Staff Spotlight: Ian Wells – Operations Manager

At Avita Group, it’s really important we showcase our talented team. Ian has been with the company for just over 2 years, having been in the customer service industry for 39 years with different roles from front line support and project work to management.

Tell me about specific duties within your role

My role involves driving financial efficiency on business costs and streamlining process operations.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

It’s really wonderful to work with such a young, enthusiastic team!

What are the company’s overall goals for this year?

Our company’s goals for this year are to reduce operational costs, drive
efficiency, and grow the Junior roles within the apprentice programme – just to name a few!

How would you describe the teams dynamic?

I feel that we all share a friendly understanding of each and everyones job roles, which can enable us to quickly resolve any conflict positively and quickly. As a small close company, we drive efficiently and enable everyone to have an input on project and end-resolution goals. We’re great communicators, and I feel like in a work environment such as our one, this is vital for getting the job done quickly and thoroughly!

Why did you choose to work here?

Avita Group is a diverse company with multiple technical divisions which I personally find fascinating. It’s also a small, and friendly company – I particularly like Gary – But don’t tell him so!

How has Avita Group changed over the time you’ve been here?

I believe it has become more streamlined over my years working for the company, with a more focussed approach to the key services Avita Group provide to our clients.

What was the company’s biggest challenge last year, and how did you learn from it?

The main challenge, as I suppose with most companies last year, was the lack of staff interaction (in-person) due to COVID restrictions. It became apparent that even though we could all talk on Teams meetings and on the phone, the non-interaction within the office hampered the communication of the business to a degree. We all feel that as a technical company, day-to-day, face-to-face conversation increases knowledge flow, and can make workloads so much easier to deal with!

What is something you are particularly proud of?

My four children.

How do you spend your weekends?

At busy times in the year I like to help out on my family’s farm, mainly driving tractors and combine harvester. When I’m not doing that, I enjoy watching the F1 and spending time with my family and my partner.


Staff Spotlight: Gary Duckman – Managing Director

At Avita Group, it’s really important we showcase our talented team. Gary has been with the company for over 26 years! Having started his career as a Motor Racing and IT technician. Here, he shares his thoughts on how the company has evolved over the years, future goals, and more…

Gary began his career in Motor Sport!

Tell me about specific duties within your role

My role consists of the day-to-day decision-making for the business, and assisting with the running of the audio-visual department, from project management to system programming.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

I love working with technology and learning new things, across all parts of our business. I also enjoy working across the various services we offer.

From Audio Visual and IT, to security and electrical, no two days are the same!

What are the company’s goals for this year?

We are focussed on continued growth and are currently recruiting for junior roles to build the workforce with young and enthusiastic people, across all the service offerings.

“All the directors have young families, and we all understand the challenges young people have in finding a career, so providing options is very important to us”

How would you describe the team dynamic?

We have spent a lot of time making sure the whole company operates as a team, so it’s not departmentalised and we can share resources as and when needed. I think everybody gets this and enjoys it! Nobody has the attitude ‘that’s not my job’ and often directors (including myself) will be on-site carrying out the first fix cabling works. This helps to re-enforce the team and also means that no matter where in the company you are, you remain fresh and capable, and in touch with all the staff roles.

How has Avita Group changed over the years you’ve been here?

Avita Group has changed so much since I started!

When I first joined as a junior we were only an IT services company. This was the same until around 2005 when we started to carry out audio-visual
works and some CCTV. This proved to be a great addition to the business so we focussed attention on it and grew a department, eventually this allowed us to expand and bring in electrical services, data cabling, security, and telecoms so we can now offer a complete solution for our clients.

How do you measure success?

Obviously, the main area of success is measured on profit growth, but I like to think that we invest in the business to grow it and build something for the future! Staff progress, new staff members plus, providing roles for the upcoming younger generation is really important to us. All the directors have young families, and we all understand the challenges young people have in finding a career, so providing some options for the next generation is important and hopefully, they will be there to continue to grow the business when we retire!

