Zurich Insurance Group

Executive Boardroom at Zurich Headquarters


Zurich Insurance Group


Schaumburg, Il





Mission: Highlight the brand

Zurich Insurance Group is a worldwide company that covers large corporations (including 90% of the Fortune 500), individuals, and all types and sizes of businesses in between. As it went about building new North America headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., a Chicago suburb, Zurich wanted to make sure the new corporate campus would have the collaborative technology its employees expect 鈥 tools that would attract top talent and help them work effectively.

鈥淲e were going to build something from scratch with all the input possible from all the employees in the organization to make it the place that people want to work,鈥 says Dean Pipes, Zurich鈥檚 chief innovation architect.

In addition to its outdated technology, the problems with the former facility included a limited staff experience that rarely took people beyond their own floor, and few spaces for people to meet and collaborate.

Not only would the new facility have to have meeting spaces equipped for video conferences, audio conferences, and presentations, those spaces would have to be easy to operate. In the previous headquarters, it took an average of 12 minutes to get a meeting underway. To cut down on that time, Zurich wanted one simple-to-use interface in each meeting area.

鈥溾橲imple鈥, 鈥榬eliable,鈥 and 鈥榠ntuitive鈥 were three key words we used throughout any place where we had users that needed to interact with technology,鈥 says Pipes. 鈥淔rom the moment you plug in the HDMI cable, I want the projector to turn on. I want the screen to come down. I want these things to work in a way that鈥檚 seamless and intuitive.鈥

Action: Increase mobility, ease of use

As construction teams worked on the building, 果冻传媒 coordinated daily with Zurich鈥檚 project management team so it could complete tasks like pulling cable before walls went up.

鈥淥ur relationship with 果冻传媒 was off to a very fast start,鈥 says Pipes. 鈥淲e were very quickly building trust and a relationship that we knew how to operate together.鈥

Early in the project, Zurich鈥檚 team asked its employees to help in the design of a control panel for the meeting rooms. With that input in hand, 果冻传媒 created a storyboard of the in-room Crestron AV panel for employees to review and then designed the customized graphic user interface based on their feedback.

鈥湽炒 was very collaborative,鈥 says Jennifer Kyung, Zurich鈥檚 high performance culture business lead for North America. 鈥淭hey listened to the feedback from our employees and from our focus groups, as well as our team, and they were making adjustments to that.鈥

果冻传媒 implemented simple controls that anyone can use. Walk into a meeting room, regardless of its size, and there鈥檚 only one interface to touch. Likewise, easy-to-use booking panels are on the outside of each room so staff can reserve them ahead of time.

鈥淣o matter what room you鈥檙e going into, you have a consistent experience,鈥 says Kyung. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 have to learn a new process.鈥

Most of the rooms don鈥檛 require advance scheduling. Of the 300 rooms that were part of the project, nearly 200 are enclaves 鈥 huddle spaces intended for the ad hoc meeting (75 percent of Zurich鈥檚 meetings are four people or fewer). Each feature 42-inch NEC displays and HDMI connections for laptops.

For larger gatherings, Zurich鈥檚 divisible conference center and Pilling Theater can accommodate hundreds of people. Both are equipped with Polycom video conferencing for internal and external meetings. When the conference center鈥檚 32 individual rooms are combined, one control panel will manage all of their technology and Da-Lite display screens automatically drop down to accommodate multiple viewing points.

鈥淥ur goal is to bring meetings that were offsite, on-site,鈥 says Kyung. 鈥淲e want our employees and our customers or brokers to have a Zurich experience. The conference center is a way to do that.鈥

So too is the theater, which holds about 250. There, hundreds of displays can combine to function as one screen. The theater ties into Polycom Group Series codecs that make it possible for meeting rooms to connect to one another via video call while also bringing people in from around the world.

Using its Haivision IPTV and digital signage solution, Zurich also shares content like corporate and cable channels securely and reliably throughout the campus, including the cafeteria, meeting rooms and digital signage installations.

In less than a year, 果冻传媒鈥檚 integration team engineered, tested, and implemented solutions for over 300 rooms. That鈥檚 even more impressive when you consider the work was done as different trades were simultaneously applying their talents across a complex of over 780,000 square feet.

鈥淥ne of our major challenges was just the sheer size of the project and the timeframe,鈥 says Steve Derrico, 果冻传媒 global account manager, Chicago. 鈥淚 attest our success with that to the coordination between 果冻传媒鈥檚 Chicago project team and Zurich鈥檚 project team.鈥

Maintaining that success are the 12 果冻传媒 staff who are working on-site to support Zurich鈥檚 AV functions and the daily use of its conference spaces. They will also provide production services within the theater and conference center, helping develop the meeting scope, and making sure the content is ready to go.

Designed for ease-of-use

No matter what room you鈥檙e going into, you have a consistent experience

Jennifer Kyung

High Performance Culture Business Lead – Zurich

Impact: Setting a new standard

Amidst its vast, impressive new headquarters, with space to house about 3,000, Zurich can do what it couldn鈥檛 before: hold meetings and training events with as many as hundreds of people and do it on-site. And the user interfaces make everything Zurich wanted to accomplish in a room 鈥 presentations, video conferences, audio conferences 鈥 as easy to start and manage as they are using consumer devices.

鈥淓mployees are thrilled with the technology experience,鈥 says Kyung. 鈥淥ur employees are also really enjoying the in-room technology, that consistent experience of having a monitor and HDMI in every single collaborative space, whether it鈥檚 an enclave, a meeting room or a conference room. It鈥檚 consistent, it鈥檚 easy, they can use it. They can bring their laptop anywhere now and do work.鈥

The Pilling Theater, which his already in use on a weekly basis, is expected to grow to include external audiences and regularly host customer, industry, and broker events. Even before reaching the theater, staff can treat guests and colleagues alike to the Zurich brand using the digital signage throughout the building, including the video wall in the Heritage Welcome Center.

鈥淭hat鈥檚 been a home run,鈥 says Kyung.

Staff have also taken to the collaborative spaces, using them to connect with coworkers they otherwise wouldn鈥檛 see.

鈥淧eople鈥檚 attitudes and their energy is up,鈥 says Pipes. 鈥淚t鈥檚 going to allow the culture to evolve in ways that it hadn鈥檛 before.鈥

The success of the headquarters has given Zurich the confidence to undertake similar projects throughout its other North American sites and global offices.

鈥渋t wasn鈥檛 our intent just to set a standard for our headquarters,鈥 says Pipes. 鈥淚t was also to be able to expand that to all of North America and then to extend that further to inform the Zurich global standards as a whole.鈥

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