With a flip of a switch, conference attendees are virtually transported from Vertiv's cozy booth to an edge solution outside of a school.
So far in 2019, Vertiv has taken Powertrak 3D Configurator and Virtual Reality on the road to six conferences and trade shows. Attendees at Dell Technologies World, American Society for Health Care Engineering, Cisco Live, DCD San Francisco, and more were treated to an interactive learning experience that provided data center professionals with an immersive, first-hand view how the company supports IT ecosystems from core to edge.
"It's difficult for an attendee to truly grasp how their designed edge solution will appear outside of a school while they're standing in a booth on the trade show floor," said Mike Belongie, COO at Axonom. "With virtual reality, we can quickly take them to the virtual environment to observe and explore the design."
The four billion dollar manufacturer of hardware, software, and analytics solutions for data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial facilities leveraged Axonom's 3D Product Configurator and Virtual Reality suite to engage, educate, and inspire conference attendees with its 5G edge compute solutions.
Attendees visiting Vertiv's booth received a fifteen minute consultation-configuration-virtual reality sequence. This enabled them to...
- Visualize and grasp Vertiv's rack and row products
- Participate in the assembly of an edge infrastructure
- Interact and explore in immersive virtual reality
- Share the design with others using mobile smartphone-based headsets - after the show.
Vertiv VR Rack Configuration
Show attendees interested in Vertiv's edge solutions were greeted to a new form of learning.
Instead of seeing a physical, pre-designed floor model in the booth, attendees were invited to customize a rack using Axonom's 3D Configurator.
The visual configurator displays three-dimensional product models with interactive placement technology. It's a perfect way for someone to quickly grasp what they are building.
A Vertiv rep guided users through the configuration process. It began by selecting the data hub's location - a server room, building exterior or tower site. Then the user digitally assembled a Vertiv VR rack by placing servers, storage, switches, routers, PDUs, and UPSs into specific locations.
When the configuration was complete, the attendee walked a few feet over to the virtual reality station.
Immersive Virtual Reality Experience
Attendees were handed a professional-grade virtual reality headset and controllers to visualize and teleport around the environment.
Powertrak VRoom combined with the HTC VIVE Pro gives users an impressive, immersive, to-scale view of the rack in its local data hub.
Users can observe the placement of their chosen rack hardware including cable management, air flow management, shelves and support brackets, doors and security, and service parts.
Virtual Reality is a compelling business application for manufacturers to engage, communicate and collaborate with distributors and consumers.
And many of the attendees were blown away by the experience!
"This virtual reality experience allows visitors to our booth to work through design complexities in a way that brings these environments to life," said Jennifer Renaud, vice president of marketing for Vertiv in the Americas.
Smartphone Virtual Reality Experience
After the configuration and VR experience, attendees were handed a personal VR viewer device as a giveaway to experience their design in virtual reality on a mobile smartphone after the show.
When Dell Technologies World conference ended, attendees received an email with a link to their specific design. It instructed them to download the Powertrak VR app, click the link, and then attached the VR viewer to the smartphone to view their design in virtual reality.
Compared to the HTC VIVE Pro, a tethered VR device, smartphone VR offers a limited, less interactive experience. Where it lacks in functionality, it adds value in cost, mobility and availability. Users can buy a viewer for $10 and experience it anywhere WiFi or wireless access is available.
"Smartphone VR is an economical and compelling way to distribute and view product designs on the trade show floor and off-site locations. Attendees can share the design and explain its benefits with colleagues and other decision-makers at the office," Mike Belongie adds.
A Comprehensive Sales and Marketing Tool
Visualization and virtual reality are a great one-two punch on the trade show floor. Not only does it create a trusting client-vendor relationship but it also comes with ROI benefits.
In most cases, customers find cost savings in drayage and other show expenses.
If Vertiv would have shipped two or three racks, they would have had to consider a larger booth space on top of paying multiple workers to store, set up, move, and tear down each rack with all of its accessories.
Another benefit is time.
Customizing a product takes time - your sales rep's time. A typical consumer usually doesn't nail the perfect design on the first try. With a 3D product configurator, they can quickly assess, change, and then reassess —with no cost incurred beyond time spent.
Ben Bargabus, VP of Services at Axonom was in the Vertiv booth and observed the reaction. "Everyone who built a rack and explored it in VR were blown away by the experience. These tools are effective for both sales and marketing teams. It's a compelling way for consumers to learn, validate, and order customizable products in customizable environments.”
For more information on this show, read the "Axonom Delivers Vertiv’s Network Edge Designs in Virtual Reality for Dell Technologies World Attendees" press release.
Vertiv CEO Experiences Virtual Reality
Vertiv CEO Rob Johnson builds and explores Vertiv VR racks inside a server room at Dell Technologies World 2019.