Prairie Street Brewhouse

100-2,499 Employees
Unified Communications

Team engagement is the magic that happens when everyone in your workforce is connected effortlessly to the mission, to each other and to customers. When it works you feel it in your culture and on your balance sheet—and your customers feel it most. Barriers disappear. Productivity rises. Our team engagement solutions get you there.

Having voice, video and networking from Avaya makes our communications more efficient and EASIER TO MANAGE.

– Chris Manuel, Vice President of Rockford Brewing Company and President of CMM & Associates, Prairie Street Brewhouse


Increased Productivity
Improved Customer Service


Historic Property Now a “Chicagoland” Leader in Innovation

“Instead of getting another manager out there to verify, I could see the status of the parking lot remotely and get someone on it.”

Chris Manuel, VP of Rockford Brewing Company and President of CMM & Associates

It’s just one of the ways that technology at the historic, recently reopened Prairie Street Brewhouse saves time and improves operations for Manuel and his staff.

Smart Foundation of Voice, Video and Networking – One Provider

Just a few years ago, the six-story structure that is now Prairie Street Brewhouse sat empty. Built in 1849, the property, set on the Rock River, was once home to various brewing companies, cold storage, warehouse facilities, a laundry service, woodworking and machine shops. In 2012, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

After undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation, the structure reopened in 2009 – and is now one of Rockford’s most bustling locations. The complex includes a 40-slip marina, 10 apartment lofts, an event center, offices, retail space and is home to the Rockford Brewing Company.

As the owners and CMM planned the overhaul, they wanted to bring the property fully into the modern era with the latest technology. Manuel met a local Avaya partner at just the right time. The firm recommended a tightly integrated solution for voice, video and networking to build a smart building foundation all from Avaya.

“Our past experience with having multiple systems and providers is that they don’t work well together,” Manuel said. “Having voice, video and networking from Avaya makes our communications more efficient and easier to manage.”

Smart Building with High Performance for High-Definition

Voice, video and networking at Prairie Street Brewhouse all operate under the unified network umbrella of Avaya Fabric Connect, a resilient infrastructure that makes configuration and deployment of new services faster and easier. Combining the best of Ethernet with the best of Internet Protocol (IP), traffic on Avaya Fabric Connect always takes the shortest path to its destination, increasing performance and efficiency.

Prairie Street Brewhouse

Most attractive for Prairie Street Brewhouse, Avaya Fabric Connect supports IP Multicast, providing 10 times the scalability and three times the performance over alternatives. Working together, the network and video system power the anytime, anywhere video viewing that Manuel and other managers use to monitor the property.

The Brewhouse’s security setup includes 70 high-definition cameras from Axis Communications, both inside and outside the property, capturing video of public areas and the immediate exterior. Using the video management system (VMS) in Security Center, the unified security platform from Genetec™, CMM staff and security personnel can monitor the property from any Internet-enabled device.

With the video system tied into elevator access, CMM can match the use of key cards – used by tenants to enter when the public facilities are closed – with time-stamped video footage to verify who entered and exited at any time of day.

Phones throughout the facility are powered by Avaya IP Office using Avaya network switches, giving CMM and the restaurant more affordable calling and flexible call-handling such as forwarding and voice mail options. Seeing the capabilities, three business tenants within Prairie Street Brewhouse additionally brought in Avaya IP Office for their phone systems.

“In the past, we were forced to find workarounds for phone systems that weren’t built for our needs.”

Chris Manuel, VP of Rockford Brewing Company and President of CMM & Associates

“With Avaya, the cost and technology line up with our needs,” Manuel said.

With an Avaya wireless LAN, Wi-Fi is available throughout the building, providing Internet access to anyone within the property. When Prairie Street Brewhouse holds multi-vendor events, vendors are able to use the on-premise Wi-Fi to process credit card transactions.

The network gives the Brewhouse a flexible framework for future innovation. CMM is looking into live streaming of youth hockey games – playing at an arena next door – in the bar area, which will provide parents with the option of a pleasant and convivial indoor space from which to watch the action.

Safer Tenants, Guests and Employees

IP-based video surveillance underpins the high security and service standards of the property’s owners and managers. For example, the Brewhouse can connect time-stamped video with the point-of-sale (POS) system. If there’s any question about a particular transaction – for example, ringing in four Cokes and handing out four martinis – management can investigate by matching archived video with POS activity. In addition, they can monitor whether staff members are checking identification for anyone who looks under age 35, in line with their policy.

Using video of employee interactions with restaurant or event patrons enables managers to better train employees on how to handle specific situations with customers. Likewise, surveillance helps management know whether employees are staying busy with chores during slower business hours.

Footage has also come in handy in unexpected situations, such as helping locate valuables that went missing at private events – items that video showed were simply moved by someone else at the event. In the event of a break-in, management can share footage with law enforcement, showing the exact location and appearance of any intruder.

“Safety is a huge factor in keeping people here enjoying the building and all it has to offer,” Manuel said, “We believe the cameras are deterrents for anyone that might want to cause trouble.”

Smart Buildings Chicagoland Innovator

New smart buildings call for video surveillance and pervasive Wi-Fi, capabilities that require simplified core architecture to support it all. With Avaya, Axis and Genetec Security Center, Prairie Street Brewhouse has the building block elements for smart building innovation.

With a single provider for voice, video and data services, CMM & Associates also cuts down on management hassles.

“Instead of three separate vendors, we have just one platform to manage, and everything works together.”

Chris Manuel, VP of Rockford Brewing Company and President of CMM & Associates

As with the parking lot snow, issues that once required a manager to resolve in person can often be addressed via a single phone call or text – saving hours of inconvenience for Manuel’s team.

The facility’s technology also gives it an edge in attracting events, such as business meetings, public fairs and weddings, to the modern spaces available for rentals. Ultimately, technology is one of the many factors that makes people want to work or play at Prairie Street Brewhouse.

“We’re also involved in properties in Chicago. This is one of the most advanced building technology infrastructures I’ve ever seen in private development.”

Chris Manuel, VP of Rockford Brewing Company and President of CMM & Associates

The Prairie Street Brewhouse mixed-use property occupies 76,000 square feet.

Prairie Street Brewhouse
  • Headquarters:

  • United States

  • # Employees:

  • 44

Located on the Rock River in the heart of downtown Rockford, Illinois, the Prairie Street Brewhouse is one of the area’s most unique historic architectural landmarks. The restored 1850s property now includes a 40-slip marina, 10 apartment lofts, an event center, offices, retail space and Rockford Brewing Company. For more information, visit

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“With Avaya, the cost and technology line up with our needs.”

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