Founded in 1856, the County of San Mateo is located in California. It incorporates 20 regions including San Franciso-Oakland-Berkeley, Silicon Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area, with a combined population of 765,000 people.
A single address for various business and residential services and needs, the County of San Mateo has over 7,000 employees across 26 different departments.
The County of San Mateo had several very specific goals for its new video conferencing solution. Kevin Pankhurst, the county’s AV Manager, wanted the conference rooms to simply be a resource that could be used without users having to log in to the room’s PC or navigate setup steps. As such, the collaboration solution needed to have its own integrated UI so users would not have to interact with Windows for launching or closing the meeting. An automatic room reset, to wipe the meeting off the system when it’s done, was vital. Additionally, Kevin wanted to allow scheduling of the room from within the system.
With many users across multiple locations, with varying needs, the flexibility to customize the solution beyond its original design purposes was also essential. Likewise, ease of use, as Kevin is the only one in his department and has limited time to conduct in-person training. Similarly, as the sole help address, he needed the system to be reliable, to drastically reduce service calls.
Kevin chose Kramer’s Quicklaunch Ultimate Edition one-touch collaboration software as the video conferencing solution for all sites operated by the County of San Mateo. His decision was made in late 2018 for the next financial year.
“I don’t think there was anyone else in that space at that time” explains Kevin. “Quicklaunch blew me away. It was leagues ahead of everybody else. It looks very easy, it looks very simple and it is. Plus, there is a ton of stuff underneath the hood of Quicklaunch that will allow you to customize your environment and your use case for whatever that task is going to be.”
Quicklaunch was integrated as part of the whole solution Kevin created for the county’s various video conferencing spaces, working seamlessly with the chosen displays, microphones, speakers, and other applications.
While the County chose to delay installation during the height of pandemic, Quicklaunch has since been installed in 30 conference rooms across multiple sites within the County of San Mateo, with another 15 installs planned for this fiscal year. “I’ve got a huge county. And so there are buildings all over the place. I keep getting requests for new locations. For example, our parks department is really excited about this because I created a demonstration for them, and I’m like, ‘You know, we can actually put Google Earth on this, and you can zoom in, and create custom maps for your parks,’ which they thought was genius.”
Quicklaunch has lived up to expectations, and then some. “The fact that Quicklaunch has its own integrated UI, and the users aren’t dealing with Windows, and can just come in and step up to the device and use it is a big-time saver,” Kevin points out. “Having the ability to click on the meeting, whether it be a Zoom meeting or a Teams meeting, and just bring it up is instrumental. The user doesn’t have to look for anything. It’s right there in front of them. Nice, big button. They can’t miss it.”
As he elaborates: “One of the biggest problems that our users used to have in a conference room is, somebody logs into Windows, their meeting is over, they get up, they leave, it times out, and they’re still authenticated to that device – which stops the next meeting, because somebody has to go find them, they have to reboot the device, and that slows things down. Now with Quicklaunch’s integrated UI, that’s all gone away.”
Plus, there’s the room reset functionality built-in, to wipe the presence of that meeting off the system, as a security benefit. As Kevin explains: “With Quicklaunch, my users walk in, they don’t log into a PC, they just interact with the PC. When the meeting is over, the users walk away, their ‘identity’ is wiped, and it’s secure for the next meeting.”
Kevin comments that seeing the scheduling for the room right there within Quicklaunch has also been instrumental.
In terms of flexibility, Kevin has found Kramer an exceptionally responsive partner, and is thrilled that many of his requests and ideas have made their way into the solution. In detailing his experience, he says “I started using Quicklaunch in a way that it wasn’t designed for, and then immediately, I was put in touch with the Quicklaunch developers, who came up with brand-new features that are fantastic, and allow me to continue to do what I need to do for my business.”
At the end of the day, however “the value to me is I don’t get any support calls,” emphasizes Kevin. “That is the absolute most important thing to me. Meetings are going easier, and I’m not getting calls 30 seconds before meetings, which alone indicates Quicklaunch is working well.’”
Training has also proven easy, with Kevin doing an in-person demonstration at each location, to introduce users to Quicklaunch, after which they are proficient. Staff are then able to bring new users up to speed without his assistance, further saving his time and energy.
As for reliability, Kevin has been more than pleased. “The whole entire ecosystem that I put together is 100% reliable. I’m only using quality products that work, because I can’t jump and run to different buildings in 30 seconds. It’s impossible. It is the whole entire user experience that I created, partnering with Quicklaunch as the interface, that has made my rooms a success.”
Looking ahead, Kevin sees Quicklaunch as an integral part of the county’s AV future. “My intention is, every five years, we’re going to refresh these rooms. The equipment may change, the manufacturers may change. But for now, I have no intention of leaving Quicklaunch out of the mix. There’s nothing that’s out there that supersedes what Quicklaunch can do.”
He concludes: “I have had nothing but a positive experience during the numerous years that I’ve worked with Quicklaunch. It’s been fantastic!”