Soc Gen owes its history to a ceaseless programme of innovation
UK - The Societe Generale is France's third largest bank and has had a presence in London since 1871. Occupying locations at St James' Square and Tower Hill, Soc Gen owes its history to a ceaseless programme of innovation which is applied across every part of its operation. The constant adapting and refining of its approach in an ever-changing world has seen Soc Gen perform strongly even in the most sluggish of environments. Recently, POLARaudio and installers ProAV were invited to address a very demanding brief.

Societe Generale wanted to revolutionise its existing provision by combining the functions of a conferencing system with those of a public address system. It required a system capable of allowing communications to flow across multiple locations in two different buildings. The system was to be flexible and easy to use whilst at the same time offering very high quality, clearly intelligible audio communications (and in some cases, video) capable of rising above the general hum of office and trading floor activities.

Central to the solution designed by POLARaudio was the award winning Biamp Tesira system. This line of digital signal processors is designed for use in large, extra-large and super-scale platforms and enabled the POLARaudio team to meet the challenge of simultaneously providing a conferencing facility and a public address system in one. Tesira as a 'protocol-agnostic' system could be employed through the existing SG corporate network to distribute the required audio and video traffic. The technical challenge of bridging two buildings to be seen as one seamless network was overcome using AVB and SIP protocols and as such was a ringing endorsement of Tesira's impressive capabilities.

beyerdynamic microphones were used exclusively throughout the project. The Opus 600 wireless Microphone System and the Stegos Wireless Microphone Boundary System were used extensively with a number of other beyerdynamic ancillary products. A combination of high quality, robustness and ease of use made the beyerdynamic range a natural fit in this environment. Over 200 rapid-fit 4" Australian Monitor speakers powered by Australian Monitor Amps completed the picture.

This was a challenging installation. Obtaining the desired speaker coverage was very important. Audio had to be segmented across different zones and careful attention paid to localising sound as required in the different areas of the buildings. Installers ProAV were further challenged by the fact that their access to the site was compromised by the tight time-framework allowed by limited downtime on the trading floors. They had to work quickly, with no margin for error, to ensure that there was minimum disruption to trading whilst achieving accurate audio coverage. To their immense credit the work was completed to exact specification and, crucially, on time.

Managing director of POLARaudio, John Midgley comments, "At first sight, the brief for this work would appear to be tricky in the extreme. Combining the functions of conferencing and public address, flexibly, across distinctly different working areas of one building, would inevitably present a challenge. Extending that same facility across two separate buildings and one would expect any problems to be proportionally magnified. There was, of course, a great deal of hard work to be done but broadly speaking, after close consultation with ProAV over a system design, the use of Biamp Tesira cut straight through to the heart of the brief and demonstrated its capabilities with flying colours, to the great satisfaction of all parties."

(Jim Evans)

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