Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) was founded in 1968 in the Philadelphia region and has been a staple of the business community and the greater Delaware Valley community at large. SOA is the U.S. Sales and Marketing subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan aubnd is responsible for the distribution, marketing, sales and service of Subaru vehicles in the United States.
In 2016, Subaru announced that they were officially moving from their 115,000 square-foot, seven-story national headquarters. In May of 2018 they opened a newly constructed 250,000 square foot, 5–story LEED building headquarters in Camden, NJ. This two and half year project is now considered a huge success for Subaru as well as the state of New Jersey and region at large.
One of the biggest challenges of this project was transitioning an entire organization (technologically) from a 30-year-old building containing very little integrated AV technology, into a new state-of-the-art headquarters featuring a 25,000 square foot conference center, 40+ integrated meeting rooms, and high-end AV and UC technology systems throughout the building. Subaru needed to overcome the AV culture shock and guarantee AV adoption as a main objective so consistency in the user-experience was a critical component of the project. Because we were also introducing a totally new concept in BYOD (bring your own device) using wireless video, SOA was committed to the adoption of wireless content sharing in every room. A key requirement from SOA was that every employee feel comfortable walking into any meeting room and knowing how to use the technology in order to present content and communicate naturally in their new environment.
SOA, having a prior working relationship with IMS both for AV integration and for live event staging, knew they could rely on IMS to deliver the type of systems customization they required; with an emphasis on world-class quality, reliability and technological advancement; all while being very cost conscious. The AV design, planning and integration efforts spanned a few years and required not only IMS, but a full project team including Subaru’s Facilities and IT personnel, Granum Architects, CB Richard Ellis, DCM Works Inc., Turner Construction and ultimately, HARMAN Pro-AV.
IMS provided system design services and integration for over 50 meeting spaces as well as building-wide technology, including:
• 25,000 sq. ft. hybrid meeting and event conference center with features including:
o Several multi-divisible, fully integrated, all-purpose conference rooms that can be easily combined or separated based on meeting type and seating capacity
o Hybrid event capabilities with HD camera, control and audio/ microphone inputs and outputs located strategically in the space, all matrixed from the AV head-end to a front-of-house area for the IMS show services team to mix and produce large corporate events. SOA events and web broadcasts, as well as 3rd party SOA affiliates, can easily plug in without the need for extensive AV equipment rentals.
Fun Fact: Philadelphia radio’s 93.3 WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show performs an annual radio broadcast at SOA’s Conference Center, as SOA is the single largest contributing corporation to the Preston and Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger benefiting Philabundance.org. IMS is proud to both sponsor and contribute to this cause through our philanthropy and AV expertise.
• 2-story lobby and reception area featuring a 7’H x 13W’ LCD video wall with integrated event audio and control touch panel
• Multi-use Café and open dining space for daily use as well as company town-hall meetings
• State-of-the-art fitness center – multiple monitors, sound system and touch panel control
• Building-wide sound masking using Direct Field coverage by Cambridge Sound Management
• Building-wide digital signage using BrightSign in key traffic areas and the Cafe
• Building-wide room scheduling with 7” AMX Touch Panels outside all conference rooms
• Executive suite, including a boardroom with CISCO video conferencing
• 23 video conference rooms also integrated with Mersive Solstice for wireless video and digital signage
• 14 huddle rooms Mersive Solstice for wireless video and digital signage
• 6 large multi-purpose rooms with HD projection, TP Control & Mersive Solstice for wireless video
IMS collaborated with many AV partners as the HQ took shape, and prior to FF&E being finalized, an interesting synergy arose. SOA is in a long-term partnership with HARMAN’s Automotive Connected Car division, which develops and provides audio and dashboard infotainment systems in Subaru vehicles as well as the many of top auto brands. The SOA leadership team sought to expand the partnership and break new ground by working with IMS and the professionals in HARMAN’s Pro-AV division to fulfill the HQ implementation. As a result, the HQ utilizes mostly Harman-Pro AV product lines including AMX, JBL, Crown, BSS and AKG. The IMS technical team stepped up to the challenge of implementing the systems cohesively using HARMAN technologies, which delivered many short and long term benefits to SOA. For example, Harman immediately mobilized necessary support channels to align to SOA’s business and technical requirements, all parties are building stronger working relationships with Harman engineers and learning how to maximize SOA’s investment in the technologies and finally, the future is open to new tech advancements being learned and shared between the Infotainment Auto-Systems and the Integrated AV technology groups. Conversations that may have never happened before are now taking place amongst all parties.
In Q4 of 2018 SOA is ready to open their brand new 180,000 square foot National Service Training Center which is adjacent to the new HQ. The design and AV solutions naturally flow from the HQ to the NSTC; creating a consistent user experience across these new facilities. These two buildings have more
than doubled the size of the Subaru's previous headquarters and brought employees from four sites onto one campus.
In Q1 of 2019 SOA is set to complete the renovation of their Customer Service Operations and Call Center. This design-build AV integration again will bring the next generation of Subaru’s people and innovation that much closer to their strategic partners and customers worldwide.
The buildings are visually stunning both outside and inside. Subaru’s vision was realized regarding their employee’s transition, and the vast majority of employees have embraced the new technology effortlessly. SOA’s success relied heavily on people and technology working together. The technology blends seamlessly throughout the headquarters, and the systems are simple to use and will continue to improve their business. Continuous support services and relationships provided by IMS and Subaru’s HQ project team will promote more technology adoption in the future, AV use-education, training and best practices in all three buildings. The future is now smoothly paved for Subaru to drive innovation and growth for many years to come.