With a total length of around 30,000 kilometres, Wiener Netze’s network is considered to be the region's most important lifeline.
Austria's largest combined energy operator supplies more than two million customers in Vienna, as well as parts of Lower Austria and Burgenland with electricity, gas, district heating and telecommunications.
As part of its innovation strategy for a green energy transition, the company relies on the Windows collaboration display from Sharp for team meetings. Wiener Netze employs around 2,400 people in its Wiener Stadtwerke group, making it one of the most important infrastructure companies in the greater Vienna area.
To guarantee the security of future supply in the region, the company invests 300 million euros annually in the innovative expansion of its networks. In the course of the energy transition, the focus is primarily on renewable energy. For example, Wiener Netze is investing in intelligent power grids as part of its research and innovation projects and is actively promoting the development of urban energy and mobility systems.
Traditional meeting culture vs. digitalisation
Located in an area of critical infrastructure demanding high levels of social responsibility, all activities at Wiener Netze revolve around the issue of security. The highest security standards are upheld throughout the company to protect the sensitive systems and data, and guarantee an undisturbed power supply to the regional population.
During internal meetings, this principle has been reflected in a traditional meeting culture in which most exchanges take place face-to-face and digital technologies only used cautiously. This all changed with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Spring 2020.
All-in-one solution for today’s meetings
During the course of the pandemic and as a result of working from home regulations, new work scenarios very quickly emerged, which made the increased use of digital technologies essential.
Decision-making and meetings became digital or hybrid, with Wiener Netze testing various video conference and collaboration systems.
The aim was to find an all-in-one application that would meet the company's high security standards, could be easily integrated into the existing environment, would assist a wide variety of collaboration scenarios and also offer an optimal workflow.
In addition, the collaboration technology needed to be easy to use to ensure it was readily taken up and accepted by the employees so they could focus on their work at hand.
After conducting various tests, the IT team decided on the Windows collaboration display from Sharp which met all the requirements of Wiener Netze. A total of 14 devices were installed in the company headquarters in Vienna in the summer of 2020.
Plug and Play: Easy-to-use and efficient processes
The interactive, 70-inch Windows collaboration display with a 4K resolution is one of the most up-to-date collaboration solutions on the market. It ensures more productive collaboration and connects de-centralised teams in virtual and hybrid meetings. Wiener Netze chose the Windows collaboration display as it provides all the functions that the company needs for daily use, while also offering a high standard of IT security. Its “plug-and-play” concept also differentiates it from other manufacturers’ solutions, with users simply connecting their laptop to the display via a USB-C cable or Miracast to use the collaboration display immediately.
In addition, the Windows collaboration display is optimised for Microsoft applications and fits seamlessly into Wiener Netze’s existing work environment. The company now uses Microsoft Teams exclusively to plan and hold online or hybrid conferences; office-based and remote colleagues are connected via the Windows collaboration display.
“Ease of use was particularly important to us. The technical hurdles needed to be as low as possible so that all employees could easily and happily work with the device,” explains Christian Call, spokesman for Wiener Netze. “In the past, devices and cables had to be lugged through the building for meetings, only to find out at the last minute that a plug did not fit in a conference room socket or that a certain accessory was missing. No one liked using these systems. Now it’s easy to connect a device to the display in the conference room and immediately start a video conference with any colleague.”
Meetings without frustration
Preparation times for meetings have shortened since Wiener Netze started using the Windows collaboration displays from Sharp. Meetings have become significantly more efficient and are easy to initiate because the collaborative displays are so easy to use.The feedback from all employees has been very positive, with the displays now being used for all types of meetings, making collaboration much easier, especially in the current hybrid working climate.
Employees particularly appreciate the ease of use: “When a meeting is about to start, I want to be able to switch on the display, connect and get going without worrying about the technology beforehand,” explains Christian Call. “That is exactly what the Windows collaboration display offers. It just works and I don't have to worry about anything and can concentrate fully on the meeting.”
Christian Call continued: “In Sharp we found a reliable, highly committed partner who won us over with their competence and expertise. The collaboration with Sharp was extremely solution-oriented, straight forward, and enjoyed excellent project management throughout. For Wiener Netze, this project and Sharp’s solutions enabled us to remain true to our company motto: We're ushering in the future.”