Smiths Group PLC Uses Polycom RealPresence Video Solutions & Microsoft® Lyncto Unify Video, Voice & Data Communications across 400 Locations Worldwide
Improves productivity and reduces costs across Smith's five business divisions by creating a virtual link for 23,000 production, office and mobile employees in over 50 countries
LONDON, UK - January 16, 2013: Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), today announced that UK-based global technology firm Smiths Group PLC is using Polycom® RealPresence® video solutions in combination with Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010 to unify video, voice, and data communications across 400 locations in over 50 countries, as well as for all of its mobile employees, improving engagement, teamwork, and collaboration for the entire company.
Bringing Global and Mobile Employees Together Face-to-Face
Smiths Group has five divisions creating products, technologies, and services for the threat & contraband detection, medical devices, energy, and communications markets worldwide. The group currently employs over 23,000 people across more than 50 countries to serve diverse customers in a range of industries, including transport, military, petrochemical, healthcare, telecommunications, and equipment manufacturing.
With employees dispersed over so many different business groups and locations, Smiths faced challenges in communication and project collaboration; in the speed of decision making; and in mounting travel costs. Working with Polycom partner Insight, Smiths implemented Polycom® RealPresence® Room video solutions (including the Polycom® HDX® 8000 solution) and Polycom's executive desktop solution (Polycom® HDX® 4500 system) in fixed locations, and Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile 2.0 software for employees on the move. All RealPresence video solutions are powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform - the most interoperable and comprehensive UC&C software infrastructure for universal video collaboration.
Polycom and Microsoft Lync Delivering a Unified Communications & Collaboration Platform
Smiths is currently expanding the use of Polycom's RealPresence Platform software infrastructure by connecting it with Microsoft Lync desktop clients. "Interoperability was an absolute necessity for us to achieve our long-term plans for enterprise-wide unified communications and collaboration. One of the main drivers behind our decision to purchase Polycom RealPresence video collaboration solutions was their interoperability with Microsoft Lync," said Simon Quintin, Director, Workplace Services, Smiths Group PLC.
Smiths' ultimate vision is to deliver more agile, cost-effective services to all customers around the world. And for Smiths this means standardizing on core enterprise solutions, especially for communications and collaboration, to ensure that its diverse and globally dispersed staff and customers can most efficiently and productively work together. Smiths are rolling out Microsoft Lync across the entire company with a target completion date of mid-2013. The fact that RealPresence video solutions seamlessly connect with Microsoft Lync was a major selling point for Smiths. The goal is to "drive a different way of working" with more engagement, better communication, less travel, and faster reactions enabled by Microsoft and Polycom. Polycom offers a broad and rich portfolio of video and voice solutions designed to connect with Microsoft Lync to create a seamless UC&C experience across the enterprise: Polycom offers a wide variety of solutions, including a custom-built video room, multi-purpose phones, and numerous video environments.
Together, Polycom and Microsoft truly unify communications across work environments - on the go, home and work offices, conference rooms, and immersive theaters, as well as industry-specific applications such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, media, government, and retail. With the combination of Lync and RealPresence, staff can launch video collaboration sessions easily and intuitively from within familiar interfaces and normal workflows, simply clicking a name on their Lync contact list to securely collaborate face-to-face via Polycom video on their desktop or in a conference room-based system.
Polycom video collaboration is now seen as one of the primary communications mechanisms within Smiths and is used 24/7 for internal meetings, regular board meetings, project and product reviews, HR interviews, and training, enabling the various business units to work better and more productively. Manufacturing, product development, and management use video to increase engagement in the product development process with other groups, partners, suppliers, and distributors, to accelerate time-to-market and control costs, while also improving quality.
"Polycom video conferencing has significantly changed our way of working, enabling the company to break down some of the barriers to communicating across a distributed work force whilst reducing travelling costs, improving employee collaboration and increasing efficiencies across business units," said Simon Quintin, Director, Workplace Services, Smiths Group PLC. "The ability to cooperate and collaborate securely with someone instantly has opened the lines of communication. Straight audio is useful, but that ability to actually see someone directly makes the whole communication mechanism more personal as you build rapport quicker to get things done faster."
As adoption of Polycom video collaboration solutions has spread across the company, mobile access has become increasingly important. The Group is currently running a pilot using Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile 2.0 software for about 250 mobile staff using tablets and smartphones to extend video collaboration beyond the office to virtually anywhere. The Group plans to extend RealPresence Mobile software to more of its mobile workforce in the coming months.
Due to the demanding nature of their business and the frequency with which video is used, a key requirement and benefit of the solution was the comprehensive product support provided by Polycom. Smiths Group deployed Polycom® Elite Service, which provides direct access to an assigned Elite Service manager and engineer, as well as 24/7 telephone technical support.
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