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INTRODUCTION

Williams is a Fortune 500® company responsible for handling 30% of natural gas in the United States that is used every day to heat homes, cook food, and generate electricity. For more than a century, the Williams name has been associated with energy, innovation, and trust. Williams works closely with customers to provide the necessary infrastructure to serve growing markets and safely deliver natural gas products to reliably fuel the clean energy economy. 

THE CHALLENGE

Jesse Young, Collaboration Systems Architect, and Tom Wedding, Supervisor Infrastructure at Williams wanted to improve the video conferencing experience in their training areas and conference rooms by outfitting these spaces with devices certified for use with Microsoft Teams® software. 

THE SOLUTION

After exploring competitive solutions, Williams knew Crestron Flex and XiO Cloud® would deliver the necessary collaboration tools, technical support, and device management needed for these spaces. While this project began pre-pandemic, the ability to connect dispersed teams virtually and provide remote technical support to any office have both proven to be invaluable. 

THE TECHNOLOGY

Crestron Flex is a cost-effective, scalable solution that enables Williams to continue to expand with collaboration technologies throughout their office. Williams standardized on Crestron Flex solutions, equipping small huddle rooms with Crestron Flex B-Series soundbars, medium rooms with Crestron Flex M-Series tabletop devices, and Crestron Flex C-Series custom integrator kits in their larger training rooms. Crestron Flex has helped create a phenomenal conferencing experience for connecting teams who currently have members working on-site and remotely because of the pandemic. Williams has been able to leverage their larger rooms to safely host the executive leadership team in-person, while also allowing the group to bring in remote participants with Crestron Flex. 

Crestron and Microsoft Teams Panels have created a cohesive meeting room experience bringing room booking and the in-room collaboration software together. The Crestron Scheduling Panels integrated with Microsoft Teams allow employees to see which rooms are occupied at-a-glance with purple illumination demonstrating when a space is in use. Employees can easily locate the green lightbars to identify which rooms are available and book an open space with a simple touch on the panel. In addition, it integrates with occupancy sensors communicating to the panel to release the room when employees don’t show up for their scheduled meeting. 

XiO Cloud allows the Williams IT team at HQ to monitor devices, update software, and easily view the status of the devices in their rooms. It also proactively notifies IT when a device is down rather than only being alerted when an employee encounters a faulty room. For the Oklahoma-based IT team, they are now able to remotely assist an employee at any office location by controlling their touch screen to get a meeting started or help with any of the device features. In addition to improving Williams’ internal support, Crestron also delivers an unparalleled level of customer support for Young, Wedding, and their team if other issues arise. “Crestron’s True Blue Support was already a major reason why we chose Crestron Flex for Microsoft Teams devices,” explains Young. “Adding Flex Care to significantly increase the speed and responsiveness of support and decrease downtime is the icing on the cake.”

RESULTS

With the success of Crestron across their offices, the Williams team is beginning to expand their capabilities to round out the intelligent office experience. Crestron has delivered a solution that is beneficial for both the Williams IT team and their employees who interact with it daily. "The pandemic has accelerated the use of Microsoft Teams and brought more awareness to these in-room devices," said Wedding. "With Crestron Flex and XiO Cloud, we are excited to continue adding this functionality to our field offices and bring our infrastructure up to speed across the board.”

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