Insurance company Youi deploys LifeSize videoconferencing system

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

Insurance company Youi has deployed a new videoconferencing system, as the company’s existing system could not meet the demands of recent business growth.

At Youi, the assessors and claims investigators are employees. Due to the mobile nature of their roles, however, rather than working from a central Youi office all assessors and investigators work from their own homes.

They keep in touch with other offices and staff, participate in weekly meetings and deliver reports and assessments all from the comfort of their own homes, thanks to a videoconferencing system.

The company has been using such videoconferencing since its early days but in 2011, Infrastructure Manager Ricky Balea realised business growth demanded an expansion to the system. There were too many conferences being scheduled and too many participants for the existing equipment.

With the help of Brennan IT, Youi deployed a LifeSize 16-port Bridge, a 32-port expansion and enough Desktop licences to cater for all management and employee needs. This allows the company to conduct numerous multiparty calls at any given time or to carry out a single multiparty call involving up to 48 participants.

“We really just stumbled on LifeSize but once I trialled the gear I found it no different to our previous system in terms of quality of video and audio. That, plus the fact it was cheaper to alternative solutions by a factor of at least 30%, made it a no brainer to buy into LifeSize,” Balea said.

“Although we have physical rooms available, it also gives us the ability to have multiple conferences running without the need for a physical room. It all happens in virtual space,” Balea said.

According to Balea, the deployment was “intuitive”. Day-to-day use has also proved to be easy.

“Because the user interface is simpler and more intuitive, everyone embraced the system from the get-go. A big plus is the fact that you don’t have to be technical in order to drive it. You just set an address on the bridge, give the address to people remote to the office, such as the assessors, and they now have a virtual room to dial in to. Once it’s set up, there’s nothing more to do. The solution runs itself,” Balea said.

The system is used to conduct a claims meeting every Monday and an operational meeting every Friday. In between it’s in almost daily use.

Balea said: “Even within the one metro region, we may have five assessors, each operating from their homes, dialling in to a virtual room for a videoconference rather than coming together and congregating in a single office.”

Time savings and productivity gains are not the only benefits arising from the use of videoconferencing.

“It’s very important to have assessors and claims investigators working this closely with the company, especially when they operate remotely. When you have a facility like videoconferencing, the spin-off is collaboration. You get to tap into the learnings of each staff member. Without question, manageability also becomes that much easier. Without videoconferencing there’s a greater reliance on email or the telephone. You don’t get the same closeness as speaking to someone as if they were sitting in front of you,” Balea said.

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