
Other spaces included in the fit out:
Meeting rooms: all fitted with easy to use presentation systems (Barco ClickShare).
Restaurant: dual-purpose: casual area with free to air tv and can also be used as a meeting space when a large room is required (incl. presentation display).
– impressively high-tech yet user-friendly environment that suits the needs of the business,
– the systems in place ensure a simple yet efficient and seamless user experience,
– the presentation sharing and audio conferencing systems have exceeded customer expectations.
Ricoh and Digicom transform print operations for a leading Irish business consultancy.
Mazars Ireland is one of the country’s leading professional services firms. Its services include: audit and assurance, consultancy, corporate finance and taxation for a broad range of clients, covering corporate businesses, government and institutional organisations, small businesses and individuals. The company is part of the international Mazars group and is a member of Praxity, the world’s largest alliance of independent and unaffiliated audit and consultancy companies. In Ireland, Mazars has two offices, with its headquarters in Dublin and it serves clients across the whole of Ireland and internationally.
Mazars was typical of many organisations where print resources had grown over time in a buy-when-needed and ad hoc way. This resulted in around 49 printers, of varying ages and different types, sitting on desks spread across five floors. Because of the nature of its business, Mazars staff often handle sensitive client information, which they need to protect and so having personal, single-user printers helped achieve that, particularly among more senior staff who had their own offices. But this print set up was starting to get expensive, both in terms of actual equipment and management time.
Another issue was waste. Trevor McCarron, Director of IT & Finance for Mazars Ireland, says, “There was a lot of wasted paper found lying in printers every evening after everyone had gone home, which had to be shredded. So we had a number of issues around managing our print – running costs, waste and capital outlay every time someone wanted a new printer.”
However, a building renovation gave Mazars the opportunity to change its office space into a more open working environment and take a new approach to delivering print resources. Mazars put out a tender which was finally won by Ricoh business partner Digicom because of the comprehensive solution it had proposed. Also, Mazars was already using a lot of Ricoh equipment and Digicom had recommended using Ricoh.
Prior to deploying a solution, Digicom carried out an extensive audit of Mazars’ business operations to determine what print resources it needed and then Digicom developed a solution based on delivering best fit and best value for money.
The solution Mazars has deployed is a Digicom Managed Print Service (MPS), implemented and supported by Digicom. It comprises just seven Ricoh Multifunction Products (MFPs) – replacing the previous 49 printers – management software to control and monitor print activity, and support for maintenance and consumable supply. As well as printing, the Ricoh MFPs also include copy and scanning to email or directly into the network.
The Digicom MPS has been rolled out at Mazars’ Dublin office with the other office in Ireland to follow shortly.
The Digicom MPS gives Mazars much greater insight into how print resources are being used across the organisation because the print management application monitors user and device activity in real-time and provides detailed reports. For example, the solution was able to identify and stop a user who had inadvertently started printing an 8,000-page spreadsheet document.
Part of the solution is ongoing support from Digicom to ensure the Ricoh MFPs function well. Remote monitoring using PrintVision of the Ricoh MFPs back to Digicom means that it can replace toner cartridges just before they run out, rather than afterwards.
One or two of Mazars’ existing printers have been integrated into the Digicom MPS for use in the few remaining senior partner offices.
By reducing its print devices by over 75 percent and making its print operation more efficient and less wasteful, Mazars estimates that the Ricoh MPS will help it save between 20-25 percent on its print costs.
One of the key benefits of the Digicom MPS is much greater insight and control over how print resources are used at Mazars. The Digicom solution gives Mazars a much more detailed and granular picture of how print is being used across the organisation. On a monthly basis McCarron can see which individuals or departments are the biggest users of print resources. With this kind of information the company can start to apply new processes, such as more accurate departmental charging.
McCarron says, “The Digicom MPS is enabling us to stop the situation of people printing something, realising they didn’t need it and leaving it in the print tray. This meant we were using a phenomenal amount of toner, which we have also been able to reduce.” McCarron says that since installing the Digicom MPS it has already started to help the company reduce waste paper which the Mazars estimates to be 15 percent.
