APi Group, Inc. serves as a holding company for nearly 40 independently managed companies with more than 150 locations. Headquartered in New Brighton, Minn., APi focuses on servicing the industrial sector, including specialty construction, fire systems, fabrication and distribution.
At three stories and 50,000 square feet, APi’s LEED gold certified headquarters includes a limestone exterior and an emphasis on natural light and expansive windows. “The APi Group needed a better way to effectively communicate with our geographically disperse companies and with our many vendors and suppliers,” says APi’s network manager, Brian Erickson. “Having superb audio/video conferencing technology was key to achieving this goal. In addition, APi is thoroughly committed to green-friendly practices to minimize our impact on the environment. Therefore it was very important to build technology that fit these criteria.”
From the moment visitors step into the lobby, they’re greeted with Panasonic’s 58-inch, 16:9 LCD monitor, which is showcased as a touch screen monitor for APi’s corporate Web page. They can easily “surf” around the site with the simple touch of their finger.
As another highlight of the integration, APi’s audio conferencing room features Polycom’s HDX 9002 high-definition (HD) codec. Additional audio support is provided in the form of four Atlas Sound ceiling speakers, as well as eight Sennheiser gooseneck microphones evenly dispersed throughout the conference room table. Panasonic’s 50-inch HD plasma displays complete the presentation environment. In each of the four standard conference rooms, meetings are enhanced through the use of Polycom’s SoundStation2 conference phones, as well as two additional 50-inch HD plasmas.
“We have been able to take advantage of more productive meetings by having the superior audio and video conferencing technology built into our facility,” says Erickson. “The comfortable meeting spaces, audio/video technology and acoustically-friendly spaces (i.e. no echo) help keep the participants focused and does not detract from the meeting itself.”
“Prior to the installation of videoconferencing technology, APi executives could only arrange to meet quarterly,” says Thornburgh. “Today, they’re able to have more meetings throughout the organization, with a lot less coordination efforts and expense required,” adds Thornburgh. At every level, APi board members will find that the new AV system is designed to provide maximum versatility, including networking capabilities.
“The most impressive technology is incorporated into this boardroom,” adds Erickson. “The sheer scale of the main video monitor as well as all the video screens and audio technology helps make this room the centerpiece of our corporate headquarters.” As one of the integration team’s largest boardroom installs, displays include a customized 165-inch HD 1080p Da-Lite rear projection screen, with images powered by an 8,000 lumens high-resolution Barco projector. Equipped with seating for up to 46 participants, the boardroom table is integrated with seven of Sharp’s 46-inch HD 1080p LCD flat panel displays.
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