With more than 2,400 employees working in over 30 locations around the globe, World Wide Technology (WWT) found enabling real-time collaboration amidst expansive growth to be a continual challenge. Company representatives relied on traditional telephone conference calls, email and Cisco® MeetingPlace® to do business and stay connected. But with offices in remote locations, such as Alaska, China, Brazil and the UK, employees often lacked the ability to interact face-to-face with business counterparts and clients.
“WWT is one of the largest Cisco partners in the world,” said Brandon Echele, WWT Video and Conferencing Practice Manager. “As a Gold Certified Partner with Masters-Level Certification in Unified Communications and TelePresence, staying on the forefront of video conferencing and utilizing the latest Cisco technology to enable seamless collaboration with Cisco and joint customers is a top priority.” Moreover, WWT wanted to be able to leverage video to help customers implement technology, plan more effectively, save on travel and keep Professional Services project costs down.
In Cisco, WWT found a single vendor with a holistic solution set to help the company meet a variety of video needs from the desktop to the boardroom. WWT relied on its people, proven processes and powerful Cisco partnership to empower real-time, video-based, collaboration with TelePresence and Cisco Webex®.
WWT’s Video and Conferencing Practice worked closely with the internal IT Unified Communications team to evaluate WWT’s current assets and infrastructure, along with Cisco’s complete video and TelePresence offerings, to determine exactly what they needed to establish a video enabled collaborative environment across the enterprise. “As business video is still evolving in the marketplace and within WWT, it was up to us to take the lead, explore capabilities and address implementation challenges as they arose,” said Tim Cappel, a collaboration technical solution architect for WWT.
As solutions are continually deployed, Education and Training representatives help communicate the benefits and functionality of new TelePresence units to WWT employees. “Education is the key to the successful roll out of any kind of advanced technology, but is particularly important with video conferencing to demonstrate how easy it is to use the equipment, which can be costly and intimidating,” Cappel said.
WWT deployed a variety of Cisco TelePresence units, including the C40 Codec as well as MX-, SX- and EX-Series devices in order to meet the varying requirements and space constraints of business units, remote locations, executive offices, conference areas and more. “It’s our job to try to give end users the best video-enabled experience possible, and we carefully select the appropriate TelePresence device to turn any meeting space into a highdefinition collaborative environment,” said John Meadows, Senior Voice Engineer.
To establish a complete TelePresence infrastructure with call control, bridging, scheduling and B2B interoperability, the WWT team installed Cisco Video Control Server (VCS), TelePresence Server and TelePresence Management Suite, which enables single signon, interoperability and schedule integration with Exchange. The team also deployed Cisco VCS Expressway to allow secure firewall traversal of video conferences to support mobility as well as connecting with customers and partners.
For enhanced mobility, WWT paired Cisco’s Jabber® client with Cisco PrecisionHD USB cameras to support highdefinition desktop video conferencing for all employees on PC or Mac. Cisco’s robust support for mobile platforms also allowed WWT to extend Webex and TelePresence capabilities to Android™ and iOS devices such as iPad® for a ubiquitous end user experience.
WWT leveraged its powerful Cisco Partnership to acquire, deploy and support the most advanced video conferencing equipment available today. “Cisco provides the only complete suite of TelePresence products to deliver next-generation video and enhanced collaboration across the enterprise,” Cappel said. Cisco representatives and engineers were continually available and involved in the install, troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance of WWT’s TelePresence solutions. WWT and Cisco now use VCS Expressway to securely collaborate with each other and joint clients, which has cut travel costs, strengthened their longstanding partnership and enhanced communication with customers.
WWT’s video conferencing initiative is ongoing. The company now has more than 60 Cisco TelePresence endpoints deployed throughout the world and all employees enabled for desktop video, all of which are easily managed using the TMS web interface.
“Video conferencing with Cisco TelePresence is enhancing our culture, strengthening our partnerships and making us more collaborative as we’re able to have more face-to-face meetings now, especially with our offices in remote locations like Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, Brazil, Singapore and Amsterdam,” Echele said. “It’s also helping us provide an unprecedented level of service to our customers. For example, the mobile TelePresence solution in our Integration Centers allows us to show customers how their equipment is being assembled, provide live status updates and even collaborate with clients on custom assemblies.”
Meeting times are shorter as there is less multitasking during video conferences and face-to-face interactions build trust and rapport, enhancing internal and external business relationships. Employees use a simple Smart Scheduler webpage to schedule all of their video conferencing calls and, by utilizing Jabber for TelePresence, mobile end users can join video calls wherever there is 3G or WiFi connectivity – using the device of their choice.
WWT has transitioned from Cisco MeetingPlace to Webex-enabled TelePresence, which the company utilizes heavily (an average of 1M minutes per month) for day-to-day meetings and even streaming and recording meetings and events, such as biannual corporate updates from CEO Jim Kavanaugh, to share with the entire global footprint of WWT.
The company plans to continue to add TelePresence units, extend advanced video capabilities to clients and offer more video capabilities to employees working from home in the coming year.