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Crestron, Shure Solutions Power HyFlex and Hybrid Learning Spaces at USC

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The University of Southern California is a world-leading private research institution based in the heart of Los Angeles. Home to nearly 50,000 students and 4,700 full-time faculty, USC offers a diverse learning experience and serves as a global center for arts, technology, and international business.

Ranked 19th among more than 1,000 public and private universities, USC is one of the most sought-after institutions in the world. Focused on building an enterprise that provides endless opportunities for collaboration, problem solving, community support, creativity, curiosity, and more, USC’s desire for innovation remains a top priority.

With more than 300 spaces needing to be refreshed across campus, finding the right AV partner that could provide the best services and support was a must-have for USC. The university selected Spinitar (opens in new tab) to resolve their challenges, while providing the right audiovisual solutions and support services for the betterment of their institution. 

The challenge

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With notoriety comes high expectations. In today’s modern age, performance, technology, and experience all play a role in how one perceives you or your institution.

Being one of the top-performing universities in the world, USC was faced with the challenge of upholding its premier reputation in spite of the many restrictions that were in place due to COVID-19.

Establishing a unified communication standard across campus was a plan already set in motion by USC’s IT team, but because of the pandemic, the team had to pivot their design in order to accommodate a safer learning experience for students, faculty, and staff. 

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Before the terms HyFlex and hybrid became a part of one’s daily conversation, USC knew their renovation had to be inclusive of both in-person and remote learning technologies, ultimately creating a universal standard across campus where students can learn from anywhere in the world.

The institution required extensive resources, both physical and technical, and required a partner who they could trust to get the job done right the first time. USC turned to Spinitar for its Pro AV needs.

The approach

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Once the project was awarded to Spinitar, the AV integration company worked closely with USC’s director of learning environments, Joe Way, who was tasked with designing a standard hybrid/HyfFex solution throughout campus. Having traveled the world to experience first-hand the latest technology solutions, Way knew what needed to be done in order to accomplish a modern solution for the institution.

In need of additional assistance, USC partnered with Spinitar to procure the necessary equipment, install the solutions, and provide the labor needed to successfully complete the massive overhaul.

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Knowing what type of solutions were included in USC’s design, Spinitar turned to their manufacturing partners Crestron (opens in new tab), Shure (opens in new tab), and Zoom (opens in new tab) (to name a few) to provide the necessary equipment needed to achieve hybrid and HyFlex enabled spaces throughout.

Aware of the number of rooms needing to be upgraded, Spinitar deployed their top industry-trained and certified AV installation technicians and programmers to USC’s campus to integrate, program, and support technology in 300 rooms across campus.

“Spinitar was a natural partner given the scale and capability, proximity, history, and a combination of many things that allowed them to be the ideal partner to help us in our journey," said Raj Singh, manager of AV/IT design and engineering at USC.

The solution

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USC wanted a solution that was not restrictive in any way. Being a large campus with a number of different spaces, including classrooms, conference rooms, a library, auditorium, coliseum, and more, USC required a solution that fit all the AV molds.

Type of room upgrades:

  • Over 300 general use classrooms.
  • Over 100 conference rooms , offices, and group study spaces.
  • A large auditorium.
  • Lecture halls.
  • Traditional buildings.
  • “And every other space that needed an AV system to connect to the globe," said Joe Way, director of learning environments at USC.

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USC created a hybrid/HyFlex standard that’s inclusive of cloud services, software services, AV solutions, IT solutions, and more.

Type of AV solution installed:

  • Zoom Room(s)
  • Crestron UC-ENGINE
  • Crestron Flex–Video Conferencing System
  • Crestron XiO Cloud
  • Shure IntelliMix Room
  • Shure Ceiling Array Microphone

Due to the constant shifts in education during the pandemic, USC was focused on providing a holistic classroom experience that was easy to use, incorporating features like, automation, full voice control, easy accessibility, closed captioning, and high-quality audio and video components.

The results

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USC is backed by state-of-the-art modern technologies that allow students and faculty the ability to communicate and collaborate flawlessly from anywhere in the world.

 [SCN Top 50 Systems Integrators 2021] 

With their hybrid and HyFlex enabled spaces, the USC enterprise has successfully invested in a solution that’s built to grow with their institution, while allowing teaching and learning to happen simultaneously across campus, and in any space.

Through Spinitar’s added customer success services, cloud services, and managed services, USC staff can rely on the support of their partners when managing and updating their AV infrastructure now and in the future.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.