Selling complex installations – How Telehouse used virtual reality to sell their datacentre campus to customers around the world

About Telehouse

Owned by KDDI, a Japanese Fortune 500 company, Telehouse is one of Europe’s leading data centre colocation services. Their London datacentre campus is known as the UK’s foremost Internet Hub and a backbone for the Global Internet Network.

Anyone who is in the business of selling complex installations understands the friction point of selling to prospective customers without a physical site visit. With many of our clients within the telecom, power solutions and datacentre industries, we identified that presenting their buildings, venues and installations effectively using traditional marketing and sales channels was a clear challenge.

The challenge

Telehouse is considered one of Europe’s leading datacenters and the main hub of internet for the United Kingdom. Their Docklands datacentre is spread over four large buildings each catering to different customer needs, and physical site visits are an integral part of Telehouse’s marketing and sales strategy.

But how do you conduct a customer site visit when your customer is located in another country? Flying them in requires a time investment on their side, and a cost investment on yours. Marketing your venue through traditional channels such as video or web have limited traction and risk that your unique selling features are not fully understood. This is the story of how Telehouse overcame that challenge with our help.

From reference photos to a 3D world

Working closely with the Telehouse datacentre operations and marketing teams, our goal was to create a cost effective yet highly engaging sales tool that could be easily deployed at sales meetings and exhibitions anywhere in the world.

Over several onsite campus visits and planning workshops with the Telehouse team, it became clear that the solution lied in creating a digital replica of their Docklands campus, and with virtual reality, inviting prospective customers to explore each building and its interior. However capturing a digital replica of such a large, complex space, spread across several buildings was going to be technical feat.

Key Features

Interactive VR experience

 

5 fully render datacentres

 

Each containing 6 visitable spaces

 

Interior rooms captured to cm accuracy

 

Voice over guided tour explaining USPs

The interior design of the campus

We began by capturing both 360 photography and traditional images of each of the building interiors and their various key areas from generator rooms to data halls. These images were then studied by our 3D modelling team, and working closely with Telehouse’s CAD department, a 3D model of each room was carefully crafted.

Use your mouse to move the slider to switch between the model and the final render

Each space was photographed in great detail to ensure our 3D modelling team would be able to reproduce it as realistically as possible. Once a space is successfully modelled a careful process of optimisation follows to ensure these highly detailed spaces run smoothly in virtual reality. The cooling and chiller rooms were particularly challenging with their complex tubing and machinery.

The cooling and chiller rooms were particularly challenging with their complex tubing and machinery.

“Capturing the Telehouse Docklands Campus’ interior and exterior was a great challenge to overcome for our 3D design team”
Sami Hamid – Producer – Glitch Studios

The exterior design of the campus

For the exterior of the campus, which as a whole did not have any significant 3D plans for us to reference, our team used Google Earth and Google Maps to build the exterior buildings and the topography of the campus. The end result was a highly detailed replica of both the Telehouse Docklands campus, its buildings and the surrounding area of London.

With the 3D models complete our development team brought these digital spaces to life, allowing users to walk around and explore the Telehouse Dockland campus, starting at a high level overview of the campus, and then down to each building and their key features found on each floor. To invite the user to explore the Telehouse campus and to propel them through the experience a voice over was used to create a narrative vehicle and guide them through each space.

Extending the project into new campuses and formats

The Telehouse Docklands VR tour was completed summer 2019 and rolled out to various exhibitions and sales events across the world. The experience has since allowed thousands of prospective customers the opportunity to tour the Telehouse Docklands campus in a 10 minute experience, educating them on various campus key features, and why Telehouse is a preferred choice over their competitors.

With positive feedback both internally and from customers, the Telehouse project was extended in autumn 2019 to include the Telehouse Paris datacenter and by summer 2020 the project was extended further, being deployed online and accessible via web browsers, giving Telehouse a wider reach to prospective customers during the COVID19 crisis.

“Glitch takes great care in crafting virtual reality experiences for businesses looking for cutting edge marketing tools.”
Laurent Boutinaud – Telehouse, Digital Marketing Specialist

Old problems solved with new innovations

As a visionary industry leader, Telehouse shared a passion for pioneering into uncharted realms of blending marketing, sales and technology to meet their needs. At Glitch we always invite our clients to think outside of the box while helping them use new technology and emerging trends to stay ahead of their competition and overcome their challenges. We were proud to work with Telehouse and their team of professionals.