Staff Spotlight: Harry Shipton – Senior Network Technician

At Avita Group, it’s really important we showcase our talented team. Harry has been with Avita Group for the past 6 years but has had a passion for technology his whole life. Find out more about Harry and his role below.

Harry started with us as an apprentice over 6 years ago!

How long you’ve been at the company?

Just over 6 years!

Tell me about the specific duties in your role?

I carry out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line support, as well as planning and executing projects including new systems, installation, and system migrations. I also assist my colleagues in all departments with support cases as well as plans for new installations.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

Getting to work with and learn new technology.  I also work closely with all departments of Avita Group, which enables us to get a wide understanding of our client’s needs as well as expand my knowledge of other fields.

What is something that you are proud of?

The progress and experience I have gained since starting at Avita Group as an Apprentice!

What show are you currently binge-watching?

Just finished The Book of Boba Fett which was great, but my easy to watch comfort TV series will always be Friends!

What’s a skill you’d like to improve?

I’d like to further develop my skills in other areas of the business such as AV, Door Entry, and Security Systems.

How do you spend your weekends?

Visiting family and friends, plus going out to find somewhere with good food and music to dance to!

What’s an interesting fact about you that not many people may know?

I lived in Spain for 3 years when I was much younger, so I can still remember bits of Spanish.

What do you want your career to look like in the next few years?

I hope to continue to expand my knowledge across all areas of technology!

What’s been the best part about working for Avita Group?

The daily new challenges always force me to learn new things, and it’s great to be part of a team that is focused on resolving the issue in front of them.

Work Experience: Avita Group welcomes the next generation of bright candidates

At Avita Group, we understand the importance of investing in the future. Offering opportunities to all is at the core of our ethos, which is why our Work Experience program is one that we are truly most proud of.

Did you know? Julian, who is our IT Director and has been with us for 20+ years, actually started following a stint of work experience!

We’ve had wonderful feedback from both our work experience candidates and their parents.

Jonathan, who came to work with the IT team in December last year, had this to say:

“I would like to thank you for the great opportunity of having me on work experience at Avita. I enjoyed my time here, and feel as though I have learned a lot about how an IT support company operates, with setting up PCs, maintaining them, etc. I hope I made a good impression on you whilst I was there. Give my thanks to the IT team for being welcoming and helpful throughout the time I was there as well. I also hope to use this experience later in life, perhaps as a reference, or even coming back to Avita to work!”

From Jonathan’s Mum:

“I just wanted to give a BIG THANK YOU, to you and all your colleagues at Avita for looking after Jonathan and letting him work with you for 2 weeks. I know he enjoyed it and was sorry his time was over and really did not want it to end. I think this has been a great experience for him and made him more confident.”

We currently have our work experience member Ryan, who has been working hard also in the IT department.

This week he has been cleansing data, reloading software on clients’ laptops (under supervision) He also has dismantled and collated several AV system racks in the workshop. He has also sat with the team on the IT helpdesk to see how we handle remote support.

He has spent time with Claire in HR going through accounts and how she processes and pays bills through our systems and spent time with Ian going over our business best practices.

A huge thank you to all of our work experience candidates!

Staff Spotlight: Benjamin Clark – Apprentice Electrician

At Avita Group, it’s really important we showcase our talented team, especially our apprentices, who we support through the Government’s Apprentice Scheme.

Our sparkies really are something!

We asked Benjamin Clark, our trainee electrician, a few questions on how he’s finding the role, what he’s most proud of and what’s in the future!

Hi Ben! Tell us about specific duties in your current role?

I help to aid my fellow electricians with work required; passing tools, preparing sites, tidying sites, completing electrical tasks, and anything else that’s asked of me. I also watch my colleagues closely, taking note of projects they are working on and the technicalities. This ensures my growth of knowledge in the field!

My parents and my sister inspire me to work hard.

