Northern Trust

The Scenario: A global company wants to create a conferencing solution versatile enough to integrate into large Common Rooms and compact enough to use in small conference rooms. This system would need to be compact, mobile and easily configured by both technical and non-technical users. It would also need to be duplicated in sites throughout the world at a sensible cost.

The Challenge: Implementing communications technology often consists of balancing the conflicting goals of the use of quality equipment, an affordable price and providing a high level of usability without creating a steep learning curve. It’s a balancing act that often makes more nightmares than happy endings. Northern Trust approached AVI SPL to create an Audio Video Conferencing system that would fit their specific needs. The challenge was resolved by planning, experience, knowledge and asking the right questions. Once demands were
understood the solution could be developed.


The Solution: The solution started with a cart. In this case, it was a very specific cart: the ClearOne Titan™ Plasma Cart -- chosen for five reasons:

  • Mobility: It was easily moved from room to room.
  • Sturdy: The Titan felt durable. With several thousands of dollars worth of equipment being wheeled around, you want to know it’s not going to get damaged by weak furniture.
  • Mounting: The equipment was easily and quickly mounted.
  • Accessibility: The well planned design allowed equipment to be easily accessed.
  • Looks: The Titan looked like a professional piece of equipment.

The Cart was loaded with an arsenal of audio and video equipment to meet its intended purpose.

  • 50” Plasma display.
  • Speakers.
  • HD camera with cables, mic array and remote.
  • DVD player.
  • Surge suppressor and power conditioner.
  • Stereo amplifier.
  • *Custom 10’ multi-pin umbilical connector.
  • Brackets, mounts, cables, connectors.

As a standalone, The Cart defaults to Conferencing Mode and becomes an easily configured A/V conferencing module. Its purpose is to be wheeled from room to room and with virtually no setup required, meeting attendees can hold remote meetings without having to configure the system. This reduces training, support and overhead costs.

When added to one of the larger Community Rooms, The Cart integrates into the rooms existing conferencing installation by attaching the *umbilical connector. A customized Crestron controller switches The Cart from Conferencing Mode to Presentation Mode. This allows the Community Room’s installed components to automatically integrate with the
components on The Cart. The control system configures The Cart’s A/V system into a Presentation device. Clearone Converge Pro conferencing mixers are the heart of the system. Wireless microphones, ceiling speakers, amplifiers, CD changers, touch panels, etc. contribute to a seamless, large-scale conferencing environment for the large Community Room.

When the presentation is over, The Cart’s umbilical cord is unplugged, it reverts to Conferencing Mode and can be wheeled to its next assignment.

The Cart is an elegant solution. Hi-Tech and simplicity replicated and deployed in dozens of sites around the world.

The Reason: Northern Trust chose this approach for tangible reasons – Standardization. Every component, every cable and each piece of software can be duplicated and deployed throughout the world. This is important because Northern Trust is a global corporation which has realized the importance of conferencing as an alternative to travel and an option to reduce costs and environmental impact. With multiple locations throughout the world it was important for them to have a solution that could be installed and personnel trained quickly while keeping support costs low.

Results: AVI SPL designed a solution that worked and made sense for Northern Trust. Now the system has been installed in dozens of locations and The Cart has proven to be reliable and very popular. More installations are expected as the need for a solid, versatile conferencing solution rises.

* Custom 10’ multi-pin umbilical connector.