Jabil is a prominent name in advanced technology solutions, global manufacturing and supply-chain management. It has more than 260,000 employees across 100 locations in 30 countries. Jabil chose St. Petersburg, Fla. as the location of its new world headquarters. The vision was to bring together employees in a modern, environmentally friendly and highly connected campus. The building, however, had to have the appeal and the technology to facilitate collaboration between teams in Florida and worldwide.
Packed with Amenities
At 175,000 square feet, this four-story building includes office spaces, conference rooms, collaboration rooms and customer engagement spaces. Amenities include a café, a dedicated IT helpdesk and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Clearwater, Fla.-based APG Technology was brought onboard by the design team as a technology consultant for the project. Ultimately, the firm was selected as the audiovisual integrator, working in partnership with Gensler Architects and Skanska USA. The firm’s task was monumental: conceptualizing, designing, installing and integrating technologies for a company as large and diverse as Jabil is.
Jabil wanted state-of-the-art technology, so it leveraged its existing partnership with Crestron to provide technological uniformity. APG Technology worked closely with Crestron to design every collaboration space. It selected Crestron Flex series for Microsoft Teams for all collaboration spaces and Crestron NVX in conjunction with Crestron Flex series UC Engines in the boardroom and conference center to allow the switching capability necessary to run collaborative meetings with multiple sources and displays.
To ensure user-friendliness, every touchpanel looked the same, regardless of the technology behind each room. Standardization was a key requirement. The client wanted every room to feel and operate in the same way, thus likely minimizing requests for IT support.
How the Relationship Grew between APG Technology and Jabil
Let’s explore how APG Technology and Jabil came together and, in so doing, ultimately created such an impressive environment. Jabil contacted APG Technology at the end of 2017 to design the technology systems for its new, 40,000-square-foot Innovation Center, a building dedicated to research and development. Scott Renner headed up the design for all technology systems, including structured cabling, security and audiovisual technology. Jabil signed the contract in February 2018.
After observing APG Technology’s diligence in tackling the Innovation Center, Jabil contacted the company again about continuing the design for its new headquarters. The finished product is a culmination of years of effort, and it represents APG’s passion for excellence. The company’s scope was not limited to a standard structured cabling system or a basic conference room projection screen; rather, it involved some of the most advanced, innovative and complex systems in the industry.
APG Technology’s partnership with Jabil continues even today, after the culmination of the headquarters building. The company, in fact, has been selected to complete the design and integration of the upcoming renovation of the Jabil MLK Building, expected to be completed in 2023.
Delving into the Specifics
Clearly, this organizational partnership has been firing on all cylinders, so let’s dig a bit deeper into the world headquarters that’s serving Jabil so well. The project design has multiple rooms with AV integration, including small, medium and large conference rooms; four-way divisible conference center; secure executive boardroom; fitness center; café signage; multiple huddle rooms; and central security office.
For audio and video distribution within the conference center, a Crestron NVX and Biamp DSP server system allows any input to be routed to any output. APG technology provided a high-quality sound system, including in-ceiling speakers, wireless microphones, Crestron UC Engines and gooseneck microphones. Conference rooms consisted of Crestron UC Engines Kits for Teams conferencing and presentation with Samsung displays and HDMI laptop inputs.
The executive boardroom programming allows the system to be completely shut down and reflect a red light on the panel by selecting a secure button on the touchpanel. Two HDMI inputs are located at the table to allow direct connection to the dual 2×2 55-inch videowalls. Input devices also include an Apple TV, AirMedia for wireless collaboration and an IPTV tuner.
The fitness studio consists of 55-inch Samsung displays with IPTV, Apple TVs and a separate distributed audio system for class instructions with wall-mounted dock and Bluetooth inputs capability. The café consists of seven 43-inch Samsung displays with digital signage menuboards and a background music system with pendant speakers. A new IPTV headend was provided with a fiber loop connecting buildings onsite that will allow it to accommodate IPTV in the adjacent buildings. Some 99 10-inch Crestron room-scheduling touchpanels were installed at each conference space.
A complete soundmasking system is composed of 355 Lencore pendant speakers, 58 ceiling speakers, six OP Processor Rack Units and one soundmasking headend on levels 2, 3 and 4.
Working Out the Kinks
Two main spaces in the new facility — the conference center and the executive boardroom — had some kinks to work out. The conference center touchpanel did not allow for the main UC Engine portion to be changed. The client requested to put the room into multiple combined states: 4×4, 2×2, 3×1 and all combined. Meetings were held with the IT staff to determine the best way to accomplish that goal and meet client needs.
APG Technology’s solution for easy user integration was to monitor the HDMI input of the NVX that is tied to the UC Engine’s output. When the UC Engine wakes up, video sync is detected, and the entire system turns on. The integrator created a splash page that comes up after selecting the room controls button and added a room combine mode.
In the boardroom, the client did not want the videoconferencing cameras to wake up and start sharing video until the time was right. This was also to be implemented in the conference center.
APG Technology met with the IT staff to come up with custom UI solutions. That way, Jabil could turn the cameras on and off, with them defaulting to off when a meeting has started.
Once the meeting starts, the client can navigate to the camera controls page and turn them on when the time is right for the far end to see them. The touchpanel will default back to the Teams page after 60 seconds of not being used; this is driven by Microsoft and Crestron, and it cannot be overridden.
For security, a privacy mute light was implemented using a custom labeled LED light and a Crestron wireless lamp controller. The control system monitors the state of the DSP’s mute module. When it’s muted, the system sends the command to turn on the privacy mute light and turn the TC2’s lights to red. When unmuted, the privacy light turns off and the TC2’s light returns to green.
A Thrilled Client
Jabil is absolutely thrilled with the project outcome. Even following project completion, the client says, APG has diligently been working with the Jabil team to ensure that all the new systems are meeting the demanding requirements of the facility’s many different users.
Everyone on the APG team — from management to engineering to field personnel — has taken a vested interest to ensure the operation of the new facility runs smoothly. Just as importantly, the integrator’s staff navigated unprecedented times in a global pandemic, showing the team was adaptable and dedicated to the success of the project.
APG/Jabil HQ Equipment Highlights
Biamp Audio DSPs
Crestron Flex + Microsoft Teams
Avocor interactive displays
Shure wireless mics
Sennheiser ceiling mics
Listen Technologies assisted listening
To view additional photos on APG’s installation at Jabil’s headquarters, click ‘view slideshow’ in the upper right corner.