ProRail stimulates creative hybrid working with CTOUCH Canvas
What collaboration infrastructure does a railway infrastructure manager need? Our Canvas touchscreen, of course! ProRail, who steward the Netherlands’ train tracks, recently chose our Canvas touchscreen as the solution to the question “how do we facilitate and encourage creative collaboration among our colleagues?”.
Towards hybrid working and creative collaborating
ProRail’s head office is located in Utrecht, in the ‘Inktpot’ (inkwell). The Inktpot is famous as the Netherlands’ largest brick building. Even a monumental building needs to get with the times and with its renovation came time for innovation. The working environment at ProRail was changed from office-only to hybrid working; working at the office or at home depending on the tasks that need to be done. To accommodate this new style of working, the headquarters needed an update. Several office rooms were to be turned into ‘project rooms’.
These project rooms are the designated area to creatively collaborate or meet. In order to stimulate collaboration between colleagues, each project room would be equipped with the right furniture and the right AV-set up to make this goal possible. The right AV-set up meaning the right touchscreen and that’s where CTOUCH comes in the story!
Secure and user-friendly
The touchscreens needed to be user-friendly (‘dummy proof’) and very secure. ProRail, meet Canvas: our most secure touchscreen. Canvas has no operating system and with no operating system comes no ability to store data. With no data stored, nothing can be stolen. In addition, as extra safety measure Canvas is fitted with a code to keep its sensitive setting inaccessible to anyone but qualified staff.
Keeping in line with ProRail’s security goals it was decided for users to bring their own device, connecting with HDMI and USB for touch. The touchscreen would work as an extension of their device. Sophisticated touch technology was a must and Canvas’ optical bonded InGlass™ touch technology delivered. The experience of using the Canvas to control one’s laptop was very pleasant and smooth, with touch registering immediately. This ease-of-use made our touchscreen a cut above the rest.
Canvas on trial
To see if our Canvas was truly right for ProRail it was decided to hold a trial period. We sent one of our Canvas demo units, in fancy flight case, to the Inktpot. This allowed several stakeholders to inspect our touchscreen to see if it met their demands.
Secure? Definitely, with no apps or data stored. Easy to maintain? Check. IT-admin friendly? Check. Future-proof? Check, as Canvas works with all cameras. This allows the IT-department to upgrade cameras, which typically have a shorter lifespan than touchscreens, easily. Sustainable? Check, as Canvas has the most efficient energy label in our industry. Due to its built-in human presence detection function and the eco-mode settings a lot of energy is saved.
Seeing the Canvas in person made a huge difference, as the touchscreen’s design was equally important to the final decision.
Customised Canvas borders
Canvas’ coloured border and textile frame, made with CTOUCHABLE™-design philosophy in mind, makes it instantly recognizable as a touchscreen. This highly attractive feature piqued ProRail’s interest. It was important for them that the touchscreen would stand out and distinguish themselves from non-interactive displays. Their staff needed to be aware which screen was the one to touch and Canvas’ border screams ‘touch me!’.
Off the shelf, Canvas is available in three colours: Electric Blue, Midnight Grey and Regal Orange. ProRail inquired if a fourth option was perhaps available. Would we be able to deliver their Canvas touchscreens with borders in their very own colour? For an order of this size, we would and we could! At CTOUCH we only needed to know their PMS colours to order the rubber in their desired colouring.
We worked with our reseller partner Dustin to make the ProRail Canvas order possible. Dustin in turn worked together with Kinly to install our touch screens in Prorail’s project rooms. It was just a short move from our warehouse in the Eindhoven area to Utrecht. As we had the touchscreens readily in stock, they were delivered to the Inktpot before the custom borders. Luckily, it’s entirely possible to install Canvas in place before wrapping the rubber around the frame. This saved significant time and allowed ProRail to begin putting Canvas in place right away.
As the Inktpot is a ‘rijksmonument’ (national heritage site) it was not possible to mount the Canvas touchscreens to the wall, as that would damage the protected building. Instead Canvas was chosen to hang on a carpeted frame, surrounded by steel beams. Recycled steel in fact, from old train tracks!
To prepare its staff, ProRail announced the arrival of the touchscreens on their intranet with a video showing how to use the Canvas. They also announced that Kinly would host several workshops, to train ProRail employees on how to use the touchscreen to meet and collaborate with their own device.
A blank canvas to work on
ProRail’s tagline is ‘Verbindt. Verbetert. Verduurzaamt.’, roughly translating to ‘Connects. Improves. Makes more sustainable.’. Our Canvas was able to connect ProRail colleagues, by getting them to collaborate more effectively. The touchscreen became an extension of their own device and allowed them to convey their ideas creatively with the whiteboarding functionalities.
The Inktpot’s transformation from traditional office to a hybrid working environment paid off big time: ProRail was named as 2022’s best hybrid employer in the Utrecht region. As of summer 2022, a total of 35 Canvas’ made their home in the Inktpot with more being placed once renovation is fully done. The project rooms are widely used and need to be booked in advance. The combination of the right furniture and the right touchscreen greatly bettered the meeting experience in the Inktpot. The right touchscreen for ProRail being the CTOUCH Canvas!