An interactive display with two large notepads either side

Why Bernicia Group Housing Association Chose Sharp BIG PAD Displays

When Bernicia Group was looking for a way to improve internal communications and reduce travel costs, it opted for Sharp BIG PAD interactive displays as part of a video conferencing meeting room solution from GPS Installations.
Bernicia Group is a housing association managing 14,000 properties across North East England, with offices in Ashington, Durham and Berwick. It has been providing quality homes for nearly 50 years and in that time has earned a reputation as one of the country’s leading housing providers. It currently employs over 500 people in a wide variety of roles, and has an annual turnover in excess of £70 million.

Staff and employees for the charitable business are based across several sites in the North East, making face-to-face meetings costly and difficult to co-ordinate. To make matters worse, meetings often rely upon ageing overhead projectors and laptops, which would often need additional time to set up and connect, making collaboration and the sharing of information difficult.

So, when the business was looking to improve its internal communications and invest in new IT solutions, it knew that along with needing to reduce travel costs for employees working across locations, as well as improve staff meetings and training sessions, it also needed to improve the overall connectivity of devices by reducing poor interoperability.  

Following a visit to the North East Sharp Demonstration Centre in Cramlington, Ali Newey, Business Improvement Officer, was introduced to the Sharp BIG PAD range of Interactive Displays and received help and advice from AV specialists, GPS Installations.

GPS worked closely with the Bernicia IT department and were able to carry out all of their initial testing from the Sharp Demonstration Centre before the order was placed and the installation was rolled out to all offices.

Ali found working with GPS extremely rewarding, saying of the experience: “From start to finish, we received an excellent service from GPS Installations.  They were extremely helpful with any queries we had prior to purchase, including occasional visits to undertake testing to ensure the equipment would work as expected in our environment.”

It was decided that a combination of the 70-inch Sharp BIG PAD PN-70SC5 and 80-inch Sharp BIG PAD PN-80SC5 Interactive Displays would be installed and set up in the boardrooms, main meeting rooms and training room across the three office locations in Ashington, Berwick and Durham.

Both panels are the first of the industry-leading BIG PAD interactive display range to have “optical bonding” as standard for eye-catching image brilliance and a more immediate touch response. The incredibly positive touch experience means that users are more confident and poised when teaching, presenting, or leading a discussion.

The displays were supported with the latest AMX Acendo Vibe Soundbar for quick and easy High Definition Video and Audio communications using the Skype for Business platform.

Following installation, the Bernicia Group spent a period growing accustomed to using and working with the panels. One clear benefit of installing Sharp BIG PAD interactive displays came in the form of intuitive software, as Ali found that training was not needed, as staff found the displays very easy to use.

Bernicia Group is making full use of the interactive nature of the BIG PAD displays, using them for video conferencing between the various offices, as well as staff meetings, training sessions and presentations.

The company is happy with how the panels look and sound, and also come with the added bonus that they no longer need to spend time setting equipment up and getting devices to work together.

Ali says they have been using the BIG PAD more for presentations, but it is early days and as the needs arise, video conferencing is seen as the biggest cost-saver. As Ali told us, “the site-to-site contact through video conferencing will help us massively reduce travel times and improve communication.”

What’s more, the equipment itself is proving a hit. “We are very happy with the performance and the quality of the video conferencing equipment.  I would definitely recommend GPS Installations. It has definitely enhanced the way we work as a business.”

Ali is confident that in the future, the business will be looking to further expand its IT investment with the purchase of more Sharp BIG PAD Interactive Displays.

If you would like to know more about how Sharp Digital Solutions can help your business improve collaboration while reducing costs, Get In Touch.