Success Stories

Dentsu Aegis Builds Global Collaboration with Mezzanine

Dentsu Aegis Network has deployed the ground-breaking Mezzanine™ conferencing and collaboration technology from Oblong Industries to boost efficiency, creativity, and productivity across multiple office locations, the companies announced today. 

To enhance collaboration between its geographically diverse teams, the company has selected Mezzanine for installation in conference rooms and dedicated presentation spaces in its London, New York, and Singapore offices. 

Dentsu Aegis Network is a global media and digital marketing communications company headquartered in London, with a network covering five continents, 24 time zones, 110 countries, and employing 23,000 passionate people. 

As Nigel Morris, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Americas & EMEA explains, Mezzanine is a key technology in ensuring the agency network remains on top: “As a digitally centric organization in a rapidly convergent world, we are passionate about harnessing the power of technology in order to offer outstanding creative and innovative solutions to our clients in real time. By working with Oblong to create a network of Mezzanine rooms within our global agency network, we are able to ensure our teams are able to deliver different and better solutions wherever and whenever in the world it is required.” 

He adds, “We are truly excited to be working with such an innovative and entrepreneurial company, who share the same passion, professional culture, and commitment to enhancing creativity as we do.” 

John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries, remarks, “Dentsu Aegis shares our conviction that in the 21st century the most creative solutions, effective business practices, and the very best work will all hinge on collaborative effort. We built Mezzanine as the universal platform for rich and hyper-productive real-time collaboration. And we couldn't be more honored or excited to be a round-the-globe part of Dentsu Aegis's brilliant and compelling creative workflow.” 

Mezzanine is the only collaborative conference room solution on the market that brings together people, screens, devices, applications, and data in a shared workspace. It seamlessly blends physical and digital environments across distributed locations and goes well beyond videoconferencing to accelerate a company’s ability to share content, boost productivity, and unlock innovation.  Mezzanine is an entirely new way of bringing people together to solve problems: teams meet more efficiently; customer engagement is maximized; and decisions are made faster. 

Mezzanine introduces the concept of Infopresence™ into the business collaboration lexicon, whereby multiple users, multiple devices, and multiple streams of information can be brought together in real-time to create a truly flexible and more efficient way to work. Mezzanine provides abundant screen real estate and brings multiple locations and devices into a shared canvas. With Mezzanine, images can enlarge, diagrams can expand, and ideas can develop, making it an unparalleled platform for visual collaboration. 

Mike Young, Dentsu Aegis Network Group CIO, adds, “The implementation of Oblong technology in key global locations has helped us bring our brands and people closer through immersive digital collaboration, and brings to life our unique operating model which allows us to offer clients unified value-add services across the advertising and marketing disciplines. The cutting edge interactive technologies also allow us to not just show, but to embody, our converged client offerings. Add to this the reduction in travel that we expect to make, and you have the whole package from our perspective – a future-proof way for innovating the way brands are built.”   

Working with Watson

The goal of each Watson Experience Center—located in New York, San Francisco, and Cambridge—is to demystify AI and challenge visitor’s expectations through more tangible demonstrations of Watson technology. Visitors are guided through a series of narratives and data interfaces, each grounded in IBM’s current capabilities in machine learning and AI. These sit alongside a host of Mezzanine rooms where participants further collaborate to build solutions together.

The process for creating each experience begins with dynamic, collaborative research. Subject matter experts take members of the design and engineering teams through real-world scenarios—disaster response, financial crimes investigation, oil and gas management, product research, world news analysis—where we identify and test applicable data sets. From there, we move our ideas quickly to scale.

Accessibility to the immersive pixel canvas for everyone involved is key to the process. Designers must be able to see their ideas outside of the confines of 15″ laptops and prescriptive software. Utilizing tools tuned for rapid iteration at scale, our capable team of designers, data artists, and engineers work side-by-side to envision and define each experience. The result is more than a polished marketing narrative; it's an active interface that allows the exploration of data with accurate demonstrations of Watson’s capabilities—one that customers can see themselves in.

Under the Hood

Underlying the digital canvas is a robust spatial operating environment, g‑speak, which allows our team to position real data in a true spatial context. Every data point within the system, and even the UI itself, is defined in real world coordinates (measured in millimeters, not pixels). Gestures, directional pointing, and proximity to screens help us create interfaces that more closely understand user intent and more effectively humanize the UI.

This award-nominated collaboration with IBM is prototyped and developed at scale at Oblong’s headquarters in Los Angeles as well as IBM’s Immersive AI Lab in Austin. While these spaces are typically invite-only, IBM is increasingly open to sharing the content and the unique design ideas that drive its success with the public. This November, during Austin Design Week, IBM will host a tour of their Watson Immersive AI Lab, including live demonstrations of the work and a Q&A session with leaders from the creative team.

Can't make it to Austin? Contact our Solutions team for a glimpse of our vision of the future at our headquarters in the Arts District in Los Angeles.

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