Tango Card Discovers It Takes Two to Dance: Star Wars & LoTR – and Highfive and Dolby
“My goal was to eliminate as many of those separate video conferencing systems as possible and find one meeting solution to rule them all.”
– Erick Timmerman, IT Administrator at Tango Card
A muddled communications system in need of a revamp
Tango Card, a company that lets businesses award e-gift cards to consumers, has an entertaining Seattle office environment where dogs roam free and the occasional office-wide Super Smash Bros. tournament or Nerf Gun battle isn’t unheard of. But unlike their social employees, Tango Card’s internal communications system wasn’t cohesive and didn’t reflect the enjoyable, team-driven office environment.
Outfitting conference rooms with Highfive and the Dolby Conference Phone
IT Administrator Erick Timmerman wanted to find an affordable video conferencing platform that didn’t require the IT department to be overly hands-on. The ease-of-use and exceptional audio and video clarity of Highfive with Dolby Voice were all he needed to select Highfive as Tango Card’s go-to collaboration solution.
A company culture that puts people first
With Highfive in place, Tango Card is able to focus on the company and its employees (and dogs) rather than dealing with troublesome tech and delayed office meetings, fostering a unified and cohesive office environment.
Video conferencing; Dolby Conference Phone; Screen sharing; Connecting distributed workforces
Struggling to build a cohesive internal communications platform
“My goal was to eliminate as many of those separate systems as possible and find one meeting solution that could do all the jobs we needed,” says Erick Timmerman, IT Administrator at Tango Card.
One meeting solution to rule them all: that’s what IT Administrator Erick Timmerman was looking for when Tango Card’s internal communications were functionally a muddled mess. They had foregone desk phones since most employees relied on their mobile phones. But the company did need a professional communications option. They ended up using a smattering of different video conferencing systems, but without one cohesive solution, company-wide meetings between their Seattle and Boise offices had become especially difficult to navigate. “My goal was to eliminate as many of those separate systems as possible and find one meeting solution that could do all the jobs we needed,” Timmerman says.
As he vetted solution after solution, Timmerman says he was frustrated by the sky-high prices he saw everywhere he looked. Tango Card is a medium-sized business with about 90 employees, so they needed to find something that delivered on the communications promise without breaking the bank. “Some of the upfront costs with other video conferencing companies were ridiculous – roughly $15,000 just to get two or three conference rooms going,” he says.
The other problem Timmerman discovered was a lack of tools that integrated hardware with software. “Because we don’t have phones, we needed a system that covered all the communications bases. A hardware/software marriage was ideal for our offices,” he says. He looked at a handful of solutions but realized that overhead costs would have been through the roof. Timmerman was stumped – until he found Highfive.
A collaboration tool that allows IT departments to be hands-off
“We needed something affordable. We needed both software and hardware. We needed to meet face-to-face as a company. Highfive did all of that for us,” says Timmerman.
Timmerman describes his decision to choose Highfive for Tango Card as a no-brainer. “We needed something affordable. We needed both software and hardware. We needed to meet face-to-face as a company. Highfive did all of that for us,” he recalls.
In what some employees thought of as a bold move, Timmerman removed all cables and dongles from Tango Card’s conference rooms, encouraging employees to join meetings wirelessly. “I didn’t completely strong-arm them, but let’s just say it was strong encouragement,” he says.
Now the company has a Highfive device – lovingly referred to as the Death Star (minus the evil world-destroying bits) – installed in the ceiling of their main Seattle space so the Boise team can join them for office-wide weekly meetings. The Death Star has become home base for most of their remote team communications, such as shorter informal catch-ups and check-ins with the Idaho team – what they call “kitchenette meetings.”
“Highfive allows our teams to be nimble, and I wanted everyone to get comfortable using it. With wireless features, access to screen sharing capabilities, and great audio through the Dolby Conference Phone, it’s pretty painful for me to even think about switching back to what we used to have,” Timmerman says.
A reason to give your IT guy a hug
“I’ve seen an uptick in the number of video conferencing users since we implemented Highfive...It’s great to see adoption spread,” Timmerman says.
Timmerman says the biggest takeaway from Highfive has been how receptive his colleagues are to the device.
“I’ve seen an uptick in the number of video conferencing users since we implemented Highfive – well over half of the company regularly makes and joins calls, and people are using Highfive from mobile devices too. It’s great to see adoption spread,” Timmerman says.
“We have a developer in our office who’s not really into displays of affection even though our office is pretty much the opposite,” he recalls. “The office is big on high fives and pats on the back. He’s not. But when this developer found out I had ordered another Highfive device for the team he walked straight out of a conference room, gave me a giant bear hug, and walked away. I’m the only guy at the office who’s ever gotten a hug from him.”