First impressions from Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5 (IU5)

12 July 2021 | By viviedu

When you’re running on-site meetings and training sessions for educators from up to 17 school districts, you can never be sure what device the delegates and presenters will bring along with them. Of course, if you have Vivi, it really doesn’t matter.

No awkward silences

Because Vivi connects with any device, there’s no time wasted searching for adaptors and playing with settings.

It won’t let you down

Vivi has plenty of features to get excited about. One of them is its simplicity. It’s easy to use and install, packed with features, and extremely robust.

Here’s IU5’s experience of Vivi:

1. Focus on service, not devices

Vivi’s simple subscription model took the focus away from devices and placed it firmly on the message being communicated in training sessions and meetings. There was no longer a need to worry about whether devices would work, or how to keep them updated.

2. Built for education from the ground up

While other devices can feel like square pegs in round holes, Vivi is perfect for the education sector. Its features were built specifically for the classroom, and they keep getting better and better as the regular updates are released.

3. Easy to implement

Before Vivi, IU5 had tried unsuccessfully to roll out two different solutions. Implementing Vivi was simple. It worked immediately.

“I can honestly say the first impression of Vivi blew me away.”

Vince Humes, Director of Innovative Technology Solutions, IU5


The Challenge

Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5 (IU5) provides regional education services—including special, adult, and migrant education, and early intervention—to more than 4,500 educators and a student population of more than 60,000, across 17 public school districts and non-public schools in Crawford, Erie and Warren Counties, Pennsylvania. With such a wide reach, the Unit’s meeting rooms and training facilities are in near-constant use as it responds to the current and emerging needs of the communities it serves.

Therein lay a challenge for Vince Humes, Director of Innovative Technology Solutions and the person responsible for all technology use at IU5. Having multiple educators, delegates, students and presenters making their way to the Unit each day was an essential part of the service, but they all came armed with completely different devices. So much time was wasted scrabbling for cords and adaptors at the start of sessions, and even during them if participants needed to share their thoughts.

Vince’s second challenge was that he only had a small group to call on in the event of a technical issue. An important part of any solution, therefore, was consistent performance¬—devices that worked every time.


Vince had already tried two different solutions. The first iteration was a combination of Apple TV and Miracast devices, the second used Mersive Solstice Pods. Neither was able to meet the brief: they just didn’t seem designed with education in mind, and it showed.

How he heard about Vivi, Vince is not sure, but one thing he does remember is his first look at what Vivi could do. It blew him away. Vivi was light years ahead of the devices the Unit was using at the time, and clearly built¬—from the ground up—for use in an education setting. Just as importantly, the Vivi units worked perfectly from the moment IU5 began using them. It gave Vince confidence that the ITS team wouldn’t be called on to resolve frequent outages.


Those same features that excited him a few years ago, have developed even further since the Unit signed up to a Vivi subscription—another key aspect in the choice to go with Vivi. It’s a model Vince likes; it means he doesn’t have to worry about keeping hardware updated.

All in all, the capabilities Vivi brings to the classroom are outstanding. IU5 is predominately using Vivi with flat panel displays, but Vince loves that it can be used with whatever is in the room, even if it’s a projector or interactive whiteboard It can also replace or remove the need for other systems. For example, because Vivi can do signage, emergency notification and live broadcast, it can replace the student announcement system with recorded or scheduled messages. Put that all together and it makes the total cost of ownership for Vivi pretty attractive.

“We were using a similar device but Vivi was way ahead.
I think that’s because Vivi is designed with education in mind.”

Vince Humes, Director of Innovative Technology Solutions, IU5