Ricoh Australia has announced its collaboration with St John Ambulance Victoria in upgrading the latter's meeting room facilities at its new headquarters based in Melbourne. The operation was part of a broader plan to digitise meeting spaces in order to provide better, more seamless connectivity in an increasingly digital working environment.
St John Ambulance Victoria, founded over 138 years ago, delivers crucial medical, training, and transport services to many individuals across Victoria. With a body of 700 employees and 1,200 volunteers, the organisation has provided emergency health support services to more than 2500 public events and facilitated more than 1700 community transport trips in the previous year.
Digital transformation became an essential part of moving St John Ambulance Victoria's base of operations to Melbourne, with the primary objective to optimise their meeting room facilities. Drawing on its strong reliance on regular meetings to coordinate efforts, especially with teams widely dispersed across Victoria, the organisation saw the need to improve the digital capabilities of their meeting rooms. Brendan Freestone, IT Manager at St John Ambulance Victoria explains the situation: "The equipment that we had in our meeting rooms was no longer providing the level of capability and support that participants were requiring."
In the wake of shifting their headquarters to a new Melbourne-based building in 2022, the organisation planned to refresh their legacy meeting room equipment with newer, more apt tools for the digital age. Freestone added, "Whether people are presenting in the same room or connecting with participants in multiple remote locations, we needed a solution that was intuitive to use and always reliable. We knew it was time for a complete refresh."
As a result, St John Ambulance Victoria turned to their 10-year business partner Ricoh Australia. They deployed Microsoft Teams Rooms across eight locations, installed Yealink video and conferencing hardware in each room, integrated with Microsoft Outlook for convenient meeting room bookings, replaced the legacy telephone network with Microsoft Teams, positioned interactive boards outside each room to show status and introduced a digital visitor management platform. Freestone appreciated Ricoh's resolute attention to detail, stating that "Ricoh worked very hard within a constrained timeframe, however they were able to have our new meeting rooms fully functional from day one in our new location."
The meeting participants have positively noted the reliability and intuitive nature of the new digital meeting tools. Freestone outlines the benefits: "Participants can now quickly establish two-way video connections with other locations, readily share digital presentations and staff and volunteers no longer need support from the IT team to configure equipment or get connections established. It all just works first time."
Alongside the hardware installation, Ricoh deployed video panels at the entrance of each meeting room. These display the room's current status and permit users to make future bookings, resulting in a highly streamlined management process.
In the coming year, St John Ambulance Victoria plans to extend these advancements to additional sites, such as equipping a large training room within their headquarters to conduct two-way video conferences. Freestone concludes on a positive note, "We know that, with Ricoh as a technology partner, we can continue to expand our meeting and collaboration capabilities as our requirements grow. The value that this project has delivered to our organisation has been profound."