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Case Study

With a New ViewBoard Display

ATech’s Conference Room Drives Collaboration

Overview

Problem:

  • Provide tools that facilitate employee collaboration while being easily supported by a one-man IT team

Solution:

Result:

  • Meetings across all departments are more focused and productive, allowing full team participation, even for remote workers
  • Meeting content and notes are easily captured, shared, and saved, freeing up employees to spend more time generating ideas

"The ViewBoard display isn’t scary or hard to use. Anybody can walk right up to it, connect to it, project to it, and continue on. It feels like we’re all one big team, no matter where we are."

- Brian Jenkins, ATech's network administrator

Problem

Too many companies underequip their conference rooms with outdated gear, requiring extra labor to prepare illustrations and ideas for sharing, sloppy scribbles on an erasable whiteboard, and painstaking notetaking by participants.

In these underequipped rooms, a videoconference means co-workers huddled around a monitor, looking over each other’s shoulders, writing down notes, and interjecting comments during pauses in the conversation—comments that are often incoherent because of the computer’s weak mic.

That was certainly the case at ATech Training Inc. in Walton, Kentucky, which builds automotive training aids—everything from cars with common real-world faults to cars cut in half for examination—for schools and corporations to train technicians.

ATech is on the cutting edge with its teaching tools, but its tools for employee collaboration were lacking, says Brian Jenkins, ATech’s network administrator and one-man IT team for the small company.

For onsite meetings, employees had to congregate in a dreary, gray-walled meeting room and use an old-school projector that took 10 minutes to heat up, then overheated so that the person sitting next to it had to be careful not to get burned. It wasn’t a room employees were excited about going into, and it didn’t foster productive collaboration; people had to print out illustrations that frequently appeared blurry through the projector, and take individual notes for sharing later. They’d have to reconvene hours or days later to review what they’d previously gone over to make sure everyone was on the same page.

When talking with offsite employees like software developers and the sales reps in Puerto Rico, employees had to huddle around a single computer with a scrawny camera for a video conference. “We’d have to turn the computer so the person on the other end could see who was talking,” Jenkins says.

“For 11 years, a conference room refresh had been at the top of my list, but I kept getting shot down as other priorities superseded it,” he says.

Solution

Then ATech won a 65” 4K ViewSonic ViewBoard Interactive Display in a Spiceworks “Conference Room Makeover” contest, complete with wall mount, slot-in PC for advanced functionality, and Logitech Rally Camera for video  conferencing. The ViewBoard display includes the cloud-based myViewBoard™ software, enterprise-level security, cloud storage, digital whiteboarding and annotation, multicasting, and other advanced features to boost communication and collaboration among team members.

“When I got the email saying I’d won, I jumped out of my chair,” Jenkins says. “I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.”

FINDING A NEW LEVEL OF COLLABORATION

Even in his low-tech offices, installing the new high-tech ViewBoard display was simple. “I loved it because I didn’t have to touch anything. I helped push it into the room, and that’s as far as I got with it. It was that simple.”

The ViewSonic support team was fantastic in helping to prepare it for use, even troubleshooting an ATech licensing issue, Jenkins says. “Their support team was above and beyond anything we expected.”

In just two days, they were already using it for meetings. Anytime a new technology comes along, it’s natural to wonder if it will be difficult to use and if it will really work for you, Jenkins says. But the ViewBoard display isn’t scary or hard to use. “Anybody can walk right up to it, connect to it, project to it, and continue on.”

The ViewBoard display supports a full range of end-user devices, including PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, and Android devices. Users can cast from iPhones, Android phones, tablets, or laptops, and they can save files to cloud storage. The variety of tools for displaying, sharing, and saving media allows teams to collaborate in new ways.

For example, the ATech sales team uses the ViewBoard display to combine schedules and upcoming travel itineraries on one screen during meetings, so they can see who will be where when. The fabrication and research and development departments use it to brainstorm ideas. Team members can envision an idea and put that idea directly up on the ViewBoard display for everyone to see. When someone writes a note on the board, it’s saved to a central location in the cloud for team members to retrieve. “Everybody’s not writing notes on a notepad or typing out their notes anymore,” Jenkins says.

“We’re able to get everybody together, put some pictures and examples of what we’re wanting to do on the board, and then collaborate all together right there for the first time,” he says.

Result

When the developers were meeting to update company software, they beamed the current software directly to the ViewBoard display so that everyone in the room could comfortably see it.

“With the old projector, you could put your stuff on the projector and it would go up on the wall, but this board brings it to life,” Jenkins says. “Everything has a crisp, clear look.”

It works the other way, too: “You can write on the board and it reflects back on your devices, as well,” he says. “So if you have a bunch of people in the room, and some can’t see the board really well, they’ll be able to see it on their device.”

And because the meeting notes, slides, and illustrations save to the cloud, they’re accessible anywhere. “It doesn’t matter where we are. I can be traveling and upload something to share with our group here. We can do a video session or rep training from a customer site. It makes us feel like we’re still connected,” Jenkins says.

BREAKING THROUGH PRODUCTIVITY ROADBLOCKS

“The ViewBoard display has been a lifesaver,” Jenkins says. “It has helped us in so many ways.”

ViewBoard display users save time by managing all their meeting-related tasks in one place, resulting in less duplicated work. They also spend less time dealing with technical issues that arise from having to connect multiple systems and devices. As a result, ATech meetings are more focused and productive now.

“Any ideas or thoughts we have, we’re right there together,” Jenkins says. “Everybody’s able to view what we want to share and the ideas we want to get across without us having to print pictures or ideas, come back in two hours, and hash this out again. We’re able to get everything figured out right then and there.”

ATech uses the ViewBoard display for virtual meetings and training with clients as well as remote team members. Recently they used it for a video session to finally meet all of the sales reps in Puerto Rico.

“We’re able to connect with them so much better than over a phone call,” Jenkins says. “We felt like we were all together, even though we were in two different parts of the planet. It feels like we’re all one big team, no matter where we are.”

FACE-TO-FACE COLLABORATION, WITHOUT THE FACES BEING SO CLOSE TOGETHER

Collaboration has increased among all the departments. Where once employees avoided the conference room, now every department has a meeting several times a week.

“For the first time, everybody on the fabrication team was able to sit down instead of crowding around a computer monitor to share ideas,” Jenkins says. “It’s face-to-face, which is more meaningful, and everybody’s more relaxed. It just makes everything a little bit more easygoing, easy flowing.”

“Now we’re able to work together as a team to share ideas and focus on what we need to work on.”

And everyone feels included in the discussion, Jenkins says. “It’s important that we feel like we’re all in it together.”

THE COMPANY SHOWPIECE

“The ViewBoard display is a showpiece now,” he says. “For everybody who comes into the building, including clients, we highlight the conference room. ‘Look what we can do to help you out now! You may be in the office today, but we have other ways we can connect with you in the future!’”

ATech prides itself on being the leader and expert in the automotive training field. The ViewSonic ViewBoard display is another tool that helps its employees come together as a team to bring ideas to life— and even after the idea is brought to life, to continue to support and train customers, Jenkins says. “We are planning on using the ViewBoard display for webinars, training customers on our equipment, and other projects.”

He believes the ViewBoard display can become the showpiece in other organizations, as well. “ViewSonic has been awesome; its products are great. We use ViewSonic monitors, and we’ve always been a big fan of the company. The ViewBoard display has proven itself and its value.”

“If I tried to take it out of that conference room, I’d have an uprising on my hands. That’s how much our employees love the ViewBoard display.”

Learn more about ViewSonic ViewBoard displays and myViewBoard software today.

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