Do you have any mentors in your professional life?

My two bosses (Richard and David) are my most influential mentors. They teach me on a day-to-day basis the ins and outs of the job and how to be the best possible at it!

Who inspires you?

My parents and sister inspire me to work hard.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

I love learning something new every day about the electrical field, and getting to put all my hard work into practice in the real world!

“I’m proud to have recieved a job at Avita”

What is something you’re proud of?

I am proud to have received a job at Avita. It’s been an ambition of mine to work in electrics since secondary school, and I am very happy to finally be working in the field.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee.

What show are you currently binge-watching?

The Witcher

What do you want your career to look like in the next few years?

I’d like to be a fully qualified electrician, working on sites on my own and working on jobs from start to finish without supervision.

How do you spend your weekends?

Playing football, going to the gym and spending time with my friends.

How would your mates describe you?

(Hopefully) Easy going and fun to be around!

What’s been the best part about working for Avita Group so far?

Meeting team and learning about a job which I hope will one day be my career!

First Abu Dhabi Bank London’s Microsoft Teams upgrade

First Abu Dhabi Bank appointed Avita Group to upgrade all London office meeting rooms to Native Microsoft Teams, including the main boardroom. This project is part of the Banks global move to standardise with Microsoft Teams.

The existing hardware was installed by Avita Group 36 months earlier, so much of this was re-provisioned including the Sony displays, Shure MXA-910 ceiling microphones, and the amplifiers and speakers.

First Abu Dhabi Bank selected Poly for the Microsoft Teams Room appliances, based on the G series range.

All the smaller rooms up to about 8 persons were upgraded using the Poly G-40T kits. These come with the excellent Poly Studio Video Bar, which has one of the best auto framing cameras on the market, and excellent audio characteristics, paired with a Poly G-10 Windows PC. The PC is actually a Lenovo that Poly uses as part of their G series, which makes an excellent partnership.

Teams is controlled using Polys GC8 on table touchscreen, making for a simple yet effective user experience.

Teams calling is fast and efficient and never complex.

The larger rooms still use the same G series, with the Lenovo based PC and GC8 touchscreen, but take full advantage of Polys Director II full tracking camera system for a production level calling experience, paired with Shure’s MXA 910 ceiling microphone and DSP for the very best full-room microphone pickup, even with 20 or more participants.

All works were completed on time and handed over to the client IT team for additional internal customisation.

To find out more about how Avita Group could help your company, get in touch via email info@avitagroup.co.uk or call us on 020 8663 0077

La Prairie London wow factor

Leading skincare and makeup company chooses Avita Group for the new Audio Visual fit out at their London office.

Working closely with Morgan Lovell and La Prairie to capture the technical requirements, Avita Group exceeds expectations and delivers an Audio Visual solution for a 3 way divisible room and smaller meeting room, with multiple ceiling microphones, speakers and native Microsoft Teams systems in all rooms to provide a premium solution.

The systems are based on Logitech Tap and Microsoft Teams, with advanced audio from Shure and Q-SYS to ensure a seamless and simple user interface, whilst retaining high end audio and video services. Room booking panels from Evoko provide the scheduling facilities.

Contact Avita Group today to see how we can help bring your technology requirements to life.

Get your office Covid-safe with contactless access control…


Avita Group can provide Covid-ready contactless upgrades to your access control system

Upgrading your door access control system will allow doors to be unlocked without having to touch a button by use of IR technology.

Access control systems with finger print technology can be adapted to work with normal readers or face recognition for those clients wanting something more than a tag or card entry.
Depending on the system you currently have we can also fit longer-range readers and even readers that will use smart devices as access tokens to open the doors.

