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IVCi Customer Profile: Portman Holdings

Portman Holdings Uses High Definition Video Conferencing for Long Distance Collaboration

By Nina Parker

The high definition video conferencing solution implemented by industry expert IVCi helps reduce travel and improves communication across this real estate development firm's international locations.

The challenge

Portman Holdings is a real estate development firm with headquarters in the US and satellite offices situated across the globe. Collaboration on projects often takes place among team members across corporate locations, who share ideas and review intricate documents containing architectural models and design drawings.

When members of remote offices needed to work together on projects, they had to make costly international trips which could take up to a week, and valuable time was lost in transit. Audio conferencing was often used as an alternative to travel, but Portman Holdings CIO Simon Bailey believed it lacked the positive benefits of being able to see the participants at the remote sites.

Mr. Bailey and members of the Portman Holdings executive management team recognized the company's need for an efficient means of holding face-to-face meetings that would provide an alternative to international travel. Mr. Bailey began researching video conferencing systems that would provide the human connection that he feels can only be achieved when people can see each other.

The solution

Mr. Bailey contacted industry expert IVCi for guidance on selecting the right video conferencing equipment and services. IVCi recommended a high definition video conferencing solution, since the higher resolution delivers an image that is so clear and crisp that it captures the fine detail in people's facial expressions and body language. The image is so realistic that it creates an impression that meeting participants are in the same room.

IVCi arranged for the installation of numerous TANDBERG 3000 and 6000 MXP systems in the company's headquarters and international locations. IVCi recommended the Natural Presenter Package software for the easy display of PC data in a video call, and MultiSuite software which allows the TANDBERG system to connect to up to six sites in the same video call. IVCi also provided TANDBERG infrastructure products such as a gatekeeper and border controller to allow Portman Holdings to manage their own firewall traversal and maintain a secure environment.

"We went with what we felt was a top end system, with secure communications, which meant keeping as much behind the VPN and firewall as possible," said Mr. Bailey. "The TANDBERG video conferencing solution gives us the capability to conveniently and easily communicate with the outside world via an IP connection. The firewall transversal solution achieved the security and ease of use and connectivity within a single installation."

IVCi provided installation and training on the TANDBERG solution, and Portman Holdings chose the IVCi managed care services for any necessary maintenance on their equipment.

Results

Portman Holdings immediately realized the value of its video conferencing solution, which Mr. Bailey describes as a high quality system which he expects to be able to cost justify with the money the company will save on reduced travel. "We get extremely sharp quality internally. The high definition cameras are giving us good enough imagery that we can effectively exchange design ideas. It has reached the point that we are being able to reduce the number of trips that we would have previously had to make to our international locations. That is beginning to save us a considerable amount of time and travel."

The high quality of the solution made the new technology more readily accepted among the entire Portman Holdings management team. "Once people use the system, they see its value and want to continue using it. Since the visual quality is tremendous it turned non-believers into believers, and made it a much easier sales process to the remaining executives who we needed to buy into the process," Mr. Bailey said.

Mr. Bailey is satisfied with the solution IVCi provided. "It is a good system, it works. There is a benefit to seeing the people that you're working with, and we've had great success with it."


For additional information regarding video conferencing and audio visual integration or any of IVCi's products and services, please call 1-800-224-7083 ext. 109, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.

All trade names, trademarks, and/or service marks herein are owned by their respective holders.

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