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Making communication as efficient as possible and facilitating collaboration is hard enough in a stable work environment. Add in mobile and home workers, a steady stream of acquisitions and global expansion, and the challenge can quickly become overwhelming.
“On top of being easy to install and use, it really is the most effective way to get our employees working together and feeling like they are part of the same team.”
—Stephen Roberts, Global IT and Change Director, Equiom Group
That’s what Stephen Roberts, Chief Information Officer at the Equiom Group is up against as the professional services provider continues to grow rapidly, expanding into new jurisdictions and opening new offices. On top of the technical challenges of making sure everyone is connected in the best and most secure way possible, he has to think about maintaining a consistent company culture in an enterprise consisting of employees from the four corners of the world.
His go-to strategy? Cloud-based video conferencing from Lifesize. ‘It’s the first system we put in place when we acquire a new company. On top of being easy to install and use, it really is the most effective way to get our employees working together and feeling like they are part of the same team. That’s an essential part of our company culture and key to our success in serving our clients as well.’
He has the experience to prove it. The company has completed several acquisitions since 2014 that have significantly expanded its footprint. Today Equiom has offices and employees across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Future expansion plans are in the pipeline and the company expects its employee base to more than double in the next several years. Lifesize helps enable global expansion in fast growing financial services market.
With experience in a previous position with Lifesize video conferencing solutions, Stephen was pleased to see Equiom had two Lifesize Icon HD camera and phone systems paired with Lifesize’s cloud-based conferencing application when he joined the business. He knew he had a good foundation for building a global collaboration process for the company’s 627 employees, and, importantly, to make it a critical part of the integration process of new offices and personnel.
‘As we grow globally there are challenges from an operations, interaction and technical standpoint. Video conferencing has reached a point where it is not only viable, but a preferred way to collaborate because of its effectiveness in helping people communicate better, and also because it can be deployed so quickly and easily,’ he said. ‘Lifesize allows new employees to integrate more easily, putting faces to names and creating better working relationships across the group.’
Adding new users is straightforward with the cloud-based system, and the Lifesize intuitive interface, features a user friendly model, resulting in ‘zero resistance’ to adopting it, according to Stephen. Equiom uses the Lifesize Icon systems in conference rooms and meeting points throughout its global operations, but employees use the web and mobile applications to access all the features of the system as well. This is especially important for the mobile element of Equiom’s employee base, which uses Lifesize on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops as frequently, if not more, than in the company’s meeting rooms.
That ease of use extends to how Equiom interacts with customers and other third parties outside the organisation. Employees regularly set up Lifesize meetings with their clients and enjoy the benefits of in-person communication.
Choosing Lifesize as the video conferencing facility was not a difficult decision for Stephen. Familiar with the diverse market of collaboration and communications tools for voice, video, web, instant messaging, etc., he knew Lifesize offered a total solution that was also an excellent platform for integrating other productivity tools already in use. And the Lifesize system is built from the ground up to address the things that keep IT managers awake at night. So from a technical standpoint, it was a ‘no brainer,’ as he says, as it ticked all his boxes for cost, ease of use, reliability and security.
But perhaps most reassuring to Stephen is the customer service and support he sees from Lifesize. From the channel partner that delivers the solution, to the online Lifesize community and resources, he feels that Lifesize is there for him. ‘It’s a very mature product, which is important, and the company really demonstrates that it listens. We’ve seen that in new features that have been added, for example, and that makes you feel good about your decision to go with a supplier like Lifesize.’
Stephen’s job was made a little easier thanks to buy in from the top at Equiom. Due to its dispersed nature, the company’s board of directors meets regularly via Lifesize video conferencing. And the company’s personable Global CEO enjoys meetings in person with employees and clients, but recognises the cost – time wise and economically – of frequent travel. So she has wholeheartedly adopted Lifesize video conferencing as a way to maintain consistent communications and personal relationships with the people important to Equiom’s business. Stephen adds that Lifesize’s ability to record and archive meetings is also a plus, as it amplifies and expands the communications that the firm’s executives can do.
“Lifesize allows new employees to integrate more easily, putting faces to names and creating better working relationships across the group.”