In business, everything comes down to the bottom line. Yes, the latest technology, the newest innovations, the hottest trends getting hyped all over social media look and sound impressive. But what business leaders really want to know is – is it going to help my profit margins?
This question has to be asked of UC products and solutions as it is of everything else. Take video conferencing, for example. Yes, now that VCaaS cloud platforms mean you can connect limitless numbers of participants all around the world, and get HD quality streams in your browser, everyone is talking about it. But what benefits does video conferencing give your business, really? Can it ever match good old fashioned face-to-face meetings for getting things done?
According to Intuit, yes. Intuit is a leading global vendor of finance, accounting and tax preparation software. Amongst numerous highly successful brands, it is the company behind small business accounting app Quickbooks, professional tax platforms ProSeries and Lacerte, and also produces a variety of payroll solutions.
Intuit started using BlueJeans’ hosted video conferencing and collaboration service, BlueJeans Meetings, following a comprehensive review of the use of workplace productivity tools across the company. Intuit employees were already using video conferencing as a key way to connect and work together, but in an ad hoc way, utilising a range of different platforms, and in a way which was ultimately recognised to be inefficient and counterproductive.
Since introducing BlueJeans Meetings, however, participation in video conferencing has more than trebled. The greater levels of quality and efficiency achieved by adopting an enterprise-standard product across the business have led to video conferencing becoming a mainstay of operations, with employee satisfaction soaring and travel budgets for meetings cut almost in half.
Intuit is a big organisation by any calculation. Its products are used by 42 million customers across North America, Europe, Australia and Brazil, with a revenue of $4.7 billion in 2016. It employs just under 8,000 people globally, with its major operations centres located in the USA, Canada, the UK, India and Australia.
Communication across such a large dispersed workforce presents unique challenges. Key departments as far apart as Australia, India, Europe and North America need to be able to talk to one another. Travelling for face-to-face meetings is simply not an option. Even within regional teams, Intuit employees had started to use video conferencing for convenience sake. They were holding more than 6,000 video meetings a month before the company partnered with BlueJeans.
But there was little order or cohesion in the systems or networks employees were using to communicate. When incoming Director of IT Todd Clark carried out an audit of the company’s use of video conferencing technology, he found a mess of overlapping systems which were causing major performance issues. Poor quality audio and video feeds were the norm, employees had limited access to content sharing and failures in the feed were common. In some cases, employees would wait up to 10 minutes to connect to a video meeting – an enormous waste of time across the whole organisation.
Clark took the decision to roll out BlueJeans Meetings across the entire organisation. BlueJeans meetings is an enterprise-grade VCaaS solution suitable for connecting up to 100 meeting participants at a time. With HD video and, thanks to BlueJeans’ partnership with Dolby, advanced HD audio, BlueJeans Meetings delivers a premium quality experience no matter what device the participant connects with.
Consistency, quality, flexibility
As a cloud-based solution, agility is one of the key strengths of BlueJeans Meetings. It is not dependent on any one specific type of hardware. It can be accessed directly from a web browser, on a mobile device via an iOS and Android app, and can also be plugged into any H.323 or SIP-compliant meeting room system.
Overall, this combination of features has provided Intuit employees with consistency, quality and flexibility in their video conferencing options. It has greatly increased support for scrum and huddle meetings, the easy one-click access from any device meaning that teams can get together for impromptu discussions any time, any place. The sharing and productivity tools which sit alongside the HD video and audio further add to the rich collaborative experience.
Clark said: “Choosing BlueJeans was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made. Interoperability
and security are table stakes, and its ease of use makes the technology just fade into the background to put the work that our employees are doing at centre stage.”
“This is exactly what you would hope a technology solution to do, but in real life that is rarely the case. We had high expectations, and BlueJeans delivered.”
Amongst a number of benefits Intuit insiders believe BlueJeans has brought, they say the agility and quality of the connections it creates have increased productivity and innovation across the company. Employees are able to plan, discuss, share and amend in the moment, without having to wait for days to schedule a conference room, or waste time establishing a connection. As Clark says, the immersive quality of the communication pushes the technology into the background – people talk and collaborate naturally, and the fact they are communicating via video link is barely thought about.
Intuit has numbers to back up the success of BlueJeans. As of March 2017, the number of video conferences taking place across the organisation each month had soared to 20,000. 63 per cent of the company’s workforce now participate in video conferencing, confirming its importance as a frontline communication channel. The knock-on effects to the business as a whole can be seen in the fact that travel budgets have been reduced by 40 per cent, as co-workers and remote colleagues choose to link up by video rather than meet in person.
Finally, another key indicator of the success of using BlueJeans Meetings has been employee satisfaction. Intuit measures Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for all of its tech platforms. Since adopting BlueJeans Meetings, the NPS has hovered in the high 80s to mid 90s on a scale from -100 to 100. It is one of the highest recommendation ratings enjoyed by any of the company’s tech partners, confirming just how much Intuit staff have bought into it.
To find out more about BlueJeans Meetings, take a look at their homepage.