WhoshouldIsee Tracks

The Boston Consulting Group

  • Professional Services
  • 10 Hudson Yards, Manhattan
  • 193,295 sq ft

Project Overview

IT and AV Visioning, Strategy, Design, Procurement, Project Management and Professional Resourcing for the delivery of an exciting destination space for over 1,000 employees. Cordless provided technology consulting to support the creation of an environment to promote community and interaction at the flagship New York Hudson Yards Development.

Technologies & Innovations

Highly collaborative experiential and digitally immersive building including: digital signage, WiFi, wireless content sharing, video conferencing, Unified Comms, mobile app, room and desk reservation system, lockers, follow-me printing, access control, technology for convertible spaces, high tech presentation and display technology, OLED wall and Content Management System.

The Client

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. It has 85 offices in 48 countries, more than 14,000 employees, more than 900 partners, and more than 18,000 alumni. Now in its sixth decade, BCG continues to grow and embody a timeless sense of purpose and constant call for renewal. Its mission is clear. It goes deep to unlock insight and have the courage to act. It brings the right people together to challenge established thinking and drive transformation. It works with clients to build the capabilities that enable organisations to achieve sustainable advantage.

The Challenge

With the relocation and consolidation to a new New York office at 10 Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s Far West Side, BCG was looking to create a new dimension in avant-garde open office design. The Hudson Yards development is a 28 acre site, making it the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States.

BCG was taking 193,295 sq ft of space over 6 floors to hold over 1,000 employees. The office was to be custom designed from a blank canvas to achieve an exciting destination space and an environment to promote community and interaction, with a focus on energy and activity-based spaces. The objectives were to create a fluid, digital, paperless and user-defined place that would promote collaboration and connectivity by maximizing a ‘collision coefficient’.

For 10 Hudson Yards to fulfil these objectives to become BCG’s new flagship platform in New York City, it was recognised early on that technology would play a crucial role.

Cordless Consultants’ sister company and workplace specialist, Unwork, was primarily engaged to help create a vision and future workplace strategy to design the unique environment that BCG wanted. Unwork would help deliver early stage brilliance and deep thinking to help set the direction at the outset of the workplace project. The space would be based on ‘neighbourhoods’ for practice and functional clusters.

Cordless Consultants was engaged to provide workplace technology guidance and technology project management execution to support the client through the transformational journey to an elegant, easy to use, digitally-enabled place.

Cordless Resourcing was also actively engaged in the project to help source locally placed people with the right skills to help deliver the technology project implementation. The scale and unique nature of the scheme were such that finding the right specialist individuals to help lead the technical delivery was essential.

The Solution

The 193,295 sq ft of building space was designed to provide 2 discrete zones connected by 2 dramatic and expansive sets of staircases.

The upper stack would provide an inviting and bustling area, where people are drawn to connect and work away from a desk. The lower stack would provide a quieter more intimate atmosphere with an inviting, introspective space, also allowing people to connect and work flexibly. BCG knew that technology would be an enabling factor of the vision for an environment that promotes community and interaction, with a focus on energy and activity based spaces. This included:

  • 455 Workstations
  • 105 Convertible Offices and 20 Huddle Rooms
  • 42 Quiet Rooms and 3 Guest Offices
  • 22 Large Meeting Rooms / Lounges
  • 15 Case Team Rooms
  • 4 Wellness Rooms
  • 2 Multi-Purpose Rooms (both divisible)
  • 1 Café

Cordless helped to evaluate, define, procure and project management a range of new and innovative technology solutions, starting with a technology vision for fluid space using activity-based principles.

The objectives of the technology strategy were defined around the following key use cases:

  • Smooth entry, reservation and room control
  • Effective individual work
  • Seamless collaboration (virtual and in-person)
  • Digital office
  • Large impactful events

The following technology solutions were designed, procured and deployed:

  • Neighbourhoods with shared space – digital signage on wall-mounted displays, curved screens and flexible furniture
  • Mobile and ‘Wi-Fi first’ (Wi-Fi primary bearer for voice and data)
  • No fixed phones – software/softphone and mobile/cell
  • Video conferencing and wireless content sharing
  • Mobile Application
  • Unified Room and Desk reservation system – Teem (previously EventBoard), both presented through the Mobile App
  • Lockers (and integration with Mobile Application)
  • Follow-me printing (and integration with access badging)
  • Access Control – Digital HID implemented
  • Density and robustness of Meeting Facilities
  • Technology in Convertible Offices – Devio system
  • Technology to support a high tech presentation environment – 23-foot Prysm screen in large multi-purpose room and transparent OLED screen in café
  • A hosted approach (Microsoft Surface for the Concierge area to display maps, restaurants/café, provide basic technology help)
  • Content Management System – Omnivex Moxie
  • Sleek, thin bezel Sony display panels for all the conference rooms

Technology pilots were a very important part of the project management implementation. Since BCG was breaking new ground on many fronts, Cordless helped play an important role in overseeing testing of the specialist technology solutions before the ‘go-live’.

