The EBCI Works Smarter with Video Conferencing in the Cloud.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is the only Indian
tribe in North Carolina that is federally recognized by the US
government. EBCI runs its own government, including educational
and recreational services, public health and human services, and
a public safety and sanitation department. The tribe is situated
across 56,000 mountainous acres, which means traveling to division buildings even
half a mile apart can take considerable time. We spoke with Jeremy Brown, the audio/
video administrator for EBCI, about the tribe’s recent switch from Lifesize’s on-premise
solution to Lifesize® Cloud, and how the conversion to the cloud-based application is
helping save time, money and resources.
“I can deploy Skype for Business for my desktop users that integrates seamlessly with Lifesize. Essentially, we are able to enhance our Skype for Business environment, which is a great additional benefit.”
Why did you switch from Lifesize???s on-premise solution to Lifesize???s application?
We no longer wanted to maintain conference rooms outfitted with expensive video
equipment. We don???t need all those bells and whistles anymore because we are now
able to launch our video meetings from any personal device. Also, audio is so much
better now. Even though the video with Lifesize has always been fantastic, we would
occasionally face audio issues. For example, some users wanted to call into a video
meeting on their phones, but they couldn???t easily figure out how to do that with the onpremise
solution. Cloud finally makes that happen. We???re ridiculously happy with how
Lifesize Cloud is working. It???s becoming a big part of our daily workflow.
How are you using Lifesize?
The biggest user right now is our Public Health and Human Services Department. The
director is constantly scheduling meetings with Lifesize???s technology. It makes no sense
to run all over the state to meet with people when you can just use Lifesize. We also
have council members and executives who travel quite a bit, so getting them together in
the same room can be challenging. With Lifesize, they can communicate face to face no
matter where they are. We are also using the cloud-based application for telemedicine.
We operate our own hospital, so patients use Lifesize to communicate with medical
specialists outside our boundary area. We have set up these rooms where patients can
come in and talk to specialists. This is something we simply were not capable of doing
How is the new Lifesize solution benefiting your organization?
It has made my network administration team a lot happier. With our previous Lifesize
deployment, we needed on-premise equipment, such as servers, that are expensive to
run and maintain. With the new Lifesize application, we don???t need any of that equipment
anymore, and we don???t have to keep paying maintenance fees on those servers. Also,
we would always have to worry about opening certain firewalls or installing software
before starting a meeting. Now, all those issues are gone. All we have to do is get users
on the internet. We can get our video meetings up and running with just a few clicks and
nothing to install.
Were there any aha moments in your use of the Lifesize application?
The biggest surprise was getting Lifesize?? Cloud Amplify, Lifesize???s recording and
sharing feature. I remember dreaming about the ability to record our video conferences
and thinking that it would be massive for our folks here. Sometimes people can???t make
the video conference, and now we can share a recording of those meetings with a
simple web link. I even use the Amplify recording feature to create a series of 30-second
tutorials on things like how to reset your password or how to hook up an HDMI cable in
the conference room. Lifesize has become my own little production studio.
Does Lifesize integrate with some of your other solutions?
We recently switched to Microsoft Enterprise, which means we are now using Skype
for Business. So instead of having to buy thousands of seats of Lifesize, I can deploy
Skype for Business for my desktop users [and it] integrates seamlessly with Lifesize.
Essentially, we are able to enhance our Skype for Business environment, which is a great
Are you happy with the support you are receiving from Lifesize?
I love the fact that at any time, I can pick up the phone and speak with a Lifesize engineer
who is actually involved with building the product and understands everything that I???m
saying. That direct line of communication with Lifesize is so valuable because I know I???ll
always get my questions answered.