Global law firm DLA Piper, recently moved its Chicago office to 444 River Point, a 52-story office tower on Lake Street. The law firm is leasing 175,000 sq. feet on the ninth through 16th floors in the tower. With hundreds of employees attending several meetings in 33 rooms in one business day, DLA Piper needed to find meeting management technology to help increase office productivity.
Joe Anton, Software & Applications Manager at DLA Piper, created the solution using Rendezvous from NFS Technology. He explained, “We already had Rendezvous room scheduling software in-house which partnered with Crestron for video conferencing. It was natural to incorporate Crestron Fusion since it was compatible with Rendezvous and provided panels outside the meeting rooms with scheduling information on display.”
The combination of Rendezvous room booking software and Crestron Fusion® Cloud, a leading cloud-based enterprise management system, seamlessly create a connected workplace environment and end-to-end solution. Crestron Fusion Cloud enables technology managers to globally monitor, manage, and control room devices, as well as display meeting details inside and outside the scheduled room. Rendezvous streamlines the room booking process and manages services like catering and AV in a single process. The combination of room scheduling with Crestron digital signage delivers management information supporting intelligent decisions in space planning.
“The Crestron panels outside the room, installed by Whitlock, display a red light for occupied and a green light when not in use,” explains Kevin Wertlieb, Sr. Unified Communications Engineer, DLA Piper. “It also displays the entire day’s calendar, which is an improvement over what was used in the past.”
According to Bob Bavolacco, Crestron’s Manager of Partnerships, “Crestron’s room scheduling touch panels offer clients a much more robust and stable platform than the traditional tablet-type panels that are prone to issues regarding O/S crashes, battery life, and even theft. The touch panels, paired with the room signs, eliminates all the ‘guessing’ and employee ‘peek-a-boos’ that often interrupt meetings that are taking place in rooms that otherwise do not provide readily available occupancy data.”
With the integration of Rendezvous and Crestron Fusion, employees can find a meeting space, book the room and catering, set-up lighting, control temperature, lower window shades, and bring remote offices into the meeting by video conferencing seamlessly for a timely start. Crestron scheduling touch screens placed just outside a room enable them to instantly see room status, book the room from panel, or release it if unused.
“During the first week in our new office space it was nice to see a scheduled meeting and what room it was in,” states Anton. “It’s great for catering people because red light means stop. They know if the light is green they can enter to clean up. Caterers don’t have to look at a list for meeting times since the panel gives a visual color cue that they can follow.”
”This new technology has increased our productivity at DLA Piper,” states Wertlieb. “NFS Rendezvous software is simple to use — once we got it set up it was easy to book meetings.
When staff walk into a room sensors turn equipment on and instructions appears on the main screen alerting attendees how to project a laptop onto the screen wirelessly or physically plugged in. Equipment will automatically shut down when the meeting ends.”
And if the meeting time changes Rendezvous automatically alerts staff and catering through Outlook.
The Rendezvous QuickBook, designed using the latest web HTML5 development technologies, provides a powerful mobile room and resource booking app that works on multiple platforms. Currently DLA Piper’s reception handles the meeting room scheduling, however the company is testing QuickBook for use on smartphones and mobile devices.
DLA Piper has begun the first phase of renovation of its New York office with one floor already equipped with Rendezvous and Fusion. The next step is to complete an entire floor of conference rooms, with the project finalized in two years. Its Seattle office is next on the schedule. NFS and Crestron are also involved in DLA Piper’s London project.
“We are very excited about our integration with Crestron as it offers the client a seamless user experience from booking space to checking into a room and using in-room services like video conferencing,” states Luis Desouza, CEO, of NFS Technology. “The release of our new API capability has allowed us to fast track many integration projects enabling our customers to truly connect their workplaces.” DLA Piper’s Chicago office meets LEED® GOLD standards and was designed by Pickard Chilton architecture studio.