EDITORS CHOICE 06.01.19

Case Study: SCB Academy, Thailand

SCB intro led
LED display at the lobby of the SCB Academy in Bangkok, Thailand

Taking into account modern trends, Siam Commercial Bank embarked on a reimagining of its corporate work and learning space. Vichai Trading 1983 details how it helped deliver technology and AV systems to make this possible.

the corporate sector is undergoing a series of changes as it seeks to cater to a new age demographic entering the workforce. As millennials and members of Gen Y begin to comprise a greater portion of employees, their relationship with technology and their expectations with regards to working environments are causing a change in how corporate clients structure their spaces and deploy AV technology.

Siam Commercial Bank is no different, and it has established a facility in Bangkok, Thailand to cater to the needs of its employees.

Rawiwan Kumthongmak VP, learning platform management, LX & engagement platform, has been appointed in charge of the learning platform and for the special project of the SCB Academy.

Kumthongmak shares the vision behind the initiative: “The SCB Academy was established to share new ways of learning between our employees. We wanted to provide a new channel for our employees and wanted to have a more modern learning facility that moves away from the traditional classroom and towards more of a flexible and dynamic space.”

From the start the goal was for technology and interior design to come together to help Siam Commerical Bank achieve its vision for the SCB Academy. Kumthongmak says: “The aim was to create a working and learning space based around the idea of sharing experiences. This is why we have the decor and the aesthetics that you see, to enable learning and sharing.

“The technology we selected also needed to match our aim. It had to be flexible in order for us to maximise the utility of the space. For our employees, we would like them to have access to the content and the learning activities in the easiest way possible. The technology should not limit or restrict them to just specific spaces. They should be able to use a multitude of rooms or spaces according to their needs.”

Turning to technology also matched a trend in the world of banking which Kumthongmak highlights: “We are seeing a shift from traditional banking to digital banking and it is important to address this trend. One of the reasons for relying on technology for the SCB Academy was to create a level of digital awareness and digital fluency amongst our employees to keep in step with the changes that we are seeing.”

Core components

Vichai Trading 1983 served as the system integrator for the SCB Academy project. The integrator’s job was made a bit easier by the fact that the kind of flexible and dynamic technology solutions required by Siam Commercial Bank are enabled by AV over IP products. The fact that both audio and can be transmitted over IP infrastructures meant that Vichai Trading 1983 was able to deliver truly connected systems.

It is no surprise that the heart of the AV systems is an IT switch. Two 48-port Cisco switches across the two levels are used.

Another key component of the AV systems deployed at SCB Academy is the QSC Core 110f processor. Like the IT switches, one Core unit has been deployed for each of the levels. Pichit Ngamtubtim, sales manager at Vichai Trading 1983, details the advantage of using IP networks: “We have two control rooms on the two floors of the SCB Acad emy. But both control rooms have been linked with fibre optics. The signal can be routed from the QSC Core processors to the edge switches and across the network as needed.”

The QSC Core processors also serve as the control units for the SCB Academy. QSC Q-Sys 4.7-in and 7-in touch panels are provided to access the control system.

Ngamtubtim says: “Siam Commercial Bank wanted to centralise the control as much as possible. That is the reason we have provided the touchpanels, so that they have an easy access point for the control system. The GUI, which we designed in-house, allows them an easy way to manage all the AV systems. So for example, if the user wants to book or manage one of the rooms it can all be done from any of the touch panels located around the SCB Academy.”

AMX NMX encoders and decoders have been chosen for video transmission.

Ngamtubtim summarises: “With AV systems now being on IP networks, it is easier than ever before to control technology.”

Making an entrance

The decreasing costs of LED tiles means that they are now within the reach of many clients. Siam Commercial Bank has chosen LED displays for its entrance and town hall space. The town hall area is of particular interest. The space follows an ‘open design’ concept and can be used by the employees of Siam Commercial Bank for impromptu meetings if required. However, the space can be called on for larger meetings and town hall gatherings when needed.

Novastar processors are used to power the LED videowall and Ngamtubtim provides details regarding the display’s function: “All the processing for the videowall is handled by the Novastar processors. They are also responsible for scaling of the content and ensuring that it is displayed in the correct aspect ratio.”

The Novastar processors also empower the functionality of the LED videowall as Ngamtubtim explains: “We can split the LED videowall into seven separate images. This provides Siam Commercial Bank flexibility in terms of how the videowall is used and how content can be displayed and arranged during the meetings.”

The townhall space has also been provided with six Tannoy CVS6 ceiling speakers for audio. On the backend QSC amplifiers provide power while QSC processing is also employed. Audio-Technica microphones are used for input. A Lumens camera is used to record proceedings.

Immersion unbroken

The immersive space at SCB Academy straddles the line between the traditional and the modern. A smaller town hall space, it features a traditional orientation for seating and a face forward configuration for presentation. However, the aesthetics and decor of the space are meant to foster an atmosphere of inclusion and immersion which is in line with the modern trend of collaborative meetings and discussions.

A Sony projector provides visuals. However, the usual projection display system has been elevated as Ngamtubtim details: “We’ve used Sony projectors along with a vinyl screen. The space has been backlit so as to provide a pleasing aesthetic. Projection was the obvious choice for this space as the display needed to be quite big to be effective.”

For audio input, Audio-Technica wireless handheld microphones have been provided. Sound itself is delivered by QSC ceiling speakers. To pack a bit more punch, a QSC ceiling sub-woofer is also included. Amplification and processing is provided by QSC products.

Interestingly, a QSC IO-8 Flex is also included. This Q-Sys peripheral essentially replaces a mixer and gives Siam Commercial Bank the ability to bring in rental AV systems to the immersive space. This adds another dimension of multi-functionality for the end user to explore.

Collaborate anywhere

The best example of the change in Siam Commercial Bank’s approach to its working spaces is a simple open space which could be missed if one was not looking. In terms of technology and equipment, the space looks quite barren. It only features an Epson interactive, short throw projector and a traditional whiteboard.

The idea behind the space is to allow employees to have impromptu meetings without the need to go through the room booking process and send out invites. When collaboration is spontaneous, Siam Commercial Bank employees can simply walk in and use the equipment provided.

Talking with Ngamtubtim reveals the reasoning behind the selection of Epson for projection: “The SCB Academy uses a wide variety of projectors from Sony, NEC and others. But for this space the only option was Epson. We needed an interactive and ultra-short throw projector and the only manufacturer that makes a product that meets these requirements is Epson.”

The projector is brought onto the network with the help of AMX NMX encoders and decoders. Connectivity with the projector can be achieved via HDMI or VGA. A 3.5mm connector is provided for audio when using the VGA connector for video.

The decision to forego wireless connectivity was deliberate as Kumthongmak says: “Due to security concerns, especially with regards to having devices on our WiFi network, we decided against wireless connectivity. I know that young people increasingly want to present from their phones and don’t want to bring laptops. But we have to follow the regulations set forward by the Bank of Thailand and the need to comply with these regulations outweighs the benefits of wireless presentation. Our focus will always be security first.”

The SCB Academy is operational and Siam Commercial Bank is monitoring the response to its initiative. Kumthongmak says: “We’re currently still in the trial phase and are evaluating how our employees receive this initiative. Perhaps if it is successful we can look at expanding the number and the scope of the SCB Academy.”