Since it opened in 2003, St John’s Mill has sought to provide businesses, charities, government departments, community groups and organisations with a first class event experience and has recently upgraded its facilities to accommodate the trend towards virtual and hybrid meetings.

The challenge

Driven by its mission to facilitate inspiring events and make customers lives as happy as possible, staff at St John’s Mill quickly saw the potential for providing high quality online meetings and video conferencing to augment their beautiful physical meeting spaces, especially with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have always strived to give our customers the best experience possible so they really get the most from their time with us,” said Assistant Manager Sarah Ripamonti.

Key to their success would be multi-functionality, ease of use and uninterrupted connectivity – plus the ability to install a new system in the face of public health restrictions!

With more people making use of services such as Zoom and the ongoing difficulties of meeting people in person, we were keen to make sure we were providing a way of connecting with others that was easy and enjoyable but would also be a smooth trouble-free process.

The solution

After a detailed discussion of requirements with a Manx Telecom Account Manager, The Mill’s meeting and conferencing needs were met by the installation of a state-of-the-art Poly Studio X50 Soundbar. A high quality but simple-to-use solution, with 4K video capability, intelligent camera framing and NoiseBlockAI technology powered by machine learning; it also provides rich room-filling sound which is perfect for The Mill’s meeting spaces.

Connectivity was provided by Fibre to the Premises broadband which also supports an Intelligent Voice VOIP telephony system, allowing The Mill to benefit from virtual switchboard services. Surprisingly, installation of the system was relatively easy as engineers were able to work in the empty building during the first lockdown which meant The Mill was ready to roll out the new technology once meeting restrictions were lifted.

It is all working very well. We are getting a lot of interest in using the video conferencing facilities, particularly as people are getting used to holding meetings and events slightly differently.

St John's Mill

The outcome

Staff at St John’s Mill are delighted with the Poly Studio system and the reliability and stability of the supporting fibre broadband. 

“Operationally, we haven’t experienced any major technical hitches – just one or two minor hiccups when we first started using the Soundbar but they were very quickly sorted out with a phone call to Manx Telecom. The service from Manx Telecom has been excellent and they get back to us straight away.” 

While the original motivation was to bring the Mill’s facilities up to date, the multi-functionality it now offers means it is beginning to attract a broader range of customers as well.

“We’ve found the system is particularly good for talks and lectures,” said Sarah. 

“The quality is just as good as having the speaker in the room so it’s great for training and we have recently begun a collaboration with Salford University to deliver online classes.” 

“That’s a great partnership to have established and also means we will be able to offer valuable CPD opportunities to people on the Island so it’s a great outcome for everyone.”

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