The solution’s management application has helped Mazars put in place a number of policies which help to make printing more efficient and less wasteful. This includes being able to set all devices to print duplex and mono as default centrally. “Before, trying to apply these kinds of policies across 49 personal printers was very difficult,” says McCarron. In the past, anybody could order toner, resulting in little control over stock or cost. Not only does Digicom’s remote monitoring ensure toner is only supplied when it is needed, it also means that devices are not out of use waiting for a new toner to arrive. Overall, the Ricoh MFPs achieve an operational up time rate of 98 percent.
The Digicom MPS supports the company’s new working environment, with Ricoh MFPs in central locations across five floors in the Dublin office, so that employees are never far from a print device. The Ricoh MFPs fit in well with the new open plan office environment because of the Follow Me print capability, where individuals use swipe cards to release print jobs, which allows them to use any device irrespective of its location. The Ricoh MFPs are also quiet and have an aesthetic design. Having one type of device across the organisation means that staff can use any machine knowing that they all work in exactly the same way.
One challenge for Mazars had been changing the culture and work processes from individual to shared print services. A big help was making the change part of the redesign to an open-plan office and planning ahead to ensure the new print solution met user needs. Also, some of the features of the Digicom MPS, in particular, swiping a card before printing a document, were seen by staff as providing at least as good as before, if not more, security and privacy for sensitive information.
Shanahan Engineering requested Digicom to design and deliver a state of the art boardroom and presentation facility at their new Dun Laoghaire HQ. The requirement was to provide an integrated AV solution to deliver a premium Audio and Video Conferencing experience for participants.
The deployed technologies were to be ‘best of breed’ and should handle HDMI signalling and scaling and overcome the challenges of HDCP and HDMI signalling over distances. The equipment deployment needed to occupy a minimum of real estate and be housed in a local credenza to ensure the boardroom retained its clean lines and remained clutter free. Users needed to be presented with an effective and intuitive Graphical User Interface in a familiar form.
As the user base were familiar with Apple Tablets, the AMX TPContol application was selected to deliver AMX Touch Panel functionally on the familiar Apple iPad tablet.
AMX and the Enova DVX All-In-One Presentation Switcher was chosen as the core AV Platform as it addressed all of the client’s key technology requirements in a single compact enclosure. The DVX delivered all of the components required to control/automate the boardroom environment into a simple, flexible, comprehensive solution including control, video switching, transcoding and scaling, and local and remote distribution – all in a single, compact enclosure. In addition to these capabilities available on either solution, the DVX offers room-level capabilities such as multi-format local inputs, audio mixing and amplification in the same enclosure.
The key features of the AMX Enova DVX are as follows:
All-In-One Boardroom In A Box Solution: Control, audio & video switching/distribution, scaling, converting, transcoding, amplification, plus built-in professional-grade DSP audio mixing and twisted pair distribution, all in a single chassis.
SmartScale Technology: Automatically ensures signal output is scaled to every display’s native resolution glitch free every time.
HDMI/HDCP Compliance: End-to-end distribution of HDMI signals with full HDCP, with the simplicity of analog, without interruption or key constraints using AMX’s InstaGate Pro technology.
Game Changing Device: Standardizing on this box reduces Total Cost of Ownership, including substantial savings in maintenance and energy utilization.
Arvato offers managed services and integrated outsourcing services and solutions. Arvato’s more than 63,000 employees are engaged in designing and implementing integrated solutions for business processes.
Digicom were responsible for the design, build and on-going support of the Audio Visual Integrated solution at Arvato. Arvato are well recognised for delivering excellence in customer service and fundamental to their approach, is to retain their people, in order to exceed client expectations.
Arvato had a passion to deliver a ‘Best Place to Work’ environment and sought many unique and affordable idea’s that was intricate with the detail. Digicom fitted out twenty two AV enabled Meeting rooms, including Training Room, Boardroom, AV enabled Creative Areas, Restaurant, plus Small Meeting Rooms and several large meeting rooms with Video Conference Facilities.
This comprised of Cisco Video Conferencing and Interactive Touch Screens and dual large LED displays. While at reception and other key strategic viewing areas Digital Signage was installed to share corporate information neatly and dynamically. In all these areas there was a striving to ensure that the AV installation fitted the buildings aspirational brief so slim bezel LED Screens where adopted throughout the building.
