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Background

Founded in 1981, Oxford Economics is one of the world’s foremost independent advisory firms providing economic forecasting and modelling. With headquarters in the UK and 11 sites globally they have 250 employees and over 1000 clients made up of leading multinationals, financial institutions and key government bodies. Recent growth has led to the expansion of teams in their Singapore and London offices.

Background

Challenges

Challenges

Oxford Economics had successfully been using desktop video conferencing with Microsoft Skype for Business® for many years, with existing end points in New York, London and Oxford. The company’s requirement had outgrown their current conferencing capability and with increased demand for face to face communication across the globe it was time to equip their teams with the capability of high quality group conferencing.

With imminent expansion in the London office and a planned move from serviced offices to a permanent location in Singapore, the new system would need to be both portable and flexible.

The whole workforce would be utilising the new conferencing system. To maximise ROI, quality needed to be of a high standard so senior managers could use it for their monthly meetings, whilst being easy to use so the entire global workforce could adopt it as standard practice without any significant training overhead. To ensure consistency the new system needed to be deployed uniformly across all sites globally, and be compatible with Microsoft Office 365 Skype for Business, thus maintaining the user experience and keeping training requirements to a minimum.

Objectives

Objectives

Oxford Economics had a number of objectives, including:

  • Deploy fit for purpose video conferencing end points to new premises in Singapore, and existing London premises, ensuring the hardware is portable for the imminent office move to permanent premises
  • Achieve high quality conferencing standards suitable for single user, group and Senior Management use
  • Maintain current interface, Microsoft Office 365 Skype for Business – reducing the need for training and maximising productivity
  • Drive user adoption by creating a uniform set of conferencing tools across multiple sites
  • Reduce travel time and expense by eliminating the need to be on site for meetings
  • Future proofed technology to ensure the system could evolve with the business’ needs, additional sites would be enabled with video conferencing in the near future

Solution

Solution

Oxford Economics chose to add two further Polycom® CX5500 camera and audio systems in both London and Singapore, and as such satisfied many of their objectives:

  • Uniform technology across all of their conference enabled sites worldwide
  • Revolutionary 360 conferencing camera, scalable from single person to board room use and provides users with high quality video and audio. Its lightweight and portable design means it can be picked up and taken from huddle rooms to boardroom with great ease. Any office environment can become a conferencing suite
  • USB enabled, the CX5500 is intuitive to use, minimising training needs. Oxford Economics can simply connect to a desktop device and connect via their current interface – Microsoft Office 365 Skype for Business
  • By adding more cameras in the future they can maintain user experience and consistency. The system works seamlessly with other conference participants joining on any Skype for Business client

As well as ticking off all of their objectives Oxford Economics have the added benefit of Videocall’s close relationship with Polycom, dealing directly with them for delivery, installation and any technical issues that may arise in the life of the equipment. Videocall will be their point of contact for all queries. This single point of contact would apply to all sites worldwide, ensuring companywide consistent support.

Conclusion

Conclusion

Oxford Economics now has a worldwide uniform, flexible and high quality conferencing system. With six sites enabled and the remainder able to connect into the same conference via their desktop devices, the whole workforce can be united with 360 degree visuals. The manoeuvrability of this camera means group conferencing isn’t tied to the boardroom, it can be easily transported to any room or space in the office and can be used for a number of purposes. The teams have embraced the new collaboration culture using the system to hold training sessions, weekly and monthly meetings, one to one’s and board meetings.

Arvindra Sehmi, CIO of Oxford Economics, told us “The new cameras have really cemented a global connection for us – playing a particularly helpful part in the inclusion of the new Singapore premises. We are able to collaborate on small or large scales quickly and easily with outstanding quality. Our Economist, Software Development and Executive teams have embraced the new technology, maintaining our current workflow with minimal training required. Travel expenses have already decreased and it has been reassuring to know Videocall is just a call away to help with any problems we have, regardless of where in the world the hardware is located”.

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