Hulskamp, a Scala Certified Partner in the Netherlands, has recently launched a sophisticated multi-channel dynamic digital media network for Amsterdam’s Chamber of Commerce (ACC), offering a digital signage solution that banishes the need for entrepreneurs and business leaders to wait in line, enables remote meeting room reservations, provides up-to-date business information, and offers helpful advice and information on demand via interactive touchpoints.
Representing a major trading city in the region, ACC aims to provide first-class facilities to its members who use it for information, advice and assistance across a broad range of areas, including starting new businesses, importing and exporting, terminations and transfers, and legal and regulatory matters.
Businesspeople who use the ACC’s facilities are often time-poor and need accurate information quickly to inform their business decisions. Previously, the ACC’s office resembled that of a traditional bank. It had counters and a queuing system so that, regardless of the nature of the enquiry, visitors were required to wait in line, speak to a representative at a counter and then either receive immediate assistance over the counter or wait for a specialist to become available. This antiquated system of “people management” was clearly not an efficient use of visitor or staff time. A new approach was needed.
In early 2008, a planned building refit provided the ideal opportunity to review the process by which the ACC conducted itself with its time-poor visitors. An innovative “people-first” system was conceived that uses digital media to completely remove the need for physical queues. This enabled the ACC to deliver a new range of value-added services to maximize the benefit members received from their visit and to make the experience more comfortable, productive and rewarding. This was delivered across three core channels:
1. A broadcast channel delivering way-finding, “next customer” and core ACC information.
2. A meeting room reservation and notification channel.
3. An interactive channel providing on-demand information to waiting visitors.
“The manner in which Hulskamp has been able to converge these different media, additional to the integration of our legacy systems for next customer and meeting room reservations using Scala has added considerable value to our ability to deliver real value to our visitors. The Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce is now enhanced as a destination for business productivity, advice and information in a setting that is modern, efficient and comfortable. We’re delighted with the outcome,” said Jeroen van den Boogaard, Marketing Manager for ACC.
Visitors to ACC are now able to view large-format plasma screens throughout the site that are designed to inform and assist in a number of ways, including displaying the time and location of meetings, providing live business news through RSS newsfeeds, offering legal and regulatory guidance, and providing information on upcoming seminars, events and tutorials.
If a visitor wishes to meet with a business advisor, visitors are provided a unique assigned number. When the “next customer” number is called via an audio prompt, it also appears on the network’s screens whereupon the visitor is instructed to rendezvous with an advisor at one of three meeting points, and from there they proceed to a private meeting room. Because number changes are clearly identifiable both visually and through a discrete but identifiable audio prompt, there is no opportunity for any visitor to miss their number being called.
By utilizing screen media in this process, visitors can relax and browse the amenities in the facilities. They can read relevant literature about the ACC, use an interactive touchpoint to research a particular question, check e-mail, surf the Internet on workstations located throughout the site, grab a cup of coffee or catch up with colleagues. In doing so, “waiting time” becomes “productive time” in an environment more akin to a lounge than an office.
The basis for the creation of this integrated system is called “Dynamic Viewpoint to meet,” or “DVP2meet,” a proprietary software created by Hulskamp to link ACC’s legacy queuing system (NemoQ) seamlessly to Scala in such a way that it provides automatic content updates to screens in real time. The same system also powers the meeting room booking and notification channel.
“One of the most important functionalities of this system is showing the queue numbers. Scala helped us develop additional scripting to our DVP2meet solution to connect to the NemoQ system,” said Patrick den Dekker, Multimedia Engineer, Hulskamp.
Meeting rooms can be booked in advance using ACC’s online automated booking system (Prequest), which has also been integrated with Scala by Hulskamp’s DVP2meet system. The meeting organizer can add additional information to the booking’s public notification option, which will appear on a screen outside the meeting room at the meeting’s scheduled time, even if it is booked weeks in advance.
If visitors are attending ACC to gather information and conduct research, in addition to traditional brochures and reference texts, Hulskamp installed 26-inch interactive plasma screens across the site that provide a range of interactive content
To enable this range of content to reach the various screens and channels seamlessly, ACC’s marketing department manages and schedules all of the content using a combination of templates. Animated items are created in Scala Designer and managed and scheduled using Scala software. Often this content is created through the repurposing and animation of existing marketing collateral from brochures, Web sites and other data sources such as seminar, event and knowledge articles produced internally by the ACC. Additionally, various RSS feeds keep the content up to date without incurring significant ongoing content creation and management costs.
“Amsterdam’s Chamber of Commerce and Hulskamp were able to identify key areas where digital media could add real operational value. Fundamentally, the use of digital media made each visitor’s experience better, faster and simpler, while at the same time providing productivity enhancements, values that business people appreciate. I’m delighted that Scala was selected to bring all of these elements together and enable the marketing team to provide this ongoing service both cost- and time-efficiently,” said Oscar Elizaga, VP EMEA, Scala.
About Hulskamp Audiovisual
Hulskamp is a leading Dutch company in the area of images and sound with nationwide coverage through several regional locations. From small meetings to mega-events, from rental of complete video production facilities to complete AV solutions, Hulskamp Audiovisual offers innovation and quality of service.
We offer both rental and purchase of equipment and services. Hulskamp offers a large range of products for projects and events of every size, and we have one of the largest stocks of High Definition technologies in Europe via a 24/7 service from several locations across Europe providing efficient customer service and delivery schedules.
Hulskamp also has a highly advanced content creation department for the production of videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs and other multimedia applications, as well as corporate videos, TV commercials, event content, HD and SD editing, and multimedia multiple-screen presentations. Hulskamp also specializes in narrowcasting including content, distribution and system administration which are fully integrated and taken care of by Hulskamp.
The synergy between the Hulskamp AV product group which includes Sales, Rental and Content Creation enables us to provide the best range of products and services to you through just one contact person at Hulskamp.
Driving more than 250,000 screens worldwide, Scala is a leading global provider of Digital Signage and advertising management solutions. Scala is the world’s first connected signage company, offering the leading platform for content creation, management and distribution in Digital Signage Networks and the first unified platform for advertising management of both traditional and Digital Signage Networks. The company’s Digital Signage customers include Rabobank, IKEA, Burger King, T-Mobile, Virgin MegaStore, Warner Brothers, The Life Channel, Rikstoto, Repsol, NorgesGruppen and thousands more. Advertising management customers include CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Magic Media, among others. Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, USA, and has subsidiaries in Canada, the Netherlands, France, Norway and Japan, as well as more than 450 partners in more than 60 countries. More information is available at www.scala.com.