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How an intellectual property specialist group stopped wasting time and started collaborating over video.

“The auto update feature saves our IT department a lot of time as they don’t have to go around updating individual systems.”

The GEVERS Group is an international intellectual property specialist focused on the protection, management and exploitation of intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, designs and domain names. They operate in over 180 countries across the globe with five offices in Belgium, three in France and two in Switzerland – employing over 250 people in total.

We sat down with Laurent Petit, IT Manager at GEVERS Group, to hear how they use video conferencing to connect their extensive network of partners to provide instant access to attorneys and specialists around the world.

What challenges were you looking to solve with video conferencing?

Before using professional video conferencing, our only option to collaborate on projects and share ideas with larger groups of people was to travel between locations, which wasted a lot of valuable business time. We tried other solutions, like WebEx and Skype for one-to-one calls, but these raised confidentiality and security issues. We needed a better solution to improve not only the security but the audiovisual quality of our video conferencing.

What made you decide to use Lifesize?

GEVERS facilitates innovation, and we continuously invest in our own internal innovation. We wanted a quality audio and video conferencing solution and found Lifesize to be a full-fledged cloud system that didn’t require the major investment in hardware that other systems do. This made the system more mobile, which is also important to us because we are currently undergoing an office move.

Now, our management group, support staff and attorneys can collaborate regardless of their location, with ease – limiting travel time and increasing meeting attendance by participants who did not previously have the time to spare.

What features do you use most, and why?

In our meeting rooms, we definitely use the screen sharing feature most to showcase presentations or notes while in a call. This feature makes it easier for people to follow the conversation and keep up with the meeting agenda. It also avoids the complications associated with paper presentations.

The virtual meeting room feature is also quite popular as it allows us to organize meetings on a regular basis without interfering with other video conferences, which was an issue with the WebEx system. Our team also appreciates being able to name the meeting rooms as it’s easier to keep track of what the meeting is about.

What advice would you have for others considering video conferencing?

First of all, it’s essential to consider the different needs that exist within the company, from individual users to meeting rooms, as these needs tend to vary. For a meeting room, for example, the video and audio quality should be higher as you need to understand a higher volume of people talking at once across various locations.

Companies looking to eliminate operating expenses might consider a cloud solution as it removes the capital expenditure associated with servers and data centers. We started with 10 individual licenses and quickly found that to function better we needed more subscriptions. In less than a week we upgraded to 25 licenses, and scaling the deployment was quick and effortless.

How was the enablement handled, and how did employees react to the new solution?

Everyone was very enthusiastic about the improved audio and video quality of Lifesize compared to our previous systems. People even asked for an extra meeting room to be equipped with an Icon system to make it easier to collaborate with colleagues abroad.

For enablement, training sessions were organized for the people that manage the meeting rooms using the videos provided by Lifesize. It’s intuitive to use, and the icon interface doesn’t require a manual to learn so the adoption was quick.

How has video conferencing changed the way your business operates?

One of our strengths is being able to provide access to a network of specialists throughout different fields around the globe. Our clients now have instant access to these specialists regardless of where they are based. Collaboration is now possible anywhere, anytime and on any device: laptop, mobile phone, desktop or meeting room. Whether participants are stuck on the road and need to connect via phone or are late to the office and need to switch between devices, video communication can happen without interruption.