Case Studies : Carillion Plc
With around 40,000 employees worldwide and a turnover of over £4 billion, Carillion plc. is a large aspect of the UK construction and support services industries. These sectors both have demanding project deadlines and tight budgets make it essential that its employees can effectively communicate and collaborate, irrespective of which office or site that they are located at.
In addition to the direct savings, reducing travel also lowers the risk of road accidents involving company vehicles, an area which companies in the UK are increasingly focusing on as part of their corporate and social responsibility commitments.
Carillion had used a voice-only conferencing service for a number of years. This voice-only conferencing service worked well but as time progressed Carillion’s team saw the need to simplify the provisioning and management of conferencing services to encourage and extend usage. They were also conscious that conferencing technology had progressed, recognising that the extra capabilities such as document and desktop sharing together with integrated web based audio controls, which are provided by multimedia conferencing, could be valuable to their users. However they could not risk downtime or compromising IT security in order to enable these features.
Carillion discussed their needs with strategic partner Telewest Communications who recommended its LetsAllMeet virtual meeting service. LetsAllMeet integrates three elements audio, web and application sharing to enable a user to schedule and manage all aspects of virtual meetings, from their PC, with simple point-and-click commands.
Working with Genesys Conferencing, Telewest Communications demonstrated that it could deliver LetsAllMeet securely as an entirely self-provisioning service, managed via a portal on the Carillion Intranet. Through this system users could set up their own conferencing account, which is billed to their individual cost code, access user guides and get live online training on how best to use the new multimedia conferencing features. The sign up system on the portal was tailored to integrate with Carillion’s IT support system to double check the user’s cost centre code before making the user live. For the Carillion telecommunications team, the portal provides administration and monitoring tools and generates a single bill with a data file to enable re-billing to different individual projects which Carillion team members are working on at any given time.
LetsAll Meet - The User’s View
Adrian Bull, Managing Director, Carillion Health, who uses conferencing three to four times a week, says that; “Due to the way that we work across multiple sites LetsAllMeet has become an indispensable tool.” He uses LetsAllMeet for both his weekly Friday management meetings and for short notice meetings, valuing the ability to use conferencing to get an instant response to issues irrespective of travel time. Adrian adds: “There have been a number of occasions where, had we not used conferencing, there would have been a significant delay before our whole team could get together to discuss an important issue.” Ian Roberts, I.S. Programme Manager, for Carillion Plc. is responsible for selecting and implementing Carillion’s business software.
Being able to share a desktop for PC support was not new to Ian, but being able to share a desktop via conferencing to multiple people is proving to be very useful. Ian typically uses this facility in LetsAllMeet for live collaboration, for example, sharing his desktop with colleagues to agree formats for reports that systems will generate and making changes live on the screen to ensure everyone can see the impact of changes. However, sometimes desktop and application sharing has been called in for its more traditional role; as Ian explains “Recently we had an issue with one of our own helpdesk applications that was written in .NET and was generating unusual errors. For some reason our third-party support provider could not replicate the problem on its test environment. Using LetsAllMeet, I was able to conference them in and, while we discussed the problem, share the application to show them the key strokes that caused the error, then turn over control to them so that they could examine the system. It saved us a callout fee but, more importantly, meant we did not need to wait for an engineer to travel from Upminster in Essex to our offices in Wolverhampton.” Managing the service
Steve Floyd, Head of Telecommunications, for Carillion said; “Genesys Conferencing not only provides the conferencing service, it manages the administration and user interface, which enables me to concentrate on managing Carillion’s telecommunications.” To maximise the benefits from conferencing Carillion actively promotes LetsAllMeet with posters provided by Genesys Conferencing across its 500 plus sites and advertising on the company Intranet. The company expects to continue to grow its use of multimedia conferencing.
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Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007