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Bridging the Divide: Imagine Communications Gains a Virtual Window Into Other Offices with Highfive's Face-to-Face Video

“We now have a virtual window into other offices. We can put Highfive devices in a cafeteria for a lunch meeting — or people can go get a cup of coffee together, even if they’re on opposite sides of the world.”

- David Carver, Global MyDesk Manager at Imagine Communications

problem

Enabling communication and a unified culture for a distributed workforce

With multiple offices around the world but no easy way to connect them, Imagine Communications struggled to ensure that their roughly 1,600 employees could effectively work together across locations and truly feel as if they were all part of one team.

solution

Working and socializing with Highfive video conferencing

After installing Highfive, the Imagine Communications team was not only able to collaborate in real time for cross-functional projects — they were also empowered to truly get to know one another.

result

Time savings, cost savings and a boost in productivity

A seamless way to communicate across long distances and a closer company culture led to happier, more productive employees with a reduced need for travel.

INDUSTRY

Video / Advertising

HEADQUARTERS

Frisco, TX

LOCATION

Worldwide

EMPLOYEE COUNT

1600

USE CASES

Team meetings, cultural events, real-time collaboration

problem

Maintaining a Close Connection Across the Globe

“With conference calls, you have no idea what the person you’re talking to looks like, how they are gesturing or if they are even following along,” David Carver, Global MyDesk Manager at Imagine Communications said. “We were having all of these meetings, but we couldn’t get to know who our co-workers really were.”

Imagine Communications Corp., a global leader in video and advertising solutions serving the media and entertainment industries, operates in over 25 global locations to meet the needs of their clients in the media industry. While Imagine has over 1,600 employees globally, few individual offices have more than 100.

Although its workers are spread around the world, Imagine Communications wanted them to experience the same sense of community regardless of which office they called home. They felt strongly that phones weren’t the answer — while the connection was easy to manage, a voice call simply wasn’t a substitute for face-to-face communication.

“With conference calls, you have no idea what the person you’re talking to looks like, how they are gesturing or if they are even following along,” David Carver, Global MyDesk Manager at Imagine Communications said. “We were having all of these meetings, but we couldn’t get to know who our co-workers really were.”

There was also the issue of collaboration. Spread across dozens of cities, discussing and sharing documents among teammates could get quite complicated. The combination of email, Lync instant messaging and conference calls meant multiple steps, which led to delayed meetings and inevitable technological issues and complications. After attempting to educate people across offices — many without dedicated IT staff — about how to use different, complex conference call an document sharing solutions, Imagine began looking into other options.

“We were looking for something simple, but nothing we came across was user-friendly,” Carver said. “With most conference equipment, the average user can’t come in and use it. They don’t know what buttons to push or what to dial, and it’s even worse with multiple screen sharing solutions.”

Determined to change the company’s reliance on telephones and expensive customized conferencing solutions, Imagine began hunting for options. After seeing an advertisement for Highfive video conferencing system, they decided to test it out.

solution

Bringing Online Collaboration to Every O ce with Highfive

“We’re now doing joint events across offices in our break areas,” Carver said. “We’re celebrating work anniversaries and having retirement parties together. We’re now getting to know one another on not just a work level, but a personal one, as well. People genuinely feel like they are an important part of a team, and video made it possible for us to bridge that gap.”

The team opted to take a different route with their first Highfive device, placing it on a mobile cart that could turn any spot in the office into a video meeting space. The concept proved so popular that they outfitted a handful of televisions around the office with Highfive devices, turning everything from the lobby to the break room into a place to connect with coworkers.

“With the Highfive devices, we turned spaces around the office into what we like to call collaboration rooms,” Carver explained. “These are places with sofas where people can hang out. They feel more like everyone is sitting around a living room than a conference room — but they also give you the flexibility to turn any space into an overflow conference room if needed.”

Various teams around Imagine have quickly put the concept of that virtual window to use. Some simply keep a Highfive meeting going all day, talking and working alongside their co-workers in other offices seamlessly despite the distance.

“Now that we’ve replaced a lot of our conference phones and moved to Highfive, we have a virtual window into other offices. We can put Highfive devices in a cafeteria for a lunch meeting — or people can go get a cup of coffee together, even if they’re on the opposite sides of the world,” Carver shared.

And with the ability to instantly connect, different offices can gather together not just for strictly project-related meetings, but for company events, too.

result

Happier, More Efficient and More Productive Employees

“We had this challenge where we wanted to create a more cohesive company culture, but nothing we tried was having any sort of tangible impact on how we connected across offices,” Carver said. “Now with Highfive, we’re seeing that people are happier and more productive. Putting a face to everybody’s names has made work better for everyone.”

Choosing Highfive as their go-to communications solution has helped teams within Imagine work at an unprecedented clip with a greatly reduced need for travel.

“The design teams both in the USA and Canada can do design reviews and finish projects up together immediately now,” Carver said. “What used to require people traveling and being away from home for weeks can be accomplished on an ongoing, day-to-day basis instead of being squeezed into a tight time frame. They now have the ability to collaborate completely.”

And Highfive video conferencing has also helped spark a major shift in company culture. With their smaller offices spread out across the world, their employees used to feel disconnected from one another. Today, they’re embracing video to make a distributed company feel more integrated.