Cisco Systems’ Bangalore Customer Briefing Centre Takes Its Place At The Forefront Of AV/IT Convergence
Hong Kong-based Broadband Network Systems (BNS) is at the forefront of IT-AV convergence in the Asia-Pacific region. A broad-based systems design and integration company, BNS has competencies in IPTV, high-definition, control systems, software and middleware development, and the distribution of AV content across a wide range of facilities,
A demo theatre with six demo pods is part of a configuration of rooms that are centrally programmed so that demonstration equipment can be centrally controlled via multiple devices. from offices to MDUs.
BNS is also international in the scale of its operations, eagerly embracing networked, multi-site projects that cross political and language barriers. A great example of this approach is the company’s work for Cisco Systems, for whom BNS has helped facilitate the development of the Customer Briefing Centre (CBC) concept across Asia.
This year, BNS completed its fifth CBC project for Cisco in Bangalore, India, having previously worked with the company in designing and implementing similar systems in Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Beijing.
Each CBC offers a venue for interactive demonstrations and discussions with Cisco industry and technology experts. CBCs are designed to provide Cisco’s regional channel partners and customers with a better understanding of the company’s latest IP networking solutions, and offer a live environment to test them in multiple operating environments. As such, it is only natural that they act as a showcase for some leading-edge convergence technologies, including telepresence, the seamless integration of multiple video displays, zoned audio, and, perhaps above all, the centralised distribution of customised AV content over an IP backbone— both within the CBC and on to the outside world.
To implement the CBC multimedia concept, Cisco needed an integrator who could provide a conventional AV setup as well as tailor a solution that would deliver advanced functionality over IP.
“The challenge was to find a solution that would cover the wide variety of advanced technologies due to be shown in the CBCs, and then integrate them into a seamless presentation and demonstration environment that is easily accessible to both Cisco personnel and customers,” explains Colin Fung,
Each CBC offers a venue for interactive demonstrations and discussions with Cisco experts. BNS project manager, who has overseen the installation of all the CBCs in Asia so far.
All the CBCs feature Cisco telepresence rooms, demonstration pods, and videowalls screening rich multimedia content. Using the telepresence facilities, local companies at each city can meet ‘virtually’ not only with Cisco personnel, but also with the company’s partners and customers around the world. The demo pods can be used individually or collectively, and feature a number of advanced technologies including unified communications, security, and wireless.
Andre Smit, Cisco’s Senior Director of Technical Operations in Asia- Pacific, comments: “The CBCs provide a strong customer proof of concept of the ability of Cisco’s technologies and solutions to transform businesses. The wide variety of advanced technologies that they are equipped with also demonstrates our technology leadership, and our open and collaborative approach.”
BNS’s solution for the Cisco CBCs is scalable to the most complex audiovisual environments, including multi-room, multi-facility locations and is managed through a simple one-click-to-go interface from U.S. software solutions provider Cloud Systems. The system eliminates timewasting plugging and re-plugging of equipment, reducing overall presentation times dramatically.
Anke Gill, VP of Marketing at BNS, says: “Although the
Although the exact configuration of each CBC varies, certain items of IP-based hardware and middleware remain consistent throughout, including the Cloud Systems Atmospherics middleware exact configuration of each CBC varies, certain items of IP-based hardware and middleware remain consistent throughout. These include the Cloud Systems Atmospherics middleware, KVM switching matrixes from Rose Electronics, Altinex AV distribution, NEC plasma and Sharp LCD screens, Biamp audio processing and networking, Dataton Watchout software for running multiple displays, RGB Spectrum Quadview video processors for multiple AV switching, and, last but not least, Cisco’s own digital signage platform for HD and SD video playback.”
The CBC in Bangalore is the largest to date that BNS has designed and installed for Cisco, featuring a complex array of next-generation IP-based audiovisual equipment connected via an IP network. Two media walls, a demo theatre with six demo pods, a technical briefing room and a demo lab are centrally programmed so that demonstration equipment can be centrally controlled via multiple devices, such as Cisco IP phones, standard web browsers, Tablet PCs, touchpads, wall plates, or a variety of PDA devices.
In Bangalore, Altinex AV extenders provide a
Six of Biamp’s AudiaFLEX signal processing units take care of multiple audio inputs from the facility’s content servers and outside sources. reliable, long-distance video extension via common UTP cable to extend the flexibility of the facility’s room-to-room connectivity. RGB Spectrum’s video processors deliver fast, reliable switching between different display orientations on the demo theatre’s four-screen rear-projection display, while six of Biamp’s AudiaFLEX signal processing units take care of multiple audio inputs from the facility’s content servers and outside sources, routing them to the required destination speaker zones in the CBC’s various rooms.
“The design emphasis is on ease of operation,” adds Fung, “with a simple one-click-to-go interface that does not require any special training. “This brings simplicity to usually complicated technology presentations and reduces presentation times dramatically, because presenters can focus on the customer and their presentation, rather than on the AV.”
As the CBC concept evolves, so BNS is able to bring new creative
RGB Spectrum’s processors deliver switching between different display orientations on the demo theatre’s four-screen rear-projection display. ideas to bear. The Bangalore facility, for example, includes a number of unique features, including glass strips and LED lighting that enhance the visual appeal of the main video wall.
“We have to be flexible,” concludes Fung. “The CBCs generally have a standard setup, but there are differences in technology standards, and in availability, across countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We incorporate variations wherever they are needed.”
Christine Asbridge is an experienced B2B journalist with particular interests in broadcast, IPTV, digital signage, and AV content creation.