Apart together: technology helps Smart Energy GB keep its people safe
Smart Energy GB was established by the UK government in 2014 to support the national rollout of smart meters and help people in England, Scotland and Wales understand how to use them to become cleaner and greener with their energy use.
With its 80 staff dispersed between its London headquarters and regional offices in Scotland and Wales, it’s essential that timely, consistent messages reach all groups. Equally, that all employees, wherever they’re based, feel that they are part of one team.
With expert support from audio visual specialists Digital Vision AV, technology is playing a key role in achieving these goals.
To enable Smart Energy GB to communicate safely and effectively with its employees throughout the UK, while cutting the time, expense and risk of travelling between its three regional offices and London HQ.
Smart Energy GB first worked with Hemel Hempstead-based Digital Vision AV when it needed help trouble-shooting acoustic problems in the glass-walled boardroom of its London office. The large, airy room, affectionately named after the campaign’s figureheads ‘Gaz n Leccy’, can accommodate up to 30 participants but, when occupied by only a handful of people, pronounced echoing made the room unusable.
Paul Mayhew, MD of Digital Vision AV, worked with a specialist sound consultant to resolve the problem. From these beginnings, the two companies have built a close working relationship.
Gold standard video conferencing
Smart Energy GB initially used Cisco Webex video conferencing but, frustrated with its unreliability, switched to Easymeeting. When the sound quality of this platform suddenly deteriorated, needing to find an alternative, Smart Energy GB called on Digital Vision AV to recommend the video conferencing platform that would best meet its needs.
With more than 20 years’ experience, Digital Vision AV has deep knowledge of the audio visual marketplace. As the company is not tied to any one manufacturer, it is free to evaluate all the products on the market and recommend the solution that genuinely best meets its clients’ specific needs.
After gaining an understanding of Smart Energy GB’s requirements, Paul Mayhew recommended a comprehensive solution that would dramatically improve communication, collaboration and team spirit among its workforce.
Given its previous unsatisfactory experiences with sound quality, reliability was a priority. Paul Mayhew recommended BlueJeans for many reasons, not least its partnership with Dolby, the world leader in immersive sound.
Baptism of fire
Digital Vision AV’s recommendation was vindicated as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. As Paul Mayhew says, “BlueJeans promises to ‘make any room a video conference room’ and this became particularly relevant with the shift to home-working during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Smart Energy GB have found its video conferencing system an invaluable communications medium during lockdown. Over two months, the company held 21,776 minutes worth of meetings attended by 509 participants who gave the system a 99% approval rating.
The system was used not only for meetings but also to host physical exercise and wellbeing sessions from experts in yoga, crunch ‘n learn and even ballet!
Peter Thorne, Head of Technology for Smart Energy GB, is delighted with how well the system has performed and the support the company is enjoying. He comments, “It’s a real partnership. We’re delighted with the service we’ve received from the Digital Vision AV team – they’re always responsive and helpful and we get 100% support.”
A safe return to the office
Digital signage comes into its own
Digital Vision AV also suggested installing a video wall in the reception area of Smart Energy GB’s London HQ. As well as creating a stunning first impression for visitors, it plays a practical role, broadcasting live news, a showreel of Gaz and Leccy’s adverts and latest company developments. All content is managed centrally via an easy-to-use system that allows Smart Energy GB to update messaging almost instantly.
This facility will be put to good effect as Smart Energy GB plans its strategy for employees’ return to the office. The video wall and digital signage throughout its offices will be used to remind people of the need for social distancing. It will reinforce how those suffering stress or anxiety can access mental health support. It will also share up-to-the-minute practical information, such as traffic levels and Transport for London statistics on public transport usage to help staff and visitors plan their safest route home.
Video conferencing proves a lifeline
The technology solutions Digital Vision AV implemented have allowed Smart Energy GB to continue something very closely resembling business as usual throughout the pandemic. “It’s no exaggeration to say that video conferencing has enabled us to keep going as a business,” remarks Peter Thorne. “Call quality has been consistently good, our team is clued up about what’s going on with the business and team spirit remains high.”
Looking to the future, Smart Energy GB will continue to work with Digital Vision AV to find ever smarter, energy-saving ways of working.
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