Arvato also created conference facilities where they can engage with clients or staff alike. Here as well as having a hospitality facility, the clients can view presentations comfortably. This is achieved by a Ceiling Recessed Motorized Screen and a Projector on a hoist, coming down from the ceiling, when required. If the room is filled to capacity, a further two Large Format LCD Panels come down on Butterfly Hoists, from the ceiling. The room also has an even distribution of ceiling recessed speakers, in order to allow the even amplification of voice enhancement, throughout the room.
“Digicom were able to provide a team that supported developing the conceptual aspirations of the Project Design Team, right through the sales stage and to the infrastructure design of the project. They also provided project management to ensure that the project deliverables were achieved under pressurised projects timelines, while slotting in with the other contractors. The results and successes of these attributes contributed to them being awarded the maintenance contract which we hope will lead to a fruitful relationship in the future.”
– Ruairi Adam, Arvato
Allegion requested Digicom to design and deliver two integrated boardroom presentation solutions at their new HQ offices in Dublin. The brief was to have the best possible presentation images delivered at the best possible resolution and quality with the need for minimum user intervention. It was proposed that the new HQ location was to have no local Technical Support so the chosen solution should be self contained with a minimal amount of cabling and an intuitive mode of operation.
With the clients aspiration for a simple, self contained and robust presentation solution there was only one manufacturer who was able to address the Audio Processing, Video Scaling, Switching and Control requirements in a single integrated solution; AMX and the Enova DVX All-In-One Presentation Switchers were chosen as the AV Platform.
The Enova DVX All-In-One Presentation Switchers Switchers combine all of the components you need to control/automate any environment into a simple, flexible, comprehensive solution including control, video switching, transcoding and scaling, and local and remote distribution – all in a single, compact enclosure. In addition to these capabilities available on either solution, the DVX offers room-level capabilities such as multi-format local inputs, audio mixing and amplification in the same enclosure.
The key features of the Enova DVX are as follows:
All-In-One Solution: Control, audio & video switching/distribution, scaling, converting, transcoding, amplification, plus built-in professional-grade DSP audio mixing and twisted pair distribution, all in a single small chassis.
SmartScale Technology: Automatically ensures signal output is scaled to every display’s native resolution.
HDMI/HDCP Compliance: End-to-end distribution of HDMI signals with full HDCP, with the simplicity of analogue, without interruption or key constraints using InstaGate Pro technology.
Mixing Cosmopolitan Chic with Contemporary Cool, Carton House Hotel in Kildare is one of the best luxury hotels Ireland has to offer. This beautifully restored historic mansion that has been discreetly converted in to a modern luxury destination – the first of its kind in Ireland.
- Previously, Carton House acquired 48 printers/photocopiers over time from 6 different manufacturers. Their old solution was unplanned and grew organically to meet immediate needs.
- Staff were burdened with managing problems as they arose, with the need to call an expensive IT support as needed.
- Carton House specifically wished to outsource all aspects of their maintenance, consumables and toners to include preventative measures to avoid downtime, in and out of normal business hours.
- They understood their need to consolidate, control and manage their largest fleet of machines, but did not know how best to resolve these issues.
- Reducing their carbon footprint was another strategic requirement of any solution deployed.
After a substantial audit/survey of both the hardware and people using the machines, a new solution was recommended reducing the fleet machines by 35%. The solution agreed, includes provision of all services including preventative and emergency maintenance, remote monitoring of all devices, IT troubleshooting, all consumable and parts to deliver maximum equipment uptime.
One quarterly bill for ease of administration, with half yearly account review. Minimum disruption to the business of running Carton House with the solution deployment – Digicom pre-configured all devices and related software achieving same day installation and solution completion.
- Minimum running costs savings of 20% achieved immediately.
- Significant administration and staff time savings in managing the print hardware, supplies and billing aspects.
- Immediate reduction by 25% of Carton House IT resources.
- Print related workflows streamlined and faster turnaround for guests, both in registering and checking out.
- Standardisation with all new models improved staff confidence and is greatly increasing successful print outcomes.