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Customer Case Studies

Case Study: #BIODance Community Arts & Wellbeing Project

-OCTOBER 2020

Leveraging IT To Enable And Enhance The Performance Arts
When Audiences Are Required To Keep At A Distance

Fusing Technology with The Arts          |          Innovative Ideas On A Budget          |          Charitable & Community-Focused Projects

 

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

 

About Combination Dance Company

Combination Dance Company create impactful, emotive dance performances to interest and entertain based on themes they are passionate about.

They try to reach audiences who may not usually see dance performance in traditional performance venues, and work with people of all ages to provide opportunities to enjoy dance and to develop their knowledge, skills and creativity.

Combination Dance was established in 2001, registered charity (no. 1123954) and company limited by guarantee (no.4326359). They are based in the London Borough of Richmond, South West London and work locally in the borough, across the capital and the UK. Their work is led by their Artistic Director, Anne-Marie Smalldon and supported by a team of performers, production creatives and a producer.

Challenges & Objectives

As part of Combination Dance Company’s focus on wellbeing and supporting the arts, especially in such challenging times, CARBON IT SERVICES were engaged to support a new project funded by the London Borough of Richmond’s Civic Pride Fund, called “BIODance”.

The requirements were to:

  • provide an interactive platform to be used whilst following a pre-planned route along the Twickenham Riverside
  • give users access to a map, video content which had been shot on location, and insightful information on history regarding the surrounding locations en-route
  • develop a stable platform, with clear navigation and a high level of responsiveness so as to keep users engaged, and not cause frustration whilst walking around using mobile data for connectivity

Our Solution

Given the budgetary constraints of this type of community project vs. the project requirements, we were keen to find a way to leverage as much as possible from existing and re-usable functionality. We therefore proposed the following: 

  • Biodance.uk will be hosted by us on our existing dedicated infrastructure. The domain name will be paid for by CARBON IT SERVICES for the first year. 
  • The platform will be built on WordPress and will utilise existing licensing as required, which will not result in additional costs 
  • The platform will focus on the mobile experience, with custom coded navigation to ensure ease of switching between the 6 named locations, but also work for desktop, with filtering in place to change the experience appropriately for mobile (assumed to be at the locations) and desktop (assumed to be at home). 
  • The new underlying WordPress installation will subsequently be used to re-develop Combination Dance Company’s existing website on to, reducing repeat development work and meaning no additional hosting charges were incurred for BIODance. This meant an overall cost reduction for the client. 
  • As this is a Charity / Community Project, budget will be strictly constrained, with some additional time volunteered if required and where possible. 

Results

The platform, biodance.uk, was delivered on time, within budget, and exceeded initial specification.

Feedback from Combination Dance Company and the public taking part in BIODance has been very positive. At the launch, the Mayor of Richmond described the project as “innovative” and “a grand idea”, indicating the importance of these types of community wellbeing projects.

Furthermore, the technical foundations laid by the BIODance project will support Combination Dance Company’s new website, due for release later this year, and other subsequent projects which require this type of solution.

Case Study: Boxgrove Primary School

-AUGUST 2020

In the Face of Continuing Budget Pressures, Boxgrove Primary School Aspired to Monetize Their Event Spaces for Commercial Functions

Audio-Visual Technologies          |          Enhancing And Improving Upon Existing Systems          |          COVID-19 Safe On-Site Installations           |         Enabling New Business Ideas

 

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

 

About Boxgrove Primary School

Boxgrove is an Academy co-educational school for children aged 4 – 11 years old and is situated on the east side of Guildford (between Burpham and Merrow). They are a 3 form entry school with a Published Admittance Number (PAN) of 90 in each year group.

Challenges & Objectives

Given the austerity measures imposed on the academic sector since 2010, and further impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 in the early part of 2020, Boxgrove have found themselves in a financial situation similar to many, if not all, academic establishments across the UK in the reduction of their budgets. Boxgrove decided they would be creative with the way they spend and fund raise to keep their most important goal of providing an excellent teaching standard to the children who pass through their care, and have looked to monetise their facilities outside of school hours and help reduce the impact.

