As a reseller, rather than a customer, Wade Johnston is able to offer us a unique perspective. In this case study, we talk about his experience installing Vivi into a flagship building for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. It’s a story of faith in the product and trust that the team at Vivi will deliver.
Why Vivi was the right solution for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga:
Vivi provides easy access to data on usage and adoption of all units. It’s perfect for delivering analytics to prove ROI and justify further investment.
The University had already tried a few wireless screen sharing tools. Vivi had a simple setup, straightforward firewall rules, and a very clean app. It also supported a wide range of operating systems, including Linux.
There are systems out there with fancier features, but they’re either very complicated to use, or troubleshooting had to be done on site. With Vivi it’s easy to use and troubleshooting is all done remotely.
It takes a flexible system to link 20 screens and 2 projectors in a single classroom. Vivi helps the University achieve its desire for a state-of-the-art learning environment.
Vivi is designed for the end user. It improves the classroom without interrupting it.
Wade Johnston is a Pre-Sales AV Engineer with Howard Technology Solutions, based out of Ellisville, Mississippi. He had already worked with The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on a number of projects before they contacted him about the rennovation of 3 buildings simultaneously in Lupton Hall, Fletcher Hall, and the Fine Arts Centre.
Formerly the library building, Lupton Hall had lain dormant for five years—very few had even entered the building over that period. When the University received funding to turn it into a state-of-the-art, flagship education building, they wanted Howard Technology Solutions to find them the right AV solution.
Their plan was to install smart power racks, laser projectors and a wireless screen sharing solution. As part of the design for the inside of the building, there were to be half a dozen spaces created for active learning. Each would have desks grouped together in a rectangle, with an AV screen at the head. The plans for one room contained 20 such groups and two projectors.
The University wanted to be sure they would get the right return on their investment. Part of the problem with the AV technology they already had installed in other areas was they had no usage data. At over $1000 per box and with more than 20 rooms to fit out, it was difficult to justify additional spending without being able to produce metrics to demonstrate ROI.
Wade was familiar with Vivi and knew it could deliver everything the University wanted. Aside from the need for wireless screen sharing, there were two key requirements. Firstly, they wanted a very easy to use solution that they can manage remotely. They also needed a solution that would integrate with Office 365, so each user could enter the same credentials as they would for logging into a computer on campus. Vivi offered both. It was easy to use and could be managed and administered remotely. That meant if anything went wrong, it could be fixed without a member of the IT support team trekking across campus to troubleshoot.
Wade obtained an evaluation unit and it very quickly won over the key decision makers. On top of that, gaining the endorsement of the University’s Network Team was another important tick for Vivi. Having them on board from the outset made the actual implementation a breeze.
The University was so impressed with Vivi that the decision was made to expand the installation to include other buildings in the rollout, including Fine Arts and Fletcher. To date, the results justify the decision. Though COVID means the campus is still very quiet, the new rooms are booked all the time. Instructors are using the cameras in the rooms to stream their lectures for remote learning and with 2-3 students attending in person.
And there’s been nothing but praise from IT. There are no issues at all. Everyone is happy; they love the Vivi solution, because it just works. In fact, the IT staff told Wade that Vivi was the best wireless screen sharing tool they’d ever seen.
The implementation and onboarding process was seamless. With the network team fully invested in the solution, the preliminary cabling work was completed in advance and all Wade’s team had to do was provide them with the MAC address of each Vivi device. From there, each unit just needed to be powered on, connected to the network and given a room name. It really was that simple.
During the process, Vivi’s onboarding team came to the fore. The team at Vivi was able to provide Tier 1 support throughout and provide visibility of all the devices as they were added to see where things stood in the process. This level of communication was huge for Wade.
As a Pre-Sales AV Engineer, Wade’s role is to help guide customers towards the right product for them; one that meets their needs for functionality at a price that is within their budget. There are a wide range of solutions in the market, with varying degrees of sophistication and each with its own unique set of features.
Vivi is the one that really appeals to both IT and the end user. It is a simple, reliable solution that delivers what educators say they want: to connect easily and share their screens, something Vivi allows them to do with ease. That usability is something Wade believes is important. It doesn’t matter how clean and tidy an AV rack is, or how sleek a device looks, what matters is that the person using the room each day can make the most of it. A device needs to improve without interrupting; if an instructor has to stop and work out how to use it, or take time to connect, it disrupts the class.
Another advantage of Vivi is not having to install a server capture analytics—it’s all there in Vivi’s cloud admin portal. That’s a huge benefit when it comes to monitoring usage and tracking ROI, and it’s one of the reasons the University is able to justify scaling up the Vivi rollout.
From Wade’s perspective, it couldn’t be easier. The team at Vivi are great to work with. The excellence and speed of service they provide gives him the confidence to suggest companies give a Vivi evaluation a try. Often, customers have an email from Vivi within minutes of him leaving a meeting with Vivi unit shipping out right away. It creates an excellent first impression and one that Vivi maintains throughout.
As well as the functionality Vivi brought to the classroom, the teachers quickly learned to rely on it. “That’s one of the great things about Vivi,” says Burgess. “Before Vivi, we were forever replacing lost or broken HDMI cables. When people went to project, they couldn’t. Now, there’s no reason why our teachers can’t project—every room has Vivi and everyone knows how it works.”
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