Freedom Sees ROI in 8 Weeks with VC

Freedom Communications has proved the cost saving benefits of its own portfolio with the installation of LifeSize HD videoconferencing at its two UK offices.

Freedom, which specialises in the installation, network integration, management, maintenance and upgrade of voice and data solutions, invested in a LifeSize Room solution for its Watford and Leeds offices at a total cost of just £15,000 per room and saw a return on their investment within just two months.

Face to face meetings between the two offices frequently involved up to five people travelling up to twice a week and on occasion required overnight accommodation and meals over two or more days.

As meeting costs spiralled, Freedom took the decision to install LifeSize Room high definition video communications, with a view to cutting down on travel and accommodation expenses, maximising efficiency and reducing risk to personnel.

The system, which operates over Freedom’s existing broadband network, is complete with dual cameras and screens, 16 microphones and multi-way call functionality. It allows presentations, documents and multimedia to be shared simultaneously.

The suite offers interoperability with most video conferencing systems and can connect with multiple sites around the world over standard networks. Unlike other video conferencing systems, there was no need to install specialist lighting in order to achieve high quality images.

Staff embraced the solution and within eight months of installation, Freedom employees had spent over 150 hours in the LifeSize Rooms and reduced travel between the two offices by approximately 100 trips over the same period.

Executed well, room-based video conferencing provides an immersive, HD video/audio experience with a rich set of features that allow users to feel as if they are in the same room as colleagues, whilst sharing documents and presentations in real-time.

LifeSize has pioneered affordable HD videoconferencing and offers a range of solutions from LifeSize Express’ mobile point-to-point solution to LifeSize Conference, which has multi-camera, multi-monitor telepresence configuration at 15Mbps.

Ed Humpleman, Freedom’s strategic business analyst, commented: “Our finance department has seen a massive reduction in mileage, hotel and food claims and we would estimate that we have saved around £150,000 within just eight months since the systems went live. If you factor in the efficiencies gained, in terms of time spent working rather than travelling, we saw a return on investment in under two months.

“Video conferencing is no longer the preserve of international companies seeking to reduce air miles. High quality systems are now available at a price point that makes them affordable for businesses trying to reduce both the costs and environmental impact of travel between regional offices.”

To companies who were adopters of the early low definition technology, or put off by previous, overly expensive solutions, Humpleman has an invitation: “We are happy to allow visitors to watch the system in use, and if they can get a party to Leeds and one to Watford, to conduct a video conference of their own using our LifeSize Rooms. They really do have to be seen to be believed.”