Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States, providing natural gas and electricity to approximately 16 million customers in Northern California, from Bakersfield to the Oregon border. With more than 20,000 employees, the utility faces a logistical challenge in training staff, which is widely dispersed across the state, from installers and line workers to customer service and management professionals. 

Virtual Learning Studios power distance learning
Recently, PG&E expanded its main education center in San Ramon, California to house a brand new Virtual Learning Studio (VLS) to enable instructors and presenters to deliver training via live or recorded broadcasts. Now, employees can virtually participate in orientation, SAP training, webinars and a wide array of online classes. Comprising two fully equipped broadcast studios and a small voiceover studio, the VLS is also utilized for web conferencing, company-wide broadcasts, and voiceover recording for dozens of educational sessions. Presenters can also record a training session or broadcast live via PG&E’s enterprise AdobeConnect software.

Barco near-seamless video wall delivers the big picture
At the heart of the command center in the VLS is a 3 x 2 Barco OverView OVD Series display wall which enables producers to monitor sessions in the two main studios, and serve as operational command and control for additional live AdobeConnect sessions originating from anywhere in California. “The Barco OVD video wall allows the producers to monitor and provide technical support to additional live sessions,” commented James Gulke, Project Leader and Designer for AV integrator High-Tech Electric.

The wall is powered by the TransForm ECU-110 controller, which manages the inputs and outputs of video sources and enables a multitude of layouts. High-Tech Electric handled the system design and implementation, also installing a BCMC “Green” box to manage and control the color and brightness of the LCD panels continuously via Barco’s exclusive Sense X software calibration technology. 

In addition to its virtual learning program, PG&E also conducts on-site training at the San Ramon education center, utilizing Barco ClickShare in several classrooms to boost knowledge sharing and collaboration.