Agnostic Video Conferencing Rooms for Somerset Capital Investment

Somerset Capital is an employee-owned Global Emerging Markets fund management firm. They are based in London and Singapore and focus on managing equity portfolios for governmental, family office, wealth management and institutional clients. The nature of the business is very international and that requires constant communication between the two main offices as well as an excellent connectivity in emerging markets.

Agnostic video conferencing meeting rooms solution

Requirements

Up until the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Somerset Capital were using a standard Polycom-based conferencing solution for the two main offices in London and Singapore. They would mainly rely on audio conferencing even with clients. Since the pandemic, video conferencing became a norm with widely used technologies such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Webex and Zoom.
Somerset Capital’s requirement when they spoke to us was to replace the legacy Polycom system because the only way it would communicate with the platforms above was via expensive CVI gateways (Common Video Interfaces for businesses that use legacy standards based video conferencing systems to join meetings on modern VC platforms).
The London team wanted to be able to jump on a video call with colleagues in Singapore or clients across the globe regardless of the preferred VC platform and without the need for extensive technical setup before each meeting.

Solution

We came up with an agnostic video conferencing meeting rooms solution to meet all of the client requirements for a total of 4 spaces. The setup we selected meant that Somerset Capital can still use some of the old expensive audio equipment while the rooms are not set up for any particular VC platform and they would perform as great for Microsoft Teams as for Zoom and the rest of the video conferencing options. How was this done?
We used a high-performing small-format PC (Intel NUC Core i7) running all the latest VC desktop applications. Connected to the PC, according to the size and type of each meeting room, we equipped each of them with high-end cameras (Aver Cam520 Pro or Yealink AVC400). In one of the rooms we kept the original Poly HDX ‘golf ball’ ceiling mic arrays and in another one we installed premium Shure microphones.
Finally, all rooms were equipped with robust steel wireless keyboards and mice from Logitech.

Project Benefits

Somerset Capital have been using the new agnostic VC rooms for over 6 months and are exceptionally happy with ITSL’s solution and installation. The firm is so pleased with the final result that we have been asked to provide a proposal for the same project in their Singapore office.

The installation exceeded their expectations for a few reasons. First, we went for a high-end PC solution instead of trying to save on budget by going for a low-cost PC with insufficient memory and cores. Second, the agnostic VC system allows any member of staff to add any of the new meeting rooms to a calendar invite with the link from a preferred VC application. Thus, launching the meeting takes only a few seconds, once the participants are in the meeting room. We have provided a flexible setup allowing screen sharing from all participants, not necessarily using the meeting room PC.

Finally, Somerset Capital wanted aesthetically-pleasing and professionally looking meeting rooms. We delivered a premium AV solution that also met and exceeded this expectation on top of the great performance and functionality.

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