In March 2020, Unilever gave MCI the contract to equip the meeting and conference rooms of its new D-A-CH headquarters with media technology. Unilever, one of the world’s leading consumer goods manufacturers, employs more than 150,000 people worldwide, including (approx.) 700 at its headquarters in Hamburg alone.
To accommodate this high number of employees, the headquarters were relocated from Hamburg’s HafenCity to the Neue Burg 1 site, also in the city center. The service provider MCI was chosen to equip the office space with professional, innovative and forward-looking media technology equipment to create a modern and prestigious working environment.
MCI began planning in March 2020. The other services included the delivery, installation and ready-to-operate configuration as well as programming of the media technology systems. A total of 50 rooms, spread over a total area of 5,554 m² on nine floors, were equipped with media technology. The room equipment ranges from simple connection panels and meeting rooms with image and sound technology to conference rooms equipped with complex AVoIP systems.
One challenge was to plan and select the media technology appropriately in relation to the demanding architecture of the building within the limits of the technical and physical possibilities. At the same time, the installations had to comply with Unilever’s Perfect Meeting Room Standard guidelines. To do so, the technology was tailored to usage requirements and ergonomics.
Kai Hadler, Multimedia and Project Manager Unilever: “The design of our new headquarters anticipated many of the issues that are shaping the future of work today. The result is a place where we can respond flexibly to the needs of our employees. This was also reflected in the requirements for the technology, which had to ensure working on site as well as in virtual space.”
Therefore, when selecting the technical equipment, attention was paid to intuitive usability and flexible application options. For this purpose, each room was equipped with Crestron Flex Unified Communication & Collaboration solutions according to the individual requirements.
Crestron Flex UC provides the solution to these requirements through native Microsoft Teams™, Skype® for Business and Zoom Rooms™ integration. The systems are scalable and can be complemented with different video and audio I/Os for maximum application flexibility. Samsung 55″ WM55R digital flipcharts enable sustainable presentations and fit seamlessly into the Unilever design and architecture of the building.
Jan Jochmann, Project Engineer MCI GmbH: “The biggest challenge was to equip the various conference and meeting rooms, which are spread over a total of nine floors, in a way that was appropriate to the application. The Crestron Flex UC conferencing solutions can be combined for different applications, making them flexible to use, while maintaining high-quality audio and video.”
For interactive communication via Microsoft Teams, the Crestron UC Engines were integrated into the house network and connected to the central server room on the 1st floor. To integrate the new media technology, the network infrastructure had to be re-planned, expanded, adapted, and implemented across the nine floors.
Another challenge and at the same time architectural feature is the variable conference area. This is a room concept in which one large conference room becomes two or three meeting rooms, depending on requirements. With the help of the Crestron NVX system, individually configurable conference situations can be created. The planning office Joppich & Rieckhoff implemented the appropriate furnishing concept, which also equipped the remaining rooms.
State-of-the-art technology and room equipment integrated into the special architecture of the building gives a foretaste of the working world of tomorrow. MCI’s integration of the systems makes Unilever’s D-A-CH headquarters a modern work and conference experience.
By installing the latest media technology, Unilever is prepared for the increasing need for flexible, collaborative work and the future demands of new ways of working, which have particularly shaped the image of teamwork this year.