Cordless engaged with the BCG project team to ensure that contributions to the technology ecosystem for the new building facilitated creativity, as well as best efficiency and value.

The Results

The resulting space has been ‘transformative’ in every sense for BCG. The new BCG App has changed the experience inside the workspace. The App provides a map-based space reservation system, desk panels with photo frames, news, events, a help section, receipt scanner, and crucially, the ability to find a colleague.

BCG staff can enter the building using the Bluetooth enabled HID Global Mobile Access app. Once in, they can use the BCG NY office App to book a space to work based on what they need to do – an activity based approach – or just check in using the iPad mini screen at each workstation.

The resulting working environment is minimalist, ergonomic and devoid of technology clutter of cables, desk phones and laptop docks. BCG had a vision for a ‘paperless-first’ space, and meeting spaces now all have high quality screens to display PowerPoint decks or other content.  Portable Surface Pro laptops allow both mobility and the ability to annotate on screen.  While at the desk, a high-quality LG curved white 34″ ultra-wide monitor provides a fabulous ‘digital workplace’.

The technology, as well as being less visible, is also more integrated.  People carrying laptops and mobile phones can integrate them with the space. Rather than fixed video conferencing ‘end points’ in convertible offices, the laptop is used as the end-point with Cisco software and an enhanced USB connection to a Devio unit that provides access to the camera, microphone, screen and speaker in an acoustically-optimised environment.

There are no desk phones or conference call ‘speaker phones’ on tables. Instead Cisco Jabber ‘unified communications software’ was deployed to both laptops and mobile cell phones. In the case team rooms there is a fully ‘immersive’ Cisco VC experience so that remote participants feel as though they are in the same space.  The space is a ‘Wi-Fi first’ space – in effect ‘wire free’ – and the default is that people connect wirelessly for voice and data.

An advanced touch panel surface using laser phosphor display screen technology provides a focus in the main multi-purpose room (MPR) on the central floor adjacent to a large café area. The café, which offers food and beverages as well as informal work and meeting space, is the nexus of the office, the heart and nerve centre.

Nearby are a concierge desk (complete with large Microsoft Surface Hub) for client ‘meet and greet’ and a main internal staircase. There is no reception desk and visitors experience a very different sense of arrival.  This environment can be morphed to allow TED-like events and entertainment along with live streaming and presentation facilities, centered around a transparent OLED screen.

Space that can be changed was the foundation of concepts such as the ‘convertible’ office that can be adapted to suit three use cases (partner use, ad hoc meeting and video conference).

Elsewhere, huddle rooms and multi-purpose rooms (MPRs) can be used for a variety of scenarios. Conversely, dedicated space for teams working on cases were designed to create a flexible, high tech and secure home.

Wellbeing was a key ingredient and movement and walking are encouraged as well as the ability to raise desks and work standing up – all key ingredients for a healthy office. 75% of the open-space workstations can be raised to allow people to work on their feet.  In addition to wellness spaces, dedicated rooms with Lifespan treadmill desks provide a place to walk and work while enjoying the skyline of Manhattan. The move has cut floor space per person by 32% while almost doubling the proportion of seats in collaborative spaces to more than 50%.

Founder and CEO Cordless Group and UnGroup, Philip Ross said:

“The Boston Consulting Group applied a rigour and analysis to both the ideal user and client experience. This is a workplace that creates a destination and provides choice and variety to suit individual preferences. It changes attitudes and behaviours through a different approach.”

Ross Love, The Boston Consulting Group’s Managing Partner for New York, commented:

“The office of the future is not a place where people come just to do work. It’s a place to make personal connections with colleagues. We wanted to create a significantly higher level of unplanned collisions to transform our office culture. We now regularly get 400 people sitting down together for lunch. People smile and say hello to each other.”

The final outcome is a hugely productive physical social network in a user defined environment where the resting state is together and serendipitous encounters are part of the experience.