ChallengeAttracting and retaining the right talent in Manchester, one of the UK’s leading digital hubs
SolutionUsing the latest collaboration technology to create an innovative, inspiring working environment
"A key element, is to make the guys here feel part of the wider Jaguar Land Rover group. Technology bridges that gap ... so it was absolutely key that we got that right."
When Jaguar Land Rover outlined plans to open a software, IT and engineering centre at The Neo Building in Central Manchester, as part of plans to enhance connected technologies into future vehicles, it knew that key to the project's success would be attracting the right people and creating an environment that made them feel integral to a business that is spread across the globe.
The new team of engineers and software experts works on a range of mobility services anddevelops new features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
Manchester was chosen as the UK's second largest digital city and a centre of excellence for software engineers, something Jaguar Land Roverwas keen to draw on in order to combat a skills shortage it faced elsewhere.
However, with competition for talent in the city high, it was essential that any facility was not only attractive to Generation Y tech natives, but would allow them to work in an intuitive way, collaborating both internally and externally.
Mark Brogden, Director of Enterprise Architecture and Innovation, Jaguar Land Rover, said, “Manchester is a key digital hub in the UK. We wanted to attract the right talent to drive our software development initiative, and a key part of that is creating an innovative working environment. We needed the right capabilities, the right feel and the right atmosphere for the type of people we wanted to attract.”
“A key element, especially with the type of software development work we do, is to make the guys here feel part of the wider Jaguar Land Rover group. Manchester is slightly remote from our other sites in Gaydon and Whitley in the West Midlands, and very remote from Shannon in Ireland, Shanghai in China and Portland in the United States. But technology, in terms of video conferencing, the informal screens and the meeting roomspaces we've created, bridges that gap, so it was absolutely key that we got that right.”
The natural choice
In total, integrator Visavvi installed 19Panasonic professional displays, alongside control technology, BYOD, audio and unified communications technology.
Rob Hill, Jaguar Land Rover Account Manager at Visavvi, “The project had a very tight timescale. From conception to completion was five or six weeks and that included design and installation working closely with the other partners such as the furniture designers and M&E people.”
“Jaguar Land Rover had an existing relationship with Panasonic from the automotive world and from a Visavvi perspective we've been working with Panasonic technology for 20 years and work really closely with them. This is a flagship building for Jaguar Land Rover and Panasonic is a flagship brand from an audio visual perspective.”
Mark Brogden adds, “Visavvi has been an Audio Visual partner of Jaguar Land Rover for 18 years, while Panasonic has been a partner for a number of years too. So it was a natural choice”
Jaguar Land Rover's presence at the Neo Building is split across two floors. The newly refurbished office has been created as the latest hub for Manchester's vibrant community of creators.
“In a competitive environment, the attraction and retention of staff, certainly in a software development space is key,” adds Mark Brogden. “One benefit of Manchester is, as a digital hub, those skills exist, but also those competitors exist. So we needed to create a better way of working and a better working environment in order to attract those skills.”
Rob Hill, Jaguar Land Rover Account Manager at Visavvi, “We haveintegratedvarious technologies, we've got screen technologies, control systems, unified communication hardware and audio equipment. We have brought that all together to create a work space that's as intuitive as possible.”
“They're using the technology for a variety of things from internal meetings and presentations, dashboard screens to monitor the software they are developing here. They're also using it for collaborative meetings with Jaguar Land Rovercolleagues and third parties outside of the building and overseas.”
All Jaguar Land RoverUK manufacturing facilities are powered by 100% renewable electricity and the company has bold plans to achieve carbon neutral manufacturing in the UK by 2020. As such, the energy efficiency of all technology is a key consideration and an industry comparison was part of the procurement process.
Rob Hill, Jaguar Land Rover Account Manager at Visavvi, “Energy usage is an important consideration for Jaguar Land Rover because as a business they are aiming towards carbon neutrality and the fact that the displays have low power consumption is particularly attractive.”
“The quality of the product goes without saying but also the after sales service is really important. When we put technology in to a building like thisit's critical that it works and, if there is a problem, that it is resolved really quickly. The Panasonic hardware has great reliability but we also get extended warranties and very fast response which brings additional reassurance.”
“Jaguar Land Rover is definitely a premium brand, Panasonic is a premium brand and Visavvi is a premium brand as well. It's important when we are dealing with important projects such as this, that we keep things at that sort of level. We wouldn't want to take risks with putting a brand in that may let us down.”
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