When introducing a voice and video collaboration solution, cost savings are always part of the equation. Yet, for Highland Europe (Highland), a global investment firm with a portfolio of companies, the move to StarLeaf was to increase its ability to instantly respond to breaking news and events, any of which could have a far-reaching impact upon its investments.
“We are investors in technology”, explains Sam Brooks, Partner. “It’s our mission to help tech entrepreneurs become successful, so we recognize the need to be at the cutting edge of new technologies ourselves.” Consequently, when opening its London office, Highland sought the next generation technology that would deliver one seamless environment for all communications. Specifically, a cloud based service for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to reduce its telephony costs, and video for increased collaboration. “We were already using video conferencing systems across Europe, China and the US, and part of StarLeaf’s appeal was that we could continue to connect with and use these old systems.
However, once we got up and running with StarLeaf in London, we soon replaced the legacy video systems across Europe with StarLeaf, allowing us to operate as one virtual office, with one dial plan. As most of the calls are between our offices, we gained an immediate reduction in our telephone bills.'' “StarLeaf replaces a normal telephony set up, but its functionality goes beyond that. For example, I use the Breeze video software on my laptop, which acts as an extension of my StarLeaf deskphone, so when I am travelling I’m always able to answer incoming calls, even over a Wi-Fi connection.” In a more traditional vein, Highland uses StarLeaf for scheduled video conferences; “Every Monday we bring our European team together – the Geneva office joins our London meeting room and anyone on the road will also join on video via their laptop, using Breeze or by phone if they are in transit. The beauty here is that to join a scheduled meeting, all we have to do is hit one button and we immediately enter the conference.”
A big cost advantage of using a Cloud solution is that there is no on-premise PBX or video infrastructure. Instead, the StarLeaf Cloud’s underlying technology brings to bear advanced techniques that enable Highland to call anyone on any other video or voice system. StarLeaf also offers industry standard encryption to ensure the privacy of all calls and secure firewall traversal, meaning that Highland’s network defenses remain intact. But, most importantly for a lean operation, Highland does not need any technical IT skills to stay in control of its deployment, a simple management dashboard provides them with all it needs to manage and monitor all of its users and StarLeaf hardware and software endpoints. Highland’s total adoption of StarLeaf puts it at the very heart of their business communication, allowing them to operate with the dexterity and responsiveness that their sector requires. Knowing that StarLeaf operates smoothly and seamlessly in the background with no IT support or input means it can focus on core business, something that any new technology should allow.