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Our speed of communication has improved dramatically and I can ensure important messages are displayed across both buildings on the site almost instantaneously. It means that we can have our briefings by data conferencing, which adds to the flow of inteligence.
James Henrey, CEO

Case Study – EDF Energy

This case study was provided by Simon Vickers – Internal Control Manager, Corporate EDF Energy. Click to download a PDF version.


I first encountered a SMART Board during the improving control, improving performance, (ICIP) programme. The ethos of the programme is that by simplifying our processes, we can make them more efficient and ensure that we have effective controls in place to address our risks.

We used a collaboration hub to plan the implementation phase of the programme. The hub is very different from the normal meeting room environment – it’s fitted with several interactive white boards and has low tables and chairs with wheels so people can move freely around the room, join in group discussions and collaborate really easily.

For the programme to be successful we recognised that it would be necessary to train a group of people on the underlying ICIP principles. This group would then pass on their knowledge and support the business in the process mapping and control improvement.

We wanted the training to be dynamic so rather than deliver it in a regular meeting room, we used a collaboration hub. The use of the SMART boards to deliver the training made a real difference.

We ran about a dozen sessions there and found them really effective, so we started thinking about creating our own collaboration hub at our Crawley office
I was put in touch with Smarter Interactive by a colleague at another site and invited them to present to us what they could offer for our requirements.

Why Smarter Interactive?

Smarter Interactive’s Corporate Account Manager Jon Knight took the time to visit our Crawley site; he did a survey of the room we wanted to use as the hub so he could fully understand our requirements. I was really impressed with his detailed product knowledge and he was able to give us quotes for a range of options.

Another key point in the buying process was that Jon was able to assure us of Smarter Interactive’s credentials – health and safety are key issues for us and Smarter responded comprehensively to our questions and flew through our vetting process.



One of our training exercises involves moving objects and creating flowcharts, and Jon recommended the 885i SMART board which, among other things, has a drag and drop feature.

We decided to purchase two SMART boards and SMART Meeting Pro software for our hub, and a third board for use in a more traditional meeting room.

Jon explained the benefits of the SMART Bridgit system, which would allow us to collaborate remotely between our Crawley and Exeter office (which already has a SMART board), and though we haven’t purchased this yet it’s definitely something we’ll be considering in the future.

Installation & Training

Jon arranged for the SMART boards to be installed and it was a very quick process – from placing the order to installation took less than a fortnight.

Once the equipment was in place Jon came back to Crawley and ran a session where he demonstrated the key features of the SMART boards. He managed to get across a lot of information in a very engaging way and it helped allay any fears amongst EDF Energy staff that using the boards would be complicated!

We opened our collaboration hub in November 2011 and so far it has proved to be a very good investment. In fact, it’s been so popular that it’s available on special request only, with people needing to demonstrate why they specifically need the hub rather than a standard room.

The hub is fitted with two 885i SMART boards, a magnetic whiteboard wall and mobile seating. We have recently run some orientation sessions to get people using the boards and understanding the features. The hub has been a big success.

The combination of the interactive white boards, the magnetic wall and the flexibility of movement within the room has meant we can run dynamic training and process mapping sessions where everyone can get involved.

We’ve also really benefited through the SMART Meeting Pro software – being able to translate handwriting into text, write comments on documents and save it all is really useful.

Outcomes & Results

After a couple of months we surveyed users to find out how effective they thought the collaboration hub was in meeting objectives.

91% said they found it very useful; the remaining 9% found it fairly useful – therefore we would say that it’s definitely satisfied a need.
We also asked if people would use the hub in preference to a regular meeting room and two thirds said a resounding, “YES”.

The majority of people surveyed said that the SMART boards were either easy or fairly easy to use, which is great news as our staff can access the technology without needing a lot of training.

Moving forward

We’d definitely work with Smarter Interactive again. They took time to understand our requirements, made suggestions that were practical and within our budget and helped us get started using the equipment too.

“I would definitely recommend Smarter Interactive to anyone looking to install interactive white boards.”
– Simon Vickers

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