With India office, adidas shows how to be cooler and simpler
Vishal Kapil, director of information technology (IT) for adidas India, says the senior management posed just one question: “How can we be more collaborative, much cooler and simpler?
“Every department looked at deconstructing this into their areas. So, for us the question was how can a corporate entity make it so simple for people to share their content and collaborate, while still complying with global security policies?”
The answer: Facilitate collaboration through two specific IT solutions—a cable-free connector and a videoconferencing app. Each meeting room and cabin is equipped with an LED screen and a cable-free connector that plugs into any laptop, enabling “wire-free, secure, full high-definition content-streaming of videos, presentations or documents. We didn’t want boxes, with cables jutting out of them. This is easy to use and does not require any software installation. The wireless presentation system, called BenQ InstaShow, starts off in seconds, reducing downtime and uncomfortable silences, to kick off a productive meeting,” says Kapil.
Meeting-room technology is complemented by tools that support interaction outside enclosed spaces. “People use FaceTime, people use Skype through their phones. So, we asked how we can enable videoconferencing in the corporate environment in a similar way,” he says. Adidas implemented Vidyo, a software-based HD “video-conferring” system that allows employees to videoconference anytime, anywhere, from their devices, whether smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops, rather than having to book a meeting room.
While the company was not willing to disclose the app’s total usage numbers, Kapil says he’s satisfied. “We see people huddling where they are. There is no metric to compare productivity earlier and now, but what we hear from various leaders now is that people are more engaged.”
Karan Arora, manager, retail, says: “The collaboration quotient has gone up quite a bit. There are open spaces you can just walk around; special collaboration areas are available on every floor so these casual meetings can happen there, instead of just sitting in the closed meeting room, so it has become much more interesting.”
The company’s omissions are as prominent as its commissions—there are very few TV or brand-led screens in the office. “We are promoting movement and sports. Screens would conflict with the idea,” says Anuja Gupta, a designer in Gensler’s Bengaluru office.
As a corollary, the office infrastructure supports movement in the most basic fashion: stairs. Since there are three floors, not nine as in their earlier office, it was a pleasant surprise to see office workers wearing trainers, and walking up and down the centrally located staircase. A good case of design that is fit-for-use.