mulated a plan to simplify and standardize its communications system on a set of three basic room configurations: presentation only, audio conference rooms, and videoconference room options. Along with this, he established a hybrid AV distribution system, where audio and video were routed locally unless it made more sense to send them over the network. “We kind of turned it back to almost a standard-type room connection, where the video in the room is just in the room and not going on the network, because of latency issues inherent in IP transport,” he said. He has since been working to incorporate this standard in Juniper’s roughly 500 rooms across some 40 global offices. About 25 percent of them are equipped for videoconferencing, and the rest are a combination of presentation and audio. All of the larger, videoconferencing-enabled rooms feature Crestron control and touchpanels, Samsung monitors—most in a dual-display configuration—Polycom video-
conferencing equipment, Shure microphones, QSC amplifiers, and Crestron DM matrix switchers in rooms that need them. The other room types follow the same basic
We started out by designing the biggest room, then stripping pieces out to make it a smaller room, so it’s basically the same flow and function. configuration, just scaled back. “We started out by designing the biggest room, then stripping pieces out to make it a smaller room, so it’s basically the same flow and function,” he said. There are also some non-standard rooms, like event spaces and huddle areas, which are only equipped with a Polycom Trio phone for
one-touch Skype dialing and a wall-mounted display. Particularly important for Kolak was that these spaces remain flexible in terms of software ecosystems. “We use Polycom videoconferencing because we wanted to stay agnostic from any one technology that’s out there,” he said. “I don’t want to be a Zoom room or a Google Hangout room, because you never know—one day people could decide that they hate Skype and they want to go to [Microsoft] Teams, or they want to go to Zoom. I don’t want to be nailed down to just one technology, otherwise if anything changes, it could be an expensive change instead of just a backbone change.” DISAPPEARING ACT Kolak said that one of his initial goals when restructuring Juniper’s conferencing spaces was to make them automatic. “When I talk with people, nobody ever wants to control the
Of Juniper’s 500-odd conferencing rooms around the world, roughly one-third are in the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.
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Global Sensations. Juniper Networks' Pete Kolak On Standardizing An International Company's Communications.