BT video conferencing service boosts collaboration at Indesit

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Indesit is a leading European manufacturer and distributor of white goods such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, and cookers. Despite being the undisputed leader in major markets like Italy, the UK and Russia it faces fierce competition and needs to constantly innovate to stay ahead.

The problem

Indesit was seeking to upgrade its video conferencing infrastructure. Leveraging new communication technologies for better quality sound and imaging with reduced bandwidth demands, that move would kick-start a more collaborative culture. “To be competitive, we have to facilitate the flow of creative ideas at all levels of our organization, regardless of geography,” explains Andrea Landini, IT Service Delivery and Architecture Manager at Indesit.

The solution

Indesit signed a managed services contract for a BT IP Connect Global infrastructure to link its 16,000 employees at 65 sites worldwide including eight manufacturing plants across Italy, Poland, the UK, Russia and Turkey. Legacy video conferencing equipment was replaced with a BT One Collaborate managed service featuring LifeSize products and accessories. The network of video conferencing suites now reaches 40 locations worldwide.

“We chose BT because it has the global scale to connect all our business locations, with the local presence to support us in our day-to-day operations. We wanted an easy to operate and bandwidth efficient system, and LifeSize proved to be the best solution. With BT as a single point of contact for both equipment and network the burden of fine tuning and maintaining the technology is clearly alleviated for us on a worldwide scale,” says Landini.

Over the BT IP Connect Global network, video conferencing has been assigned a specified quality-of-service with 512kbps dedicated to each video feed.

“We experience excellent HD video quality at just 512kbps. However, to prevent any risk of network congestion, when there are many simultaneous video conferences taking place on high usage links, the system automatically adjusts the compression rate of the codecs. That way everyone can continue their video conferences uninterrupted at just a slightly reduced picture quality,” explains Landini.

Core services
BT IP Connect Global
BT One Collaborate managed video conferencing service
BT One Global Video Exchange

 

Video conferencing rooms support multi-site HD video connections. Standard rooms can handle up to three simultaneous HD video links, while bigger rooms in the company’s main offices can support up to eight. Top management periodically needs to address a lot of people scattered among several locations. Indesit signed up to the BT One Global Video Exchange bridging service to support such company-wide events with hundreds of attendees.

“It’s very easy to organize such big virtual meetings. All we have to do is to tell BT the schedule and list of locations we want to include in the video conference. The BT team then co-ordinates people and technology, which can involve hundreds of participants joining from 30 different rooms,” adds Landini.

The benefits

The BT video conferencing solution has clearly helped Indesit save on travel time and cost. Even more important, it’s helping foster collaboration and co-operation among business and design teams all over its worldwide organisation.

Landini explains: “This next-generation video conferencing solution has been a tremendous success. Nowadays video conferencing suites are seldom free if not booked well in advance. It’s much more efficient to conduct a meeting when people can see each other. It helps keep the focus on the subject being discussed and promotes creative collaboration among interdisciplinary teams.”

Other than day-to-day meetings, the video conferencing systems have also been successfully used to deliver e-learning programmes to employees. Sessions recorded in video conferencing suites are regularly delivered to a wider audience as an on-demand video through the company’s intranet.

Finally, Indesit is integrating the video conferencing infrastructure with its chosen personal collaboration tool, Microsoft Lync. A sample of employees is already testing full unified communication chat, presence and video services. Wherever they are in the world, participants can choose not only to interact through the Microsoft Lync client, but also join any video conferencing session with no extra software needed.

“BT helped us deploy a highly-appreciated video conferencing service that is working very well in all our worldwide locations. And in turn this leads our company to be more competitive by generating a constant stream of new ideas,” concludes Landini.

 

About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.