AV Solutions for Indiana County Government

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the director of IT for a Northeastern Indiana county quickly realized he had a serious issue: the county’s government couldn’t conduct the basic meetings it needed to function due to increased in-person restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. City Council could no longer meet in the same room, and neither could smaller agencies across the county. The county court system also hit a snag, as inmates couldn’t attend hearings in person. These restrictions threatened to bring operations to a grinding halt.

The IT director knew that having meaningful, face-to-face interactions was essential for the continuity of the county’s operations. He quickly brought in the team at CBTS, an IT consulting firm, to help implement remote meeting technology – and CBTS knew there was one integrator ready to deliver.

“We have a relationship with Cisco, but we needed a partner that knew the Cisco technology inside and out to ensure an optimal Webex experience in the county’s existing spaces,” said Tom Ross, Client Consultant Manager at CBTS. “RoomReady’s understanding of the technology, and how to implement it across multiple county buildings, made them the right choice for such a pressing challenge.”

Bringing the county operations online

RoomReady wasted no time laying the groundwork for what would ultimately be a three-phase build out. The team met with county officials alongside CBTS, determining the county’s pain points, immediate needs and future wants. The discussions centered around how to best establish technology in a variety of spaces ranging from the Superior Court and justice buildings to the community corrections and detention centers.

RoomReady then worked closely with CBTS to roll out technologies geared for each unique space. Together, they leveraged solutions such as mobile carts which featured displays and video endpoints, new 55” displays and Cisco Room Kits, with built-in tracking cameras, microphones and speakers, to allow city council meetings and court trials to move forward while following social distancing protocols.

And while adoption took time as employees tried to adjust to the “new normal,” RoomReady worked closely with the IT director to ensure the county had the tools it needed for training.

“The director was a huge advocate for training – he worked closely with departments across the county to make the transition easier, bringing in RoomReady to help simplify onboarding,” Ross said. “It wasn’t the easiest road, like many of the new adjustments early in the pandemic but having RoomReady to remove some of the complexities helped smooth out room adoption.”

Keeping the county moving

Once county officials went through RoomReady training, it became easier to adopt the solutions into the everyday roles – and maintain operations with the same faceto-face interaction they had pre-pandemic. Installing a video endpoint in the judge’s chambers, as well as video endpoints at the county jail, allowed for hearings to continue with minimal delay.

“Post-pandemic, having these types of technologies in the public sector is no longer a luxury. K-12 and higher education, city government and other county functions need a level of flexibility to keep operating, even if they can’t be in person,” Ross said. “The county now has the AV solutions necessary for seamless face-to-face interaction, no matter where participants are calling in from.”

Working with RoomReady on the project has also demonstrated how valuable the integrator’s partnership with CBTS is, Ross said.

“Now that we’re working with RoomReady, our account managers are more willing to pursue similar projects,” Ross said. “We can rely on RoomReady to do implementation and training, and focus our work on other elements of the installation. They’re a partner we can trust to get the job done right.”