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John Laing Uses Polycom® RealPresence® Video Solutions and Microsoft® Lync® to Boost Efficiency by Delivering Quicker Response Times, while Reducing G
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013
  • Corporate-wide video solution keeps employees across 79 UK and international offices connected and collaborating to efficiently manage 76 large-scale public sector infrastructure projects
  • Video collaboration has a dramatic effect on reducing business travel and associated Greenhouse Gas emissions with a reduction of 162.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 29 family cars off the road in a year
LONDON - Apr 29, 2013: Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open, standards-based unified communications (UC&C), today announced that John Laing, a specialist investor, operator, and manager of public sector infrastructure assets, has implemented a combination of Microsoft® Lync® Server 2010 and Polycom® RealPresence® video solutions, to provide an end-to-end unified communications and collaboration solution across its global operations. With employees dispersed in 73 offices across the UK and six offices overseas, teams use video meetings to collaborate face-to-face securely in real time while managing the development risk, project financing, asset management and operations with its partners and project supply chain.
John Laing manages 76 privately financed infrastructure projects for the public sector, ranging from the Intercity Express Programme, the Second Severn Crossing between England and Wales and the Greater Manchester Waste Management PFI, as well as transport, health, renewable energy and special purpose government facilities projects in the UK and overseas.
Employees work from various global offices and often are mobile and on the go, and need to interact and collaborate with each other across national borders and technical infrastructures on a wide range of projects. Key requirements for John Laing included the ability to interoperate with existing systems and applications, and ease of use to drive user adoption, as the company looked to improve collaboration using any device, increase productivity and reduce travel costs. Working with Polycom partner Wirebird, and technology automation specialists AMX to design and implement video meeting rooms, John Laing implemented four Polycom® RealPresence® Room video solutions (including the Polycom® HDX® 8000) at its new London head office and six other conference rooms around the world. All RealPresence video solutions are powered by the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform – the most interoperable and comprehensive UC&C software infrastructure for universal video collaboration. John Laing is also using Polycom® RealPresene® Mobile 2.0 for consortium partners and employees using tablets or smartphones while on the move.
The use of video conferencing has helped staff communicate internally and externally and has become widespread within John Laing because of Polycom’s integration with Microsoft Lync desktop clients. Approximately half of the firm’s 1,000 employees collaborate via Polycom desktop-based or room-based video solutions securely, easily and intuitively from within familiar interfaces by simply clicking a name on their Lync contact list.
“The interoperability between Polycom and Microsoft Lync was key in our decision. Using Lync with Polycom just brings the whole solution alive to the desktop,” said Dylan Jones, IT Director for John Laing. “People can either go to formal conference rooms or participate in meetings from their desk, enabling everyone to talk and see body language, which you don’t get over the telephone.”
Video collaboration is used at John Laing for numerous reasons including:  
  • Management Support Services: Hosting multiple conferences with dispersed project teams, transforming collaboration across the company into a seamless video experience.
  • Company information and training on demand: John Laing has the ability to record and stream meetings and training courses so all employees can receive training and view company information on-demand.
  • Collaborate in large teams: John Laing uses Polycom video to communicate and collaborate within consortiums of construction partners, investors and stakeholders throughout the life of a project from the initial bidding process through financing, contractual negotiations and project management. John Laing can be a part of a consortium and the main investor, but there could be a team of 100 managed by only two key individuals from the firm. Meetings with such external parties require secure enterprise-grade video collaboration with managed firewall traversal, provided by the RealPresence Platform.
“We required a very high quality video product that’s easy to use. The reason we went with the Wirebird design was because they integrate very well with all the vendors and it was quite an easy choice for us to choose Wirebird as the preferred partner as they had the knowledge to tailor the AMX and the Polycom solutions to our needs. A key business objective was that the solutions had to be user friendly so they would be adopted,” said Jones.  “The combination of the Polycom solutions integrated with Lync and the AMX control panels all create one collaborative tool with a familiar user interface. User adoption has gone through the ceiling with growing demand for both internal and external video meetings.”
Polycom RealPresence video solutions are also helping to make John Laing greener. The carbon footprint for John Laing business travel and commuting over the period July 2011 to June 2012 was 657.5 tonnes CO2e, compared with 820 tonnes over the preceding 12-month period, a reduction of 162.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in a single year, the equivalent of taking an extra 29 family cars off the road in a year.