Greenwoods Solicitors (part of the Parabis Law Group) is a leading UK dispute resolution law firm specialising in the insurance sector. From its offices in London, Bristol, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Southampton, the firm serves clients on a national basis and handles a wide range of work from major incident claims and large property damage to a full spectrum of personal injury, product liability and professional negligence cases.
In order for the company to bring its teams together on a regular basis from each of the different office locations, Greenwoods had been using a traditional video conferencing system for around six years, and managed the infrastructure and the hardware and software endpoints internally. This required regular involvement from the company’s IT managers particularly as the system started to age, and they decided to look for an alternative solution.
Richard Arden, IT Manager at Greenwoods, explained: “We were particularly interested in finding a video conferencing product that was cloud-based, something that could provide a potential reduction in costs by negating the need for expensive hardware and continuous internal maintenance. We were also committed to the idea of video conferencing but we knew that whatever we chose would have to work very well. Many members of staff, frustrated by the poor performance of our existing system, had given up using video conferencing completely.”
Greenwoods selected VaaS-t, the hosted video communications solution that delivers HD conferencing with the ability to share data with multiple participants from a wide variety of devices. Unlike the previous, legacy system, VaaS-t worked across the company’s Internet connection, and required no special links between the different office locations. A simple software download to the desktop, tablet or mobile, and no hardware installation, enabled the Greenwoods team to make multipoint calls, invite clients to participate whether they had no video conferencing solution, or a traditional system, and access conferences by audio should they choose to.
Because VaaS-t is offered on a monthly subscription basis, the return on investment is almost instant as Greenwoods have found. According to Richard Arden, they have saved over £7000 per annum on maintenance alone. “We required no new hardware; each endpoint was inexpensive to roll out because we used existing PCs; VaaS-t was compatible with the tablets and mobile phones we were already using; in fact all we had to purchase were some HD web cameras and microphone/speaker solutions.”
One of the key benefits to Greenwoods is that VaaS-t is helping them to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. As a law firm, employees are obliged to earn their continual professional development (CPD) credits through regular training sessions. Greenwoods HR department organises these events using VaaS-t, locating an external legal training expert at one Greenwoods office, whilst making the session available to staff from a variety of other locations in the country.
“This has been invaluable to us,” continued Richard Arden. “But we are also using VaaS-t in a variety of other ways. Our teams are spread out around the country and it has become an invaluable tool for both ad-hoc and scheduled meetings where there can be collaboration and a high level of communication. We also use it for departmental use. I am based in Milton Keynes, but I keep in regular contact with our IT service desk in London using VaaS-t.”
“We’ve found since moving away from our legacy system and on to the cloud that the process of setting up and using video conferencing has become so much easier. Previously the IT department had to be involved, we had to test each endpoint, make sure the audio was working correctly and place the cameras in the right position – it involved a lot of IT resource. Now, with VaaS-t, it just works. Even if there’s a glitch in the Internet connection, VaaS-t will dynamically adjust, so we no longer have blocking issues, or difficulty with the audio.”
Greenwoods are finding that because VaaS-t is simple and intuitive to use, there is less need for IT expertise, and this is beginning to have a positive effect on staff members who had lost confidence in video conferencing. Feedback indicates that they are not experiencing audio issues and the video quality is clear, so conferencing is increasing to the extent that they are running a video conference every one to two days, where previously they had given up entirely. “They are reporting that it is almost like talking to a person face to face, and because of VaaS-t our team is now convinced of the benefits of video conferencing.” says Arden.