National legal firm Stone King has grown rapidly over the last few years, opening offices in Leeds and Birmingham to add to its existing network in London, Cambridge and its two offices in Bath.
Despite having a video conferencing system already in place as part of its telecommunications infrastructure, as Stone King grew the limitations of this system became more and more apparent. While staff based in the Bath and London offices could set up calls and invite three to four different parties, staff based in other locations - such as the Cambridge office - could not. This inflexibility was hampering communication and collaboration across the business and increasing travel and accommodation costs.
Tim Roche, head of IT at Stone King, explained the impact that the legacy video conferencing system was having on the firm’s ability to communicate with external participants: “As a legal practice, we often need to organise video conferences internally between national teams, with outside representatives and occasionally with a client. However, with our existing video conferencing system it was immensely difficult to connect external participants and we would often spend a portion of the meeting trying to get everyone to join the call. It was clear that the system was coming to the end of its usable life and that we needed a replacement that was easier to use and would give us more flexibility in our communications.”
After an analysis of the existing video conferencing system, Stone King concluded that it would be more cost effective to deploy StarLeaf’s cloud-based video conferencing platform rather than support and upgrade the existing system.
Tim Roche explained: “It was clear that our existing system was not giving us the platform for collaboration and flexibility it needed. When we began investigating video collaboration solutions we were initially leaning towards updating our existing system. However, when we were introduced to the team at StarLeaf, we saw that we could have a much more advanced video conferencing system, with better functionality, for less than we would pay to continue supporting the existing Cisco system.”
StarLeaf’s video conferencing solution was deployed across Stone King’s business, enabling every employee to access the benefits of improved collaboration and communication. In addition to implementing StarLeaf’s desktop platform across the business, the StarLeaf GT Mini 3330 was deployed in the conference rooms to provide high definition voice and video calling with a secure, encrypted connection and easy-to-use interface.
Every office is now able to schedule and organise all conference calls at the touch of a button, with the option of bringing in other offices if necessary, in contrast to the previous system. StarLeaf’s solution has also made it much easier for staff to communicate with external participants, as they are able to join conference calls hosted by StarLeaf regardless of the video conferencing client they use.
Tim Roche stated: “Stone King is really proud of its history, going all the way back to 1785, but we also embrace the future of working, using technology to help our partners and staff work the way they want to. Like many modern firms we are rolling out a more flexible working policy with an agile approach to office working. Using a combination of Hot Desks, IT remote access systems and the ability to connect to office meetings using the StarLeaf desktop client, for the first time we can support our people working from home, at a client’s office or even in a coffee shop with full access to the communications systems that we have in our offices.”
The flexibility of the StarLeaf video conferencing system has also enabled Stone King to make significant financial savings. With staff able to set up and coordinate video conferences from any office or location, travel expenditure has been reduced by 10%.
Partners no longer need to travel across the country for internal meetings when every Stone King office can seamlessly connect to each other via StarLeaf. With the whole business using StarLeaf and the lower cost of operating the system, Stone King estimates that it will be just three months before it sees a return on its investment.
Tim concluded: “StarLeaf has really helped to modernise the IT operations of our business. Not only do we have much better functionality with the StarLeaf system, the user experience is also much improved. Previously the IT team was often called into conference rooms to fix an issue or to get a call up and running; now, with StarLeaf, staff can use the GT Mini 3330 to connect to the call and get started, with a minimum of fuss. StarLeaf’s video conferencing system has helped us to run more efficiently as a business, working with more agility and flexibility, and communicating and collaborating more effectively with our colleagues based around the country.”