In our latest blog post we’re taking a deeper look at an organization that has successfully transformed their communication process with the introduction of cloud video conferencing.
Global Presence Alliance (GPA) is comprised of a select group of companies around the world, offering audiovisual and unified communications products, as well as managed service solutions.
The group was formed so that members could share operating costs and be able to offer a more efficient, truly international service for businesses and clients. This model provides a presence across every major business hub around the world. They live by the motto of “worlds apart, working together”, which is exemplified by the operational structure they’ve created. They have several task forces, alongside the Board of Directors, all meeting on a regular basis. The catch? Of course, members of each task force, and each board member, are scattered around the four corners of the Earth, from the US, through Germany, and the UK, and all the way over to New Zealand. It’s almost impossible to get everyone together around the same meeting table.
So, how does an enterprise so geographically dispersed implement an effective communications strategy and help team members to share and collaborate on the projects they needed to, without a negative impact on productivity? As an organization, GPA works to break down the barriers for global workforces and increase productivity. They needed a communications strategy that could live up this ideal.
Why Cloud Video With Videxio?
Whilst meeting face to face is often the most effective form of communication, this was never an option for the teams at GPS, separated as they are by continents and oceans. The executive team realized the next best thing for their teams would be to be able to see one another, even when they’re not physically together. An enterprise-wide video communication platform was the logical option, as it would enable teams to collaborate with greater insight than traditional audio calls or email messaging processes could ever provide.
However, one of the challenges faced by the GPA was that as it is an umbrella organization consisting of separate companies, any platform would have to solve the conundrum of how to connect all the various stakeholders. Each member was already utilizing their own preferences for IT infrastructure, endpoint devices and operating systems. And for a business whose success is built on its ability to streamline business processes, implementing a large hardware procurement program across all the key actors was unrealistic. Hardware would be expensive and hard to scale; any solution wouldn't just need to bring people together, but also multiple devices and technologies.
This set of circumstances led to the exploration of introducing cloud-video services, otherwise known as ‘VaaS’ (short for Video conferencing-as-a-Service) and the Videxio platform. The advantage of the cloud approach as offered by Videxio meant that GPA would avoid having to put in place any kind of network infrastructure. Not only that, but with Videxio, any device could be used to join the service, from smart-phones, to tablets, and desktop PCs or Macs in a few short clicks. This flexibility of systems and devices, usually referred to as interoperability, was the perfect fit for the diverse needs and internal systems of all the GPA members. It would also enable the service to be scaled with minimal disruption as working environments evolved over time.
How Cloud Video Was Integrated into the GPA's Workflows
Once the need was clearly identified, the decision to use cloud video was very easy. The real work was establishing such a system as a part of daily working routines over the whole enterprise. GPA currently has 24 members with a combined 180 offices spread over 40 countries. With no widespread implementation of infrastructure necessary, it simply became a case of getting users onto the system with their personal preference for device.
As each task force and the executive board hold monthly meetings as a minimum standard, to facilitate this, they could now hold the scheduled meetings via VMRs (virtual meeting rooms) with Videxio. A VMR could now host each meeting, with members communicating- and more importantly collaborating- whilst seeing one another with crystal clarity. And the quality of the service was consistent across the board, regardless of the actual geographic location for each user, and with unlimited minutes, meetings could continue for as long as necessary.
The flexibility of the interoperable platform meant that team members not in the office, either out on the road or waiting in an airport for example, could still join the VMRs and take an active part in the session. Sometimes, the biggest challenge was simply scheduling a meeting that worked for multiple timezones and office hours! The system also helped make external communications simpler, as members could also communicate with external vendors in different locations via the service, by sending them a direct invite link with a URL for the specific VMR.
More To Video Than Meets The Eye
Whilst introducing cloud video enriched the GPA's communication strategy, the new approach provided much more than a just a really convenient way to stay in touch. A major reason that video was so important to the future of the of GPA was that it would greatly reduce the need for long haul travel by team members. Limiting this type of travel could save both team members, and the planet, from unnecessary stress. As the GPAs Board Director, Julian Phillips explains:
“by using Videxio’s VMRs (Virtual Meeting Rooms), the Alliance saves time and money, reducing our carbon emissions and the teams’ levels of jet lag, meaning we can operate as effectively as possible for our customers”.
The system has provided an opportunity to improve the work-life balance for everyone working together in the GPA whilst actually increasing their productivity. People now spend considerably less time on airplanes, and in hotels and airports. More energy and focus is now spent on serving customers rather than continually readjusting to new timezones. But not only that, with new and improved collaboration processes stimulating the teams, Phillips says there has been a significant cost saving in travel expenses. This means GPA now have a truly unified communications strategy, where global teams can experience working together as if they’re in the same office, giving customers truly outstanding, and consistent results wherever they are in the world.