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  • HUAWEI IdeaHub, a New Meeting Room Solution for the Competec Group

    HUAWEI IdeaHub, a New Meeting Room Solution for the Competec Group

With a huge range of potential communication and presentation products for meeting rooms, the process of identifying a solution can be challenging. After an intensive selection process, the Competec Group chose to partner with Huawei for its own office needs. In this article, we reveal why.

The search for the best provider

In spring 2023, the Competec Group, which owns distributor Alltron as well as e-commerce retailer, was looking for a new communication solution for its office meeting rooms. In coordination with Marcel Rassinger, Head of IT, the procurement team placed particular emphasis on ease of use. The business required a single device to share presentations and make calls. As it would be used by both internal and external colleagues, the business required a solution that wasn’t app-based. Compatibility with a wide variety of devices, PCs to smartphones and tablets, was also essential.

Robin South, IT supporter from Marcel Rassinger's team, explains: "We looked at a variety of solutions, ranging from 360-degree cameras that you place in the middle of the table, to entire meeting room solutions." It soon became apparent that many devices were either too complicated to use, too error-prone or simply too expensive.

"We came across other devices and then to Huawei's IdeaHubs, and from there it was a two-horse race," Robin continues. Both products are touchscreen devices that serve as a digital whiteboard and are equipped with a webcam and microphone. Huawei was able to demonstrate that the IdeaHub S2 met all of the specification requirements while proving more cost-effective than the competing product from other vendors.

The search for the best provider

Participation in the prototype and commissioning

However, the IdeaHub S2 had one small catch – at the time, it was still in the final development phase and was therefore not immediately available. Marcel Rassinger's team, however, did not consider this to be an insurmountable obstacle and was able to gain exclusive access to a near-production prototype.

During the testing period, which lasted several weeks, we acquired valuable experience of the product and got to know Huawei, who visited us on multiple occasions and provided their full support with testing and getting the team up to speed.” Competec's feedback was very valuable to us and was passed on and implemented directly to our R&D team," says Lisa Stinner, account manager at Huawei, on the collaboration.

The team was particularly interested in the IdeaShare key, the brand new USB-C dongle that enables a wireless connection between the IdeaHub S2 and the user's device. Until this point, connection was only possible via a cable. The development of the dongle was expected to take a few additional months, meaning the team would have to wait for the BYOM (Bring Your Own Meeting) functionality (see below), along with other important features. The ease of use and installation of the solution would, however, more than justify the wait.

The next stage was commissioning, which was a simple process that could be carried out by Robin. This required him to download an XML file containing all the settings, before uploading it to the rest of IdeaHub devices, where the settings were automatically applied. This left only a small selection of things to be manually adjusted. "The biggest hurdle for us was actually the existing wall mounting, because there was some tinkering to install the old meeting room systems."

Since June 2023, the first six IdeaHubs S2s have been in operation in our meeting rooms in Mägenwil. The feedback from the team has been overwhelmingly positive, so far there has been only one minor user-related outage and everyone can operate the devices without any issues. The solution has met all of the required specifications and the business will soon order a total of 14 additional devices for other locations in Willisau, Bussigny and Winterthur, ensuring that meeting rooms are fully equipped for the future.

From left to right: Lisa Stinner from Huawei Switzerland, Marcel Rassinger from Competec

From left to right: Lisa Stinner from Huawei Switzerland, Marcel Rassinger from Competec

Huawei's IdeaHub S2 and Bring Your Own Meeting (BYOM)

The Huawei IdeaHub S2 makes meetings a success thanks to its BYOM functionality. Laptops, mobile phones and tablets can be easily connected to the interactive screen and microphone, camera and speakers of the IdeaHub S2 can be used, while the meeting is running on the personal device. Guests don't have to be connected to a Wi-Fi network to access the IdeaHub S2, which runs peer-to-peer via the IdeaShare key. Thanks to 180-degree audio recording and a high-resolution 4K camera, external participants can enjoy a fully-immersive meeting experience. Huawei offers enterprise quality with the IdeaHub S2 at an affordable price.

Right: Franziska Joos from Competec

Right: Franziska Joos from Competec

The Competec Group, based in Mägenwil in the canton of Aargau, is the parent company of businesses such as Alltron AG and BRACK.CH AG. Here are some facts about the Competec Group:

• Over 1,200 employees

• CHF 1.17 billion turnover in 2022

• Over 1.2 million private and 12,000 retail customers and resellers

• Around 250,000 items available from our own warehouse in Willisau LU

Source for all of the above images: Competec Service AG

Original text of the above case:

Marcel Rassinger

"I have to compliment Huawei, the customer service is really excellent. Our questions were usually answered before we even asked them."

Marcel Rassinger

Marcel Rassinger

Head of IT Competec Service AG