Chicago, IL



Biamp, Christie, Crestron, NEC

Mission: Make a Downtown Demo Center Interactive

Catamaran is a pharmacy benefit management company that offers customizable solutions like formulary management, specialty pharmacy, and a retail-to-home delivery program. As part of its Innovation Center build-out in downtown Chicago, Catamaran wanted the ability to show guests how its technology improves service to their clients.

“We can show prospects how we are redefining healthcare and the next 10 years of the pharmacy benefit management industry”

— Scott Schrader, Catamaran director of healthcare technology

AVI-SPL had previously completed work for one of the two companies that joined forces to form Catamaran. For this project, AVI-SPL would provide the integration services and work closely with a consultant on the design.

Action: A Complex Project With a Tight Deadline

The project moved forward through a collabourative process with AVI-SPL, Catamaran, the architect (Whitney), the general contractor (Clune Construction), and the consultant, Environmental Systems Design, Inc. (ESD).

“It felt like we were operating as a single design entity a lot of times,” says Daniel Tehan, senior associate for audiovisual consulting, ESD.

While ESD took the lead on the official design, AVI-SPL was part of the discussion, offering insight into the products that would be integrated.

Catamaran’s Innovation Center, which takes up one floor of a commercial building, was designed to show guests what the company can do and to remotely connect with other offices and clients. To support that goal, AVI-SPL installed seven recessed video walls and integrated LifeSize video conferencing systems in five meeting rooms.

“It took very creative construction to get those video walls to work,” Tehan says. “We figured out how to bring cool air down the wall, and hot air up the wall. It was very much a collabourative process.”

A dedicated room near the experience center features AVI-SPL’s Caméléon telepresence system. In collaboration mode, three motorized monitors pop up from the table, on which participants see shared material.

Each conference room has a Crestron Pro2 series processor that runs the Crestron DigitalMedia matrix. That matrix manages the Biamp AudiaFlex, which distributes audio throughout the building. An iPad, interfaces with the conferencing systems and AV devices so that attendees can easily manage what they share during a video conference.

“The programmers involved in the project did an excellent job of bringing the control flow to a point where they were similar between the conference rooms and Caméléon’s room,” says Tehan. “That was an expertise I was very glad AVI-SPL brought to the table.”

“One of the reasons we installed Biamp AudiaFlex is for how well it manages audio conferencing,” adds Doug Goczkowski, AVI-SPL project specialist. “Take the large conference room as an example. In this room, there are eight speaker zones. If you’re at mic one and the audio speaker is zone one, your voice will come out of zones two through eight.”

In the experience center and lobby, audio sources connect to Biamp’s Nexia PM (a digital signal processor). An iPod hookup at the receptionist’s front desk makes it possible to send music to the Customer Experience Center and the lobby.

“We really enjoyed working with Doug on this project,” says Nici Nilles, senior project manager at architecture firm Whitney. “A lot of times AV gets brought into the project too late in the game, and we wanted to make sure we were all on the same page every step of the way. Whitney, AVI-SPL, and ESD all worked side by side to develop the space around the technology.”

“It was overall a great experience,” says Scott Schrader, Catamaran’s director of healthcare technology. “Doug was knowledgeable and dedicated.”

Impact: The Center of Engagement

Catamaran brings customers into its Innovation Center for presentations that showcase next-generation products and service offerings.

When a guest walks up to the lobby video wall, an RFID reader recognises the badge they received at check-in and brings their name up on the screen. A Kinect camera system then allows that person to navigate through the options using gestures. Four 2-by-2 video walls have a Horizon overlay so that guests can select a pharmacy app and see how it works.

Each of the video conference rooms has AVI-SPL’s own Simple Control solution, which is powered by Crestron. It streamlines the collaboration system by automating system engagement and makes it easy to share a presentation on a laptop with a video conferencing endpoint at the push of a button. ESD and the AVI-SPL team worked together to create a discreet version of the push-button solution that recesses in the table.

Using its new video collaboration solutions, the Innovation Center staff communicates with colleagues at Catamaran headquarters in Schaumburg, IL. They can also connect with the company’s prescription delivery facilities around the nation, and can offer presentations to remote clients.

“We can show prospects how we are redefining healthcare and the next 10 years of the pharmacy benefit management industry,” says Schrader.

“We were in the space just under two months,” says Goczkowski. “I’m proud that we were able to create this advanced tech space in such a short timeline.”

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