JLL DLF Cyber Park, India

Hurrairah bin Sohail explores the AV deployment at JLL’s DLF Cyber Park workspace where a unique approach to real estate and tech results in systems that prioritise user comfort and experience.

Jones Lang LaSalle [JLL] is a company that has evolved to exist at the intersection of real estate and technology. JLL’s unique approach at melding these two facets is clearly evident at its latest workspace facility at DLF Cyber Park in Gurgaon.

The design and build project for JLL DLF Cyber Park was handled by integrator Qubix, the winner of the Corporate Project category of the Inavate APAC Awards 2021. Rhythm Arora, director at Qubix, talks about how the process began: “We were involved with this project from 2019 onwards. It was an interesting journey at the beginning because there was an initial site for JLL’s workplace which was then changed as time progressed. Navigating these changes was the initial challenge for us.”

He continues: “The supply chain and logistics issues that we face today had just begun to come into play at the start of this project and we had to be prepared. We had a 3,000kgs consignment ready for JLL but due to delays in the selection, preparation, and readiness of the site we had to warehouse this consignment for the client. We shuttled it between Mumbai and Delhi and it was a unique challenge at the beginning of this project.”

Jumping onto the selection of the technology, Qubix had a partner in JLL. Arora details: “JLL knows what they want. They have multiple offices across Asia Pacific and they have tested and implemented multiple AV systems. So, they were not new to the process of workspace fitouts.”

He continues: “They have AV standards but these are very ‘fresh’. Coupled with that, they like to experiment and try new things. They don’t just blindly stick to their standards or stick with a particular product model just for the sake of compliance and standards. JLL is very nimble and its network, security and IT teams were ready to be challenged. They had an open mind when it came to suggestions from our side and if we were able to demonstrate that a particular option would provide value they would find a way to get it cleared and deployed.”

Dazzling display

We begin our exploration of the project with the open townhall, which is the main space at JLL’s DLF Cyber Park workspace.

Arora explains how the space would be used: “The open townhall is a multifunctional space that serves multiple purposes. It is the main area that users enter once they come to JLL so that meant that it had to be impressive. As a townhall, it is used for both internal and external meetings and gatherings. This meant that the space had to be enabled for VC. And JLL also wanted it to be an area that their sales team could use which meant that presentation and interactivity would be required.”

With all the requirements communicated, Qubix turned its attention to finding the right display which would serve as the centrepiece of the open townhall. He details: “JLL has similar spaces as part of its offices in Hong Kong and Singapore and they have experimented with different interactive display solutions. At the start we were considering an LCD videowall with 55-in panels. From there we went on to discuss LEDs but found that they would run too hot. And when we trialled interactivity with LED we found there was a perceptible lag between input and feedback which would ruin the user’s experience. There was also the fact that we would be using cameras in the space and LED videowalls have issues being properly captured.”

Qubix’s search eventually brought it to Prysm Systems. Arora says: “I knew about Prysm Systems but had not actually experienced the product first hand. I reached out and arranged to have a demo set up and the Prysm Systems team was kind enough to accommodate my request even though the situation was fluid due to pandemic safeguards implemented. But after experiencing the solution, I felt that we had found a display that ticked all the boxes for JLL.”

A 6m by 2m large, 6K Prysm Systems LPD 225 display graces the JLL open townhall.

Arora says: “The Prysm Systems display is great. It works perfectly with the Aver camera we have in the space. Prysm’s software on the backend also helps deliver the functionality that JLL was looking for. It has native VC integration with platforms such as Teams, Zoom and Webex. It has annotation features and a host of widgets and apps that provide interactivity for the sales team and their pitches. And it looks absolutely amazing.”

The challenges Qubix faced revolved around the Prysm display as Arora explains: “This was the first time we were installing and working with this product. This is the largest Prysm display that has ever been installed in India, so we had to learn as we went. The display is fragile and extremely heavy, so getting it to the JLL workspace on the eighth floor was a challenge. The solution also requires expert calibration. Normally, this size is handled by the Prysm team from Dubai or USA but due to travel restrictions we had to get this done with the local Prysm team in India. But in the end we were able to figure it out.”

Arora adds: “The JLL team is very happy with the outcome for the display in the open townhall. There are conversations to have similar solutions deployed in Mumbai and even talking about connecting the Prysm displays together over the cloud to have cross-office communication and interaction.”

Audio in the open townhall is delivered by Bose pendant speakers powered by Bose amplifiers and DSPs. AKG microphones are used for audio pickup.

Familiar spaces

JLL’s unique way of looking at real estate and technology can be seen throughout their workplace at DLF Cyber Park.

Arora details: “What is distinct about JLL is that it is not a fixed office, it is very flexible. They really look at experience and application. So, their meeting rooms are not called meeting rooms, they are called collaboration spaces because those rooms aren’t just used for meetings, they are there to enable and foster collaboration. Those are then classified as open and closed collaboration spaces. The closed collaboration spaces are equipped with VC, while the open collaboration spaces are primed to enable in-person collaboration. They are not VC enabled because open spaces do not provide the privacy and environment for meetings.”

He continues: “JLL doesn’t really look at its office space in terms of desks but rather evaluates it in terms of ‘work points’. They are looking at creating flexible spaces that users can jump in and out of rather than static, fixed desks. From this it is easy to see that JLL had a very evolved and nuanced vision for its workspace and technology was meant to come in and make this vision a reality.”

When it came to the closed collaboration spaces, Qubix’s task was simple. JLL has standardised its VC systems on Cisco with backend software integration to provide support for Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Cisco displays, cameras, soundbars and codecs are employed to create the VC experience.

The open collaboration areas have been fitted with displays equipped with Mersive Solstice pods as well as Samsung Flip units on moveable floor stands that can be moved to any cluster of users wherever collaboration is needed. Both these solutions are geared to enable collaboration and interactivity.

Finally, we come to the boardroom. This premium space has been equipped with dual 85-in Prysm Systems displays that bring functionality and interactivity to the mix. Mersive Solstice pods are present to provide an option for wireless connectivity as well as interactivity.

Shure MXA910 ceiling microphones are used for audio pickup and sound is provided by Shure speakers paired with Shure digital signal processing. Crestron CP4 processing together with Cisco touch panels is employed for control. The control system manages the switching, lighting and the Smart Glass opacity for privacy in the boardroom.

Regarding the selection and integration of products, Arora says: “There is no need to reinvent the wheel and there is no need to change an experience that the user is comfortable with. JLL users are used to Cisco and Mersive so we stayed with these solutions to ensure that they have a uniform experience that they know and are familiar with.”

Across the JLL facility Crestron NVX is used to transport video signals while audio signal transmission is accomplished with Dante. Arora says: “We have been using more and more AV over IP in our projects and we have learned how to make full use of it. In the past we have had some issues with ports, because with every product on IP and with PoE requirements you can run out of ports very quickly. For JLL we used a Netgear 4250 network switch to ensure we didn’t run into similar problems. I have to say it is an amazing product and the support from the Netgear team was amazing as well.”

Looking back, Arora believes that Qubix learned important lessons while delivering this project. He concludes: “The way JLL approaches real estate and technology was very interesting for us. It is a straightforward approach to technology that prioritises experience and comfort for the user above everything else. Reducing noise and focusing on the outcome for the user is something that AV can adopt.”

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