If you have a Paxton Access control system new software has been developed in recent weeks that allow your system to provide :

  • Contactless entry & exit for hygienic access, touchless entry and exit points to stop the spread of germs
  • Flexible access permissions that meet social distancing guidelines and limit access to high-traffic areas and implement one-way routes of movement to prevent cross-over and cross-contamination
  • Occupancy management so you know how many people are in your building and control people numbers to meet social distancing guidelines
  • Thermal scanning using cameras to support health and wellbeing in high security areas and identify people that could be at risk, quickly. Identify and help any person presenting a high temperature

As each client site is different we can only provide some indicative pricing until we know more about your requirements, but the price to simply change to a PIR reader will start from £95.00 + VAT and commercial grade automatic door openers from £1,750.00 + VAT.

If you don’t have Paxton access control but would like to discuss upgrading to Paxton from your current system we will be pleased to provide costs for your consideration.

The same IR technology can also be added onto controlled Audio Visual systems that will ‘wake up’ AV systems when people enter the room and thus avoid the need to use touch screens etc.

Please call, or mail, our sales team to discuss your requirements on 020 8663 0077 or sales@avitagroup.co.uk

South Western Railway are really Zooming now…

When South Western Railway wanted a high-end video conferencing solution for their boardrooms and meeting rooms in London and Southampton, they appointed Avita Group as the Audio-Visual expert to deliver.

Ensuring high quality audio was key to all the rooms as the client expressed this was one of the main problems with conferencing systems in the past. Ease of use was also important and, of course, video clarity.

After some discussion, the decision to implement a Zoom native solution throughout was made, using Crestron for the conferencing client and control, with 10″ on-table touch panels and Crestron’s windows-based UC Engines behind the display panels.

Microphones are discretely installed in the ceiling of each room using Shure flagship MXA910 beamforming technology. These provide outstanding microphone pickup and are directional to minimise any reverb or echo. Ceiling speakers provide audio output, and each room is complimented with simple HDMI connectivity for local presentation and content sharing for visitors.

The beauty of the solution is that whilst behind the scenes the system uses high end components and complex audio signal processing, the end user experience is simple, with one touch conferencing using the on-table touch screen, keeping training to a minimum and giving confidence to any user that the room can be used easily.

Avita Group deliver conferencing solutions that exceed expectations, using Zoom, Teams, WebEx or universal connectivity – we have options from all the leading suppliers.

We are certified for Crestron, Shure, QSC, Extron and many other elite companies in the industry. Contact us today to see how we can help. sales@avitagroup.co.uk

RPMI Railpen choose Avita Group to provide the Audio-Visual solution for their new Liverpool Street office

Working once again with leading design and build company Morgan Lovell, Avita Group were involved at an early stage to assist RPMI in the design and development of the solution.

Keeping the user experience simple whilst providing optimal audio and video quality was key to the project and various options were discussed, with a 3-month demo system deployed to multiple offices to ensure all the technology boxes were ticked.

Microsoft Teams was selected for its seamless integration with the Microsoft backend product suite.

Multiple meeting rooms utilise Microsoft Surface Hubs for a complete interactive collaboration experience that allows simple video calling through to touchscreen technology to annotate in real time to all he participants.

The main boardroom and second divisible boardroom are both large open spaces, with specialist open acoustic ceiling panels. Design of these spaces demanded hidden speakers and microphones whilst retaining high end audio so Shure MXA 910 in ceiling microphones, paired with Extron DSPs and Crestron pendant speakers were selected. This setup provides almost invisible technology and the ultimate in audio clarity.

Control to these rooms is via Crestron 10” on table touchscreens, linked to Crestron dedicated Teams systems.

A large townhall area required Teams calling capabilities as well as audio re-enforcement, television services and presentation to a large audience. An 85” Sony display fills the space, paired with Crestron Teams and Shure handheld microphones, again linked via an Extron DSP.

Crestron room booking panels at all meeting rooms provide scheduling capabilities across the office.

Reception digital signage and multiple pole mounted screens compliment the office space to provide television services and digital signage.

This project was carried out during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, making the works especially challenging, but Railpen project leaders and the Morgan Lovell team, working with Avita Group were able to deliver on time and exceed expectations.