CARBON IT SERVICES were engaged to advise on, procure and realise solutions for the following business critical goals:

    • Transform the smaller Lunch Hall area from it’s currently singular purpose to a new Event space that can be hired for use by 3rd parties, by providing a presentation style space suitable for training courses, and visually-led seminars or classes.
    • Augment the larger Assembly Hall area to accommodate more professional or AV-intensive events more suited to audio presentations, larger gatherings and artistic/musical performances

Our Solution

CARBON IT SERVICES carefully considered the challenges and the budgetary constraints, and engaged in a diagnosis and verification activity on site, fully testing and documenting the existing environment and equipment in use, including viewpoints, lighting and acoustics, before researching the best available solutions for Boxgrove’s budget.

Following an open, friendly discussion between both parties, the following solutions were agreed upon and deployed:

    • Lunch Hall Conversion

An LED HD projector was ceiling mounted through the suspended ceiling, and a motorised 84″ wall mounted projector screen installed to produce a crisp 84″ picture.  

The existing aged amplifier was replaced with a suitable alternative, and installed into their existing AV cupboard nearby.

2 suitably positioned speakers were wall mounted on their side of the project screen, and connected via carefully hidden cabling back to both the AV cupboard and acoustically tested, to produce pass-through audio for any visual presentations.

2 handheld wireless microphones were installed, configured and fully tested to work together with the setup to aid the presenters.

    • Assembly Hall Conversion

The 6 existing wireless receivers for the microphones were mounted-at-height to avoid interference on ground level, and boost the range of their transmissions. The channels were tested, and then reconfigured, to avoid any interference or overlap with other installations elsewhere on the premises. This was supplemented with 2 additional wearable microphone headsets and 2 additional handheld wireless microphones.

The existing wall mounted speakers were corrected in their alignment within the acoustic setup, and a new physical mixer console, driven by an iPad app interface (so they could leverage an existing iPad and avoid unnecessary cost) was installed.

Results

The whole piece of work was delivered on time, under budget and in a clean and efficient manner, whilst adhering to strict COVID-19 health & safety measures, using our team of DBS & NPPV-3 certified engineers.

The completion of this work has allowed Boxgrove to offer both professional Visual and Audio presentation services for hire with the small hall space, ideal for their target audience of seminars, classes or community gatherings that require the sharing of information.

The large hall space now offers a much more flexible mixing desk setup, with easy-to-select preset profiles for repeated use patterns (such as school use assemblies, sports days, etc) and greatly reducing the complexity for users of the setup. The existing wireless receiver setup also demonstrates a much-improved experience, with a stronger reception and an extended coverage distance, including now being able to reach the outside sports field immediately adjacent to the hall, allowing the system to also be used for outdoor events too.

We would like to thank Boxgrove Primary School for offering us the opportunity to collaborate on this project, and are just as pleased as they are with the outcome!

Case Study: John Brown Mark Youll Estate Agents

-MARCH 2020

How John Brown Mark Youll Estate Agents Enabled Mobile Working, Improved Collaboration and Enhanced the Customer Experience

Office 365 Migration and Deployment          |          Wi-Fi Deployment          |          UX Standardisation 

 

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

 

About John Brown Mark Youll

John Brown and Mark Youll (JBMY), are an independent estate agent based in Old Coulsdon, boasting considerable knowledge and expertise of over 90 years in successfully selling Properties in Purley, Coulsdon, Old Coulsdon, Kenley, Caterham and surrounding areas.

They are a highly professional, proudly independent and friendly agent fully understanding the emotional experience of buying, selling and letting properties with a track record of success.

Challenges & Objectives

Following the amalgamation of originally separate John Brown and Mark Youll estate agent businesses, their combined team were left with multiple disparate systems for email, file sharing, and an inconsistent configuration across their aging desktop estate. They had no real ability to work remotely from home or other locations, meaning BCP was an issue. Finally, they had no segregated Wi-Fi for clients or 3rd parties visiting the office, creating an unnecessary security risk.

