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Case Study: The Variable, NC

Located in the historic, recently-renovated Bailey Power Plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, The Variable is a multiple awardwinning global strategic marketing firm. Through the course of growth and success, The Variable’s staff had outgrown their previous office location and found themselves elbow to elbow, in desperate need of more space as well as new AV technology. They wanted AV that was far better, more reliable, and easier to use than in their previous location. As Kate Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Operations at The Variable, says, “Having experienced those [AV] issues again and again, we knew the next time we moved that we were going to invest. We were going to do it right. A lot of people get sticker shock when it comes to technology and AV, but we had struggled and made do for so long that everybody agreed it was the right investment to make.” The Variable teamed up with Durham-based AV Integrator, KONTEK Systems, and began planning their move into the new space.

When it came to specifying the AV equipment for the project, Warren Martin, UX Design Engineer at KONTEK said that Extron was the obvious choice. “We chose Extron because I wanted it to work. Extron is one of the very few companies where I have no problem spec’ing a brand-new product. They do their due diligence. Their boxes are quiet and small – and do their job.” Still, even with Extron and the other AV brands secured, there were several specific requirements that The Variable expected from the components and the system designs. In particular, they wanted to vastly improve their video conferencing capabilities. As Fenstermacher put it, “When we moved into the Bailey Building, video conferencing was huge for us – and this was pre-COVID. Thankfully, we had planned to make sure all our rooms were ready for video conferencing, but especially our main conference room and larger conference rooms. The decisions we made early on allowed us to have those teleconferences seamlessly, and Extron AV in the room helped with all that.” The new rooms in the Bailey building were outfitted with Extron TouchLink Pro touchpanels. The main conference room had the TLP Pro 1025T 10” tabletop touchpanel and a custom UI, so intuitive that anyone entering the room could immediately use it

According to The Variable, the project exceeded expectations. Vest put it best, “Before we moved into this new space, we were constantly trouble-shooting our conference rooms, the projector, or the phones. And the aesthetics of those rooms! We had extension cords going from the table to the ceiling! We had a camera sitting on a cardboard box – and you know I’m sure that looked good to the client on the other end. But now, we’ve upped our game. To be able to pop into one of our conference rooms and, with a minimal level of stress, be able to jump on a video call with a client – it’s a breath of fresh air.”

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