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Huddle Rooms: Wright Medical Technology

Wright Medical Technology wanted to reengineer its communications and meeting room technologies. It did so with Crestron RL.

Huddle Rooms: Wright Medical Technology

Nov 13, 2014 9:25 AM

Memphis-based ISO 9001 orthopedic firm Wright Medical Technology (WMT) wanted to reengineer its communications and meeting room technologies as part of divesting certain business segments and moving into new headquarters. The solution was to leverage existing Microsoft Lync unified communications with Crestron RL meeting room technology.

“If you know Microsoft Lync, you already know how to use Crestron RL,” says Mike Colley, end-user infrastructure architect for WMT. “Our employees see the technologies as one and the same, and they think of them together.”

“Lync was very attractive to us,” Colley says, “especially with our large sales force and our many sales and distribution hubs. We were already heavy users of Microsoft Office and wanted to take advantage of the tools Lync offered beyond email, desk phones, and cellphones.”

A priority was to reengineer the company’s meeting room technology, especially the video and collaborative systems essential to geographically dispersed teams. “In my research I learned that Crestron makes a product that integrates a large-screen touch display, camera, and control panel with Lync,” Colley says.

Colley worked with David Perry of the Memphis office of Technical Innovation (TI).

Perry, Colley, and others from WMT traveled to the Crestron regional office in Atlanta to see Crestron RL in action. Colley had originally planned to add Crestron RL to four or five rooms, but when he saw the simplicity and capabilities of the platform, he decided to go to 27 systems, including those for the huddle rooms.

Each of the standard Crestron packages includes one or two 65in. flatpanel displays with interactive whiteboard and screen markup capabilities; a communications codec-based on Lync; a fixed-focus, high-definition camera with microphone; a speaker bar on each display; and a 10in. tabletop control screen

In addition, Perry says WMT managers wanted to take advantage of the bring-your-own-device initiative using employees’ own smart phones and tablets. TI installed a Crestron AirMedia Gateway in every room for easy, wireless presentations. “If they don’t plug anything into the table popup, the system defaults to AirMedia, making it very easy to present from almost any device,” he says.

“The key to this is that Crestron RL is really just an extension of Lync, and it follows all of the standard Lync protocols,” Perry adds. Crestron is a Microsoft Gold Partner and worked closely with Microsoft engineers to develop the system. It integrates seamlessly with Lync instant messaging, voice and video, as well as with the Microsoft Office suite for email, scheduling meetings, and sharing documents and presentations.

Colley says executives and staff are scheduling far more video-based meetings than they did in the old headquarters. “In my opinion, video adds a lot, even if it’s just a one-to-one meeting over Lync. It’s subtle, but I act differently. I’m a little less impatient. I feel more of a connection. Rapport and understanding improve, and with them productivity improves.”

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