How Yorktel Saved Financial Institution Hundreds of Thousands in Videoconferencing Costs

In reviewing the financial institution’s new building plans, Yorktel quickly discovered that it wasn’t prepared with sufficient conduit for new videoconferencing equipment, saving the company hundreds of thousands in extra costs.

CI Staff

When it comes to videoconferencing planning and implementation costs, it can get pricey for companies, especially if they don’t take into consideration whether or not their buildings are properly prepared for new videoconferencing equipment.

With help from Yorktel, a financial institution (name not provided by Yorktel) was able to avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in added costs when implementing its new videoconferencing system.

After Hurricane Sandy hit its New York offices and significantly reduced the New York employees’ ability to stay productive outside of the office, the financial institution looked to implement a more flexible videoconferencing system that would allow employees to work outside of the office and maintain productivity levels.

The financial institution’s AV department wanted the IT department to manage the new system. Due to the level of expertise required to assess and upgrade the system, the IT department brought in Yorktel as a consultant.

The financial institution looked to Yorktel to address the following challenges:

  • Conference room hijacking.This occurred when a person or group reserved a conference room for a specified period, but their conference extended beyond the allotted time. This meant the next person or group had to either start their conference late or scramble to find another room.
  • Inflexibility of the legacy system. Users could only use the system from a dedicated conference room, and they could only conduct videoconferences with other parties who used the same system.
  • The company wanted an additional videoconferencing system in its new 12-story building in Jersey City that was about to begin construction.

Uncovering Major Building Construction Errors

Yorktel’s Professional Services team reviewed the building plans to make sure the new building would be properly prepared for the videoconferencing equipment. They quickly found that it wasn’t.

“Almost right away, we detected that there was insufficient conduit spec’d for the project and the conduit recommended by their building project manager was undersized,” says Erick Race, strategic account manager at Yorktel in a Yorktel case study. “Considering that the conduit was to be run in the walls and in the floors, it would have created significant problems if the error had not been caught ahead of time.”

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According to Race, the AV project alone was already going to cost the financial services company $5.5 million in new equipment, infrastructure, software and services.

By catching the building contractor’s errors, Yorktel was able to save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional rework costs, which would have also delayed their expected completion time by several months.

“In addition to ensuring they had the right size and amount of conduit for microphone wires, speaker wires, control cabling and other wiring, we educated them about effective use of room acoustics, lighting and color,” adds Race.

Yorktel Solves Cisco, Microsoft Incompatibility Challenge

Yorktel implemented Cisco Telepresence solutions in 130+ spaces, including conference rooms, training areas, and message display areas located throughout the financial company’s new building. It also added managed services and support to the project.

The integrator built a $900,000 professional studio for the customer, too, which is used for internal marketing and live televised interviews. The project also entailed outfitting the company’s hallways and other designated areas throughout the building with digital signage displays.

“We provide endpoint monitoring and support services from our video NOC, which detects and troubleshoots problems ranging from video packet jitter to video equipment problems,” says Race.

“This was important to them because neither their A/V team nor IT department had the resources or experience to take on that responsibility, and it is an area we specialize in. Besides providing them with remote monitoring and support, we have three Yorktel engineers on site each day to ensure any equipment or connection issues are addressed and remediated right away.”

During implementation, Yorktel discovered a lack of interoperability between the Cisco video conferencing system and the customer’s Lync (now called Skype for Business) bridge.

In 2013, the financial institution was using 5,300 total ISDN hours a month. Today, that number has dropped by nearly 98 percent to only 110 ISDN hours per month.

“We quickly began researching and comparing collaboration platforms and selected Acano [which was later acquired by Cisco], which resolved the issue without requiring any equipment changes to the project,” says Race.

Since completion three years ago, the customer has continued to grow and has added new locations in Florida, Texas and three other countries, says Race.

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“When we first started working with them they had 143 videoconferencing end points, and today they have close to 240 end points that we are managing for them.”

In 2013, the financial institution was using 5,300 total ISDN hours a month. Today, that number has dropped by nearly 98 percent to only 110 ISDN hours per month.

More recently, they acquired a company with five locations that was using a legacy Polycom videoconferencing system, and that will likely lead to the need for additional videoconferencing end points and upgrades in the near future, according to Race.

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