CARBON IT SERVICES were engaged to provide and enact solutions for the following business critical goals:

    • Migrate all existing email systems into a new single Office 365 tenant to leverage the collaboration and remote working functionality therein
    • Replace as many aging desktops as possible, within the available budget
    • Standardise build and application set as much as possible across all desktops, both existing and replaced
    • Replace existing basic wireless network with internal and segregated customer Wi-Fi, customised to JBMY requirements

Our Solution

CARBON IT SERVICES approached the challenges above holistically, considering both the operating and technical requirements of the business. A discovery phase was conducted, spending a day in JBMY’s office to observe their existing working practices, engagement with their customers and speak to the staff first-hand regarding their experiences, pain points and aspirations, with a number of costed recommendations then presented back to the management team.

Following a further discussion, the following solutions were agreed upon and deployed:

    • Improve Collaboration, Mobile working and BCP/DR

The existing 3rd party POP/IMAP email solution, and an incumbent Office 365 tenant that only covered a few members of staff, were migrated in to a new JBMY Office 365 tenant. With security best practice in mind, we deployed Office 365 Secure licenses which in addition to the standard office SKU’s provide best in class email security with Vade Secure and unlimited backup via Acronis for mailboxes, OneDrive and SharePoint. Given the user base, the Business Premium SKU was selected to ensure all users would have the latest (and a consistent) version of Microsoft Office. This also allowed the users to access their documents remotely through the use of the Microsoft Office mobile apps, which was not previously possible.

    • Desktop Replacement and User Experience Improvement

JBMY chose to replace half of their desktop estate at this time, hence the poorest performing units were replaced. Based on the usage case, which is light office use with the rest of their toolset being SaaS, we selected a “Dell Vostro SFF i3” base unit to which we added an additional SSD for the OS and applications to ensure the best possible experience for the user without excessive cost. The legacy desktops not replaced had the same application set deployed as the new ones, including the latest version of Microsoft Office, to ensure the most consistent user experience possible until the remaining legacy desktops are replaced.

    • Enhanced Customer Experience and Network Security

A single “Ubiquiti UniFi” AP AC Lite Indoor Access Point was deployed to replace the existing in-router wireless, placed in an optimised position for best coverage, which we configured to provide 2 networks (one customer, one internal use only) both isolated from the LAN as no wireless to wired connectivity requirements were identified in the discovery phase.

JBMY now have an easy, holistic view of their data, providing them the peace of mind that sensitive information (whether company or customer sensitive) can be easily tracked, audited and controlled.

CASE STUDY – MARCH 2020

Results

    • Increased Collaboration, Mobile working and BCP/DR

Immediate improvement in working practices in terms of both collaboration and mobile working, which has as one of the owners has said made the business “Corona-proof” (referring to the COVID-19 pandemic) as far as remote working is concerned.

With all email moved in to one single Office 365 tenant location, all users and shared mailboxes are now properly synchronised and permissioned as required to ensure the right people have access to the right, live information on any of their devices. By setting users up with Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams, they have been able to work in the office, on the move or from home without interruption to their usual working practices.

    • Desktop Replacement and User Experience Improvement

Of the desktops replaced, all users noted a considerable improvement in performance and their user experience. Switching between desktops when necessary has been made easier by the unification (where possible) of applications and shortcuts.

    • Simplified, Streamlined Data and Device Protection

With the users’ document stores and SharePoint being uniformly configured, JBMY now have an easy, holistic view of their data, providing them the peace of mind that sensitive information (whether company or customer sensitive) can be easily tracked, audited and controlled. With the addition of Vade Secure, email integrity can be assured, and the security of their devices and work environment protected.

    • Enhanced Customer Experience and Network Security

The new Wi-Fi is faster and the signal stronger than the legacy Wi-Fi and being able to give customers Wi-Fi access has been well received. The owners also have the peace of mind that neither guest nor corporate Wi-Fi can compromise their LAN where confidential documentation is stored.

Future Plans

Like most markets, the housing sector is under incredible stress at this time, so JBMY will continue to leverage the tools we have put in place to help them succeed, regardless of where they are working.

Subsequent to the successful implementations mentioned above, JBMY will be replacing the rest of their desktop estate in the future and working with us to improve the rest of their end point security and IT support.

Interested in how we can help solve your business challenges?
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