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Deksia Uses Highfive to Bridge the Communication Gap Between Two Offices

“Since using Highfive, we’ve really been able to bridge the cultural gap between our two offices, and that’s not something we’ve seen with any of the other software that we’ve been using.”

- Aaron VanderGalien, Senior Partner at Deksia

problem

Two offices in need of a communication and cultural connection

With a business / consulting strategy hub in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a creative team in Des Moines, Iowa, branding and marketing agency Deksia needed a solution that could bring both teams together in order for them to do the best work possible for their clients.

solution

Highfive connects offices with an always-on portal

Deksia keeps TVs in both the Iowa and Michigan offices connected to Highfive throughout the entire work day, allowing employees to work together as efficiently and seamlessly as if they were in the same room as one another. Deksia employees also use Highfive to check in with teams while travelling and replace in-person meetings, and the firm is even considering using Highfive to better unite the two different floors of their Michigan office.

result

Enhanced communication, increased efficiency, annual savings of $18,000

Highfive’s ability to provide real-time collaboration has empowered Deksia employees at both offices to be more productive and do their best work, while swapping out monthly in-person gatherings between Iowa and Michigan with Highfive meetings has helped Deksia save time and thousands of dollars a year.

INDUSTRY

Branding Agency

HEADQUARTERS

Grand Rapids, MI

OTHER LOCATIONS

Grand Rapids, MI; Des Moines, IA

EMPLOYEE COUNT

10

USE CASES

Connecting multiple locations, always on portal

problem

A Tale of Two Offices

“We tried Skype, Fuze, Facetime and Speak. All of those brands are convinced that their tool is awesome, but they weren’t any different than GoToMeeting, Citrix or any other system we tried. None of them made us feel like we were actually connecting to each other,” VanderGalien said.

A branding and marketing agency that specializes in helping small organizations grow their business, Deksia has offices in both Grand Rapids, Michigan and Des Moines, Iowa. Employees are split between the two locations, with account management primarily located in Michigan and creative headquartered in the Iowa office. Since both of these teams provide an essential component to client success, it’s critical that they stay in sync to do their best work — but without an effective communication platform, this proved to be a challenge.

“We have great people in both offices, but in the beginning, they weren’t commingling at all,” said Aaron VanderGalien, Senior Partner at Deksia. “We realized we had to do something.”

Before finding Highfive, Deksia tried a variety of solutions: conference calls, monthly in-person meetings and other video conferencing platforms. But conference calls were cumbersome and impersonal, while meeting up in person was time-consuming and expensive. Deksia team members loved the idea of video conferencing, but the first few tools they tried disappointed them.

“We tried Skype, Fuze, Facetime and Speak. All of those brands are convinced that their tool is awesome, but they weren’t any different than GoToMeeting, Citrix or any other system we tried. None of them made us feel like we were actually connecting to each other,” VanderGalien said.

But after some more research, the partners at Deksia demoed Highfive, were impressed with what they saw, and chose it as their company’s communication solution. And it wasn’t long before the whole team was on board.

solution

Using Highfive Video Conferencing to Unite the Team

“We’re even talking about installing Highfive downstairs in our Michigan office, so the two floors can feel closer,” VanderGalien shares. “So instead of having to walk downstairs, you can just hit them up on Highfive and instantly be in the same room.”

From the very beginning, VanderGalien and his coworkers appreciated the ease of setting up Highfive — a simple connection of the Highfive device to the TV and a software download was all that was needed. “It was so easy it was ridiculous,” Vander Galien shares.

To foster the closer, more collaborative environment that their company needed, VanderGalien and his team hooked Highfive up to two centrally located TVs in each of the offices that were on all throughout the work day. Team members went from only interacting with one another during scheduled meetings to being virtually right next to each other at all times, so employees could check in with, give feedback and bounce ideas off of one another in real time. As a result, both employee productivity and the quality of their work increased.

One of the chief differentiators, VanderGalien believes, is the wide angle lens and 16:9 fill that the Highfive device offers. “The lens covers the whole room and captures everything, so you really feel like you’re right there in person with the folks on the other end. You’re having a conversation with life-size people, not just talking heads.”

And with the ability to quickly and easily get in touch regardless of location, team members began joining meetings through Highfive whenever they were on the road or out of the office.

result

Working Smarter and Cutting Costs with Highfive

“The other two partners and I used to meet in person every month but recently, we decided to just sync on Highfive since it’s so interactive. It worked perfectly. We’ll still get together in person every quarter or so, but it saves us from driving 500 miles each month and all the costs that go with that,”

VanderGalien noticed a difference between Highfive and the other services they had tried almost immediately after they installed it.

“Since using Highfive, we’ve really been able to bridge the cultural gap between our two offices, and that’s not something we’ve seen with any of the other software that we’ve been using. It helps ensure that our team can effortlessly collaborate together to produce great work,” VanderGalien said. “And we’ve gotten a lot closer to each other. On Fridays, we’ll even all have a beer together over Highfive.”

Deksia has also found that Highfive has saved them a great deal of time spent in the car — as well as money.