Creating a standard: Pure Storage, Czech Republic

Simplicity and creativity intertwine at Pure Storage’s new headquarters. Reece Webb reports.

The way of working has changed and today, many companies are demanding flexibility for both their employees and their workspaces. The modern corporate work environment is evolving to offer accessibility for a workforce on the go and Pure Storage’s newest office in Prague represents a new standard for a modern way of working.

Pure Storage specialises in developing data storage hardware and software solutions, specialising in creating flashbased storage for data centres with a truly global footprint. The company employs an international team of software specialists at key global locations, including Prague where Pure Storage has been home to a research and development facility since 2019.

Key to Pure Storage’s research and development office is flexibility and simplicity: With a workforce that can work remotely or in the office, Pure Storage’s facilities needed to offer an in-office experience that workers were familiar with at home and required minimal set up, no matter which size space that employees require. Staff are expected to collaborate with staff from around the world, creating a demand for a failsafe videoconferencing system that offers maximum flexibility for its Prague team.

The key to the setup was to provide a simple, standardised offering for employees that offers the same familiarity as the home office experience. To meet this need, Pure Storage turned to Czech integrator, AV Media, after a highly successful prior integration from the company.

“This journey started two years ago”, says Martin Zikmunda, sales consultant, AV Media, “Pure Storage approached the US-based business unit of the GPA to find an AV integrator in Prague. We got the lead through the GPA to help Pure Storage open this office. This latest project was the second stage after we fitted out the company’s standard office rooms and training facilities beforehand.

“Pure Storage decided to expand its facility in Prague, extending their current footprint and renting two new floors in an adjacent building for an additional 200 software developers. They invited us without tendering based on the great reference from the previous implementation, this was supported by Cushman and Wakefield, the general contractor responsible for the fit-out of the project, as we had a great relationship with them already, from working on the first stage of this project.”

Sublime simplicity

Maintaining simplicity was the name of the game for Pure Storage, requiring a standardised system for its meeting rooms of varying sizes. The goal was to provide a convenient videoconferencing experience without deviating on the in-room equipment, ensuring that the experience for employees is the same no matter which sized space an employee finds themselves in.

Pure Storage decided to transition to a Logitech-based system, which the company had tested previously in the US. Zikmunda explains: “Pure Storage decided to implement the basic principles of the GPA - Speed, simplification and standardisation. The project contained only standard conference rooms based on a Logitech system with an embedded Zoom platform based on Android, connected to LAN without any direct cabling between the table and videobars.

“It was Pure Storage’s decision to use Logitech, based on the company’s own standards, which were formed in the US. We were implementing a Zoom environment on Logitech hardware for the first time. Pure Storage is also a fully wireless facility, and they connect all content through Zoom capabilities. This implementation was simple and Pure Storage appreciated the quality that we provided.”

The meeting spaces within Pure Storage’s office are divided up into spaces of differing sizes that offer informal and formal environments depending on the user’s needs. AV Media delivered 10 huddle room environments, 17 small rooms, one medium and large conferencing room as well as mobile technology deployments for the facility’s corridors and rooms.

As standardisation was the name of the game, the equipment used in each room offers flexibility for hybrid employees who come in to use their own devices with the Logitech-based Zoom system.

Each meeting room uses a Logitech Rally Bar Mini with a Tap Kit for Zoom, supported by a Logitech Tap Scheduler. “All rooms are equipped with an external Logitech scheduler for scheduling with Zoom”, says Zikmunda, “All of the hardware except for the displays and cable cubbies is based on Logitech, so the experience is consistent. They replaced the previous Apple computers with Logitech RoomMate, uploaded with a Zoom digital signage environment which is great because you can handle videoconferencing booking, digital signage and more. There are more than 10 of these in the facility for publishing information for employees.”

Each room in the huddle sized spaces is equipped with an LG 55-in display, wall mounted using a DS wall mount. The medium room is home to a 65-in LG display with the large room boasting an 86-in LG display.

Zikmunda explains: “Originally, Pure Storage had a preference for Samsung displays but because of better availability we proposed to use LG displays instead. We were able to manage this swap on time as needed and the client was very satisfied with this implementation.”

The larger conference room is also home to an external Logitech Rally Plus system with two speakers to provide additional volume in this larger space. “This is the only room equipped with external speakers and microphones, filling the larger space for additional sound reinforcement” says Zikmunda.

For connectivity, AV Media provided Extron cable cubbies that enhance the BYOD experience in each room. “The cable cubbies include charging functionality and power sockets” explains Zikmunda, there’s no HDMI or USB-C functionality, all the employees need to do is bring their own device, charge it up and connect to the Logitech system wirelessly, it’s that simple.”

AV Media also delivered four Neatboard collaboration platforms late in the project, offering flexibility to the rooms and corridors while also operating in the Zoom environment. The boards were originally specified for rest and relaxation rooms but were later approved for use in the conference spaces, designed to be moved between rooms for collaboration in brainstorming environments. “Using these boards, they can collaborate consistently with their in-room environment while bringing a bit of additional flexibility.”

The networking side of the project is handled by Pure Storage’s IT team as the technology on this project is so standardised that it can be manged entirely by the client’s own team. Zikmunda says: “Their IT team is responsible for the final integration into the company’s internal systems, so this was a unique cooperation for us with their team, we had a very good relationship with them. The Pure Storage team is very proactive, and we really liked that.

“They use the standard Logitech Sync environment where they have registered all devices, this is the only part of the system that they have to manage. They can do all tasks remotely such as updates to the Zoom environment and management of the system’s health.”

Exceeding expectations

AV Media spent two months on site, delivering the full system on time and on budget, exceeding the client’s expectations. Zikmunda clarifies: “Management of resources was the biggest challenge on this project. We committed to deliver this project on time, without tendering and the client trusted us to do this. We delivered the project on time without any equipment delays. It was challenging at times as we had to talk very frequently to vendors and manage these resources on time, this was the most difficult part of the project.”

“There were some issues which delayed the full implementation, as another vendor could not get the required network switches on time. Our rooms were technically implemented but we couldn’t test them properly without the network infrastructure in place.”

Looking to the future, Pure Storage is now home to a simplified but robust videoconferencing system that met the company’s key requirements and brings extra flexibility and functionality for a modern, hybrid workplace. AV Media plans to work again with the client as part of the company’s future expansion in Prague.

“This is confirmation that the client is really satisfied, this is something that we are really proud of. Pure Storage has decided to expand its Prague presence even more, with plans to expand with another 200 software developers in Prague, so this is in our pipeline and we will continue to liaise with them.”

Paul Melmon, head of Czech research and development centre Prague, Pure Storage, comments: “This space fosters teamwork, creativity and communication, it’s a fabulous facility. You come in to a conference room and [with one] click you’re on globally, it just happens. AV Media have made that possible and made it seamless for us.”

Kit list 

Extron cable

Logitech Rally
Bar, Tap kit for
Zoom, TAP room

digital signage
for Zoom

Neatboard collaboration platform

LG UL3J displays 

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