Prime time all the time: building ubiquitous video at Accenture 
Published: Apr-11-12
 

With Accenture’s quarter of a million employees working with clients in 120 countries, the need for innovative technologies to facilitate and support virtual collaboration was unmistakable. I am Bill Hub, senior director of Workplace Technology and Collaboration at Accenture, and in this two-part blog I will discuss the global videoconferencing network that has enhanced the way we work and improved our enterprise.

Our vision was to build a ubiquitous videoconferencing system that enhances collaboration and enables users to interact with other technologies. We wanted a dependable worldwide network that would make our India teams feel like they were in the same room with our Chicago teams, or across the table from clients in South America. Our answer was to invest in technology that delivers “always-on” videoconferencing supported by our robust network infrastructure. We’d already integrated voice, data and video to a single multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network that guarantees bandwidth and high quality. Our next step was to expand our existing suite of Telepresence sites, and add further videoconferencing solutions such as desktop video via webcams, EX Series video and Roundtable. You can learn more about our network transformation in this credential.

 

Flawless videoconferencing quality is required to mimic face-to-face meetings. So we implemented interactive, high definition, life size video systems with cameras that zoom in on the speaker and track their movements, enabling a “like being there” experience for users. Virtual corridors, which connect common areas in multiple locales with huge video screens, enable spontaneous collaboration and conversations with team members across the globe.

We were the first in our industry to establish video bridging, which allows different videoconferencing systems to communicate seamlessly using the international H.323 video interoperability standard. Telepresence now connects with several other platforms, fundamentally changing the way Accenture communicates internally and with clients.

We built it, but would they use it? To gain acceptance, Accenture’s senior management team agreed to test-drive our videoconferencing capabilities. They understood that this could profoundly change the way we work with each other and our clients. And they could see the potential for enormous cost savings. Quickly, they became champions of videoconferencing. Their endorsement spread throughout Accenture’s worldwide ranks; steady adoption of videoconferencing is evident. Today, Accenture has over 100 Telepresence sites, 90,000 laptops enabled with webcams and 400 high-end video solutions like EX Series video and Roundtable. More than 5,000 hours of Telepresence conferences are held each month. You can read more about our video capabilities in this credential.

 

Clearly, our people value up close and personal team meetings with their global colleagues, while still enjoying the luxury of eating dinner at home. As our CEO Pierre Nanterme said, “What’s normal now is to have a virtual meeting. The fallback is the physical meeting.”

 

Would your enterprise benefit from enhanced videoconferencing capabilities? Let me know what you are doing in this area!

 
 
 
 
May-15-12
Videoconferencing is best way to communicate with distance person as all post i like this one very much Accenture really rocks
 
 
kamal bhatt   |   May-15-12   |  03:54 AM
Apr-17-12
Mark, thanks for reading and the comments. Our ROI has been based on travel reductions and/or real estate reductions. We have found that the investments we have made in videoconferencing pay for themselves. With that said, Videoconferencing does not just have to mean expensive room based solutions, we also have an endpoint videoconferencing strategy. We can do videoconferencing from notebook to notebook, without the costs of incremental technology or room remediation. You also can enhance this experience with consumer monitors and follow the speaker cameras to create a very effective and low cost strategy.
 
 
Bill Hub   |   Apr-17-12   |  11:53 AM
Apr-17-12
It seems to me that any company with a global presence would benefit from enhanced videoconferencing capabilities. But how would you suggest a company without the deep pockets of Accenture develop that infrastructure in a way that creates a positive ROI?
 
 
Mark Parisi   |   Apr-17-12   |  09:19 AM

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