A private real estate company breaks down barriers with cloud video conferencing.
Akelius owns more than 54,000 properties across six countries throughout Western Europe. As Sweden’s largest private real estate company, employing over 650 people, they needed a better way to overcome geographical and logistical obstacles and enable more effective communication. The company had previously used a Cisco Tandberg™ system before its relationship with Lifesize began. However, when the time came to evaluate its existing solutions, with upgrades needed around the corner, the company embraced the opportunity to see what else was available.
“We can use a mixture of several different devices, so participants are able to join a video conference from whatever smartphone, tablet or laptop they are using.”
Lifesize, a leader in the video conferencing market, quickly stood out as a strong match for Akelius’s growing needs. The Lifesize features and functionality exceeded the solutions the firm had previously been using, so when confronted with a choice between reinvesting in its existing Cisco system or adopting new solutions from Lifesize, Akelius went for the latter.
Rickard Carlsson, IT manager at Akelius, explains, “Having weighed up the leading vendors, we thought Lifesize had the best and most functional options. Importantly, the Lifesize solution offered the flexibility and scalability that we needed from our video conferencing tools.”
One aspect of the video solution was particularly attractive to Carlsson and his team—Lifesize® Cloud. By removing the dependency on specific hardware and delivering the video conferencing tools via the cloud, participants only need an Internet connection to connect. It also allows for call escalation, a feature where new people can be added to the ongoing video call with a click of button instead of leaving the call to join a group meeting room.
With features such as an easy-to-use interface, screen sharing, calendar integration, chat and audio-calling options, this cloud-hosted solution provided the flexibility, scalability and usability that Akelius needed from its video conferencing technology.
To enhance Lifesize Cloud in the meeting room, Akelius also adopted Lifesize® Icon™ systems. The video and audio devices transformed their meeting rooms into HD video conferencing hubs. Now, employees can sign in to a call from wherever they are using their smartphones or laptops, or they have the in-house option to make a video call from a meeting room.
The Changeover: A Painless Process with Immediate Results
The changeover was a painless process, according to Carlsson. “We sent out an internal message to employees with the information they would need to get started—we also hosted information on our intranet,” he says. “But beyond that, because the Lifesize solution is so easy to use, we did not need to provide any further training.”
With its 650+ employees up to speed on the company’s new video conferencing system, Akelius soon began to see the benefits. Whether users are connecting from iPads®, laptops, telephones or meeting room Icon systems, the Lifesize solution has quickly improved the way the business communicates.
The Benefits of Better Communication
Ultimately, the end result of these improvements is increased collaboration. Despite having a dispersed workforce operating on a variety of different devices, Akelius’s offices can now effortlessly communicate with one another as if they were face to face. This, in turn, makes the business more agile and responsive when it comes to making decisions and overcoming problems.
“Thanks to Lifesize, our employees travel less but actually have more meetings. This makes them more efficient and better connected than ever.”
In offering advice to others who might be preparing to embark on a journey toward video conferencing, Carlsson states that the most important thing is to first establish exactly what their requirements are. Once the company knows what it hopes to achieve with the new technology, they can then set about choosing a solution supplier that can cater to their needs.
As for Akelius, following the successful adoption of Lifesize Cloud and Lifesize Icon, Carlsson and his team have begun exploring options for how they can extend the benefits of video conferencing into other areas of the business.