Sharp and Festo creating meeting rooms that put people first
Festo, the German automation technology company, wanted to update its meeting rooms with touch displays and video conferencing tools that let people present more effectively and hold remote meetings more easily. The team chose Sharp as its display partner for the ‘Festo Room System’ because of its flexible range of displays, and is using 60”, 70” and 80” BIG PADs chosen for their ease of use – anyone can walk in and quickly start to use the screen.
The Festo Group is a leading manufacturer of automation technology for factory and process automation, including pneumatic and electrical drive technology. The family-owned company is headquartered in Esslingen, Germany, and employs 18,000 people in 61 countries at 250 branch offices and independent subsidiaries.
In 2015 the company completed construction of its cutting-edge Automation Centre at its German head office. The building is base to 400 employees and houses the technology and customer centres, as well as Festo’s German sales organisation. Here, Festo works with its customers to develop their ideas and projects in one-on-one meetings, conducts application testing, implements optimisations and produces prototypes.
With the facilities of the new Automation Centre, the company wanted to create greater flexibility and interaction for employees, facilitate communication and promote creative working methods.
Focus on usability, ergonomics and design
To ensure the highest level of productivity for customers and employees alike, the company developed its Festo Room System for meeting rooms. The solution allows employees to access standardised conferencing technologies similar to the equipment used at their workstations, therefore it can be used intuitively.
For interactive presentations Festo required easy to use but high-quality displays that could be seamlessly integrated into the Room System. In its search for a provider of LCD displays capable of meeting these requirements, the company selected Sharp, the specialist for display technology.
Tobias Reiter, Inf. Management IT Contracts at Festo, explains: “Sharp’s LCD monitors combine innovative technology with user-friendly operation and a very good price-performance ratio. We were also impressed by Sharp’s flexibility in addressing our special requirements regarding the equipment and the design of the monitors. Sharp provided us with a solution that was exactly tailored to our needs.”
With the help of partner Cancom Didas, a total of 32 touch displays (models PN-60TB3,PN-70TB3 and PN-80TC3) were installed in the meeting rooms and another 11 in the common areas of the Automation Centre. They are seamlessly integrated into the user-friendly environment of the Festo Room System.
“The usability of the monitors was an important criterion for us,” says Reiter. “During their meetings, our colleagues must be able to concentrate on the actual issue at hand and their ideas. Complicated technology that is not easy to use takes up a lot of time and tends to be avoided by many employees. We removed this obstacle by providing an intuitive technology that can be used by everyone, regardless of their IT knowledge.”
Communication of the future
The new equipment has been well received by employees and is increasingly being used during informal meetings in the common areas. For example, employees use the touch displays to access their own workstations and exchange ideas with colleagues. The system promotes communication and a cross-departmental exchange between employees, which is in line with Festo’s original aim. While training was offered, it was not considered necessary as the equipment is very easy to use.
Reiter says: “We have been using the equipment for some time now, and the feedback has been consistently positive. This only strengthens our resolve to make the Festo Room System gradually available across the company. The touch displays from Sharp are an essential part of this concept.”
Discover the full range of Sharp interactive touch screen displays.
Further reading: 10 questions to ask before buying an Interactive Display
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