As described in the last blog post, Future Workspaces are key factors in meeting the needs of digital transformation. It is not without reason that the research and consulting company Gartner has identified Future Workspaces as one of the ten most important technology trends for the coming years . Interactive and digital AV technology is no longer just pure technical infrastructure. In collaboration rooms, huddle rooms or innovation labs it represents a productivity factor. That’s why Gartner recommends a holistic approach to implementing future workspaces. Only this way can these solutions and areas be strategically embedded and aligned with corporate goals. With the macomBOX method, macom has developed a defined procedure that enables such a holistic approach. In this blog post we will show you some application examples for the macomBOX method.
1. Early target definition increases user acceptance for optimal efficiency
The success or failure of future workspaces is often already decided in the strategy and concept phase. “Success factors are, for example, the need-based dimensioning of communication and collaboration technology, high usability and the associated low
entry barriers for the use of the new tools,” explains Oliver Mack, Managing Director of macom GmbH.
It is therefore important to clearly define the goals and requirements of the new working environments and the planned technology at an early stage and to take them into account in the project concept. This is not just about structural integration. When defining goals with users and the future operator (usually IT), the foundation stone is laid for later acceptance and productivity of the technology in daily operation. This in turn decides whether the technology investments can be exploited or not.
Oliver Mack illustrates this with a simple example: “An interactive whiteboard is of little use if it can only be operated by experts and is not integrated into the user’s IT environment. If employees use the technology to create digital content but cannot seamlessly store and distribute it in SharePoint, network or cloud, user acceptance of the new technology suffers and the potential for optimizing business processes is exploited. An early integration into the IT environment and a consistent focus on the simplest operation in the
conception can prevent such impairments”.
2. Technology standards save costs, increase usability and simplify purchasing processes
Room and technology standards are a solution that is particularly beneficial for larger companies with numerous meeting and collaboration rooms. When these standards are created based on use cases and user requirements, they provide an enterprise-wide framework for equipping future workspaces. They save costs in planning and installation, increase usability and thus productivity in operation, reduce service costs and offer economies of scale in purchasing.
The prerequisite is central control of digitization projects. “In a current project, we have created the meeting room standards for a leading German automobile manufacturer. Together with the company we have defined standard rooms with standardized components. For example, if a department needs a meeting room for two to four people including an interactive display and video conference, such a room can be ordered as a complete package from the central purchasing department. The standards ensure that the interaction
of hardware and software works and that the applications are fully compatible with the company’s internal laptops and smartphones,” explains Oliver Mack.
3. Conception and design: customers can test smart spaces
In order to support companies at an early stage in the conception and definition of Future Workspace projects, we have created the macomLAB. In the research, test and CoCreation Lab for future workspaces, companies have the possibility to design and test presentation, communication and collaboration solutions for future workspaces in a realistic and independent environment, independently of manufacturers – and this for the first time and internationally unique. “We can show customers which technical
possibilities there are for the implementation of their new working environment, which requirements they have and which solutions are the most sensible for the respective targets. Thus, we can develop needs-based solutions for the individual requirements of every company”, Simon Badr, Senior Consultant, macom LAB, explains.
Simulation of new working environments enables individual conception
Im macom LAB stehen verschiedene Bereiche zur Simulation von flexibel anpassbaren Arbeits- und Meeting-Spaces sowie Kollaborationsumgebungen zur Verfügung. So können die Anforderungen von medientechnischen Bau- und Integrationsvorhaben geplant werden. Hard- und Software-Shootouts erlauben zudem Aussagen zu den jeweils sinnvollsten technischen Lösungen für die unterschiedlichen Projektanforderungen. Zusätzlich lassen sich technische Standards für zukünftige Bauvorhaben festlegen.
„Wir betrachten Kundenprojekte immer aus drei Perspektiven: aus der Anwendersicht, hier steht die Usability im Mittelpunkt; aus der Technologiesicht, hier geht es um die Kompatibilität und einen integrierten Technikeinsatz ohne Insellösungen; und aus der Prozesssicht, hierfür erstellen wir Lifecycle-Analysen mit Fokus auf Produktivitätsgewinne in der Nutzungs- und Betriebsphase. Nur wenn alle drei Sichtweisen bereits in der Konzeptions- und Planungsphase beachtet werden, erhalten Unternehmen Ergebnisse, mit denen sie die Optimierungsmöglichkeiten, die neue Arbeitswelten bieten, vollständig und nachhaltig ausschöpfen können“, erläutert Badr.
4. Technical design: technical concepts meet the structural reality of physical rooms
In the technical design phase, the entire conceptual preparatory work meets the structural reality of concrete implementation projects. The technical concepts must be translated into cable pull plans, CAD drawings and 3D BIM models. The more demanding the construction project, the more important it is to have an experienced AV consultant at your side. He can estimate how the existing spatial conditions influence the interaction of the hardware and software components and which structural requirements must be considered. The interface management between the trades involved in the construction process also plays an important role here.
“For example, creative concepts by architects often come into conflict with the AV technology requirements of smart spaces and new working environments. New working environments are often realized with open office structures. For meeting rooms this often means: many glass surfaces. For video conferencing or UCC systems, however, glass surfaces are rather counterproductive. Glass is a hard surface that provides a great reverberation. This can affect the audio quality considerably. As experienced AV consultants,
we can give advice at an early stage and find a solution together with the architect,” says Oliver Mack.
5. OPEX beats CAPEX: plan for operation at an early stage
75 % of the costs of future workspaces are incurred during operation. If the new workspaces function properly and are used by the employees, they can recoup these costs through increased innovation, more efficient processes and higher productivity or even reduced travel costs. If they are not used, future workspaces are budget graves because they do not generate a ROI.
Operational concepts are important to define in the design phase, for example, the operational requirements of a solution help define the selection of technology to meet all the support needs as well as being easy to operate. Maintenance concepts, clarification of responsibilities and remote maintenance models also contribute to efficient operation. Users have quick access to contact person/service and technology can be controlled centrally to support the resolution of issues. AV management systems also make it possible to monitor technology and evaluate capacity utilization and other parameters as well as taking control of the rooms themselves to support the users.
Professional operation and support is a very important aspect for smart spaces and new working environments. Because if the technology doesn’t work or the employees don’t use it, then you only have simple, very “non-smart” rooms. You can prevent this with the operating concepts of the macom experts. Designing your operational process also allows for the operating costs to be assessed in the technology conception stage. Gaining you budget security and operational security,” explains Oliver Mack.
In these two blogs posts we have clearly illustrated, why future workspaces play such an important role in the future of organizations. From this we have derived a sensible procedure for the implementation of these spaces. In addition, we have shown you in various examples what to pay attention to while implementing and what advantages a holistic and strategic approach for future workspaces offers. If you have further questions about our macomBOX method for Future Workspaces, please feel free to contact us.
Martin Wagner, Head of Marketing, macom Group
Download macom Whitepaper: Strategic approach for future workspaces
This blog post is an excerpt from the current macom Whitepaper: “Strategic Approach for Future Workspaces”. Would you like to read the entire whitepaper with all the specialist information and practical examples? You can download it here!
macomLAB is the non-proprietary innovation hub for experiencing, testing and developing state-of-the-art presentation, communication, interaction and collaboration systems.
macom AV technology Blog
Benefit from the expert knowledge of macom’s engineers. We capture the developments of IT, AV technology and digitalisation.