September 08, 2009 09:01 ET

Swanke Hayden Connell Architects Halves Business Travel With TANDBERG

Video Conferencing Saves Pounds Sterling 25,000 on business travel in first year, enhances international collaboration and improves employee work-life balance

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2009) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this Press Release.

TANDBERG (OSLO:TAA), the leading global provider of telepresence, high-definition video conferencing and mobile video products and services today announces that Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (SHCA) has deployed its systems and realised a reduction in foreign travel, improved employees' work-life balance and facilitated collaborative working on complex projects across multiple locations.

The New York-based global architectural practice now employs around 350 people with offices in London, New York, Paris, Moscow, Istanbul, Sheffield, Miami and Washington DC working on interior design, historic preservation and workplace consulting. When SHCA's considerable growth in Europe created a greater demand for project and management meetings across multiple locations and more frequent collaboration with partners in the wider supply chain, the Company turned to TANDBERG and one of its certified managed service providers, mvision for a new way of working.

Apart from the obvious concerns about the high cost of frequent overseas travel, there were also concerns about the impact on staff's well-being. "Many of our principals spent a considerable amount of time travelling," says Bob Fry, MD, Europe at SHCA. "This has a big impact, particularly on people with families. So, we wanted to improve employees' work-life balance and put less pressure on their personal lives." Video conferencing has halved business travel in the first year, delivering a direct cost saving of Pounds Sterling 25,000.

TANDBERG Edge 95 units were installed up and running within just 24 hours via a fully managed service; allowing video conferencing to be run on mvision's network, with full support at a fixed monthly cost. "When introducing something new, people often have lots of questions," says Jim Ball, IT Director at SHCA. "If we had to deal with everything ourselves, it would put a strain on our small IT department. The managed service means that our IT team is free to focus on more value-adding activities. The equipment also looks good, which is important for us, as a highly design-conscious organisation."

mvision also created an address book style directory for SHCA which allows staff to connect easily with other offices and supply chain partners at the touch of a button. If they have any problems connecting, they simply contact the mvision helpdesk. According to SHCA, desktop video conferencing has allowed more informal and spontaneous video meetings.

Teams based in different locations are now able to collaborate more easily on projects, collaborate with partners in their supply chain, such as engineers, project managers and mechanical and electrical contractors with a highly visual and interactive means of communication. Using a document camera, architects are able to view models and drawings on screen and amend or "red-line" drawings as part of a videoconference meeting. "Until recently, the technology wasn't there to support joint working," says David Hughes, CEO at SHCA. "But, with video conferencing we can truly work across boundaries, collaborating regularly and interactively on projects. It's a huge boon for productivity and I wish we had done it sooner."

SHCA recently won a contract as lead partner on a high-prestige project in Kazakhstan involving some 30-plus sub-contractors. It plans to use video conferencing as a major part of the project, which requires collaboration across a number of SHCA offices and with multiple partners in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia and the US.

"Video conferencing has facilitated more interactive working between offices, improved staff's work-life balance and substantially reduced our travel costs," concludes Fry. In an industry that advises clients on sustainability, it has helped SHCA practise what it preaches.


TANDBERG is the leading global provider of telepresence, high-definition video conferencing and mobile video products and services. Dually headquartered in New York and Norway, TANDBERG designs, develops and markets systems and software for video, voice and data. The company provides sales, support and value-added services in over 90 countries and is publicly traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker TAA.OL. Visit www.tandberg.com for more information.

TANDBERG is a trademark or registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

NOTE: To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link - http://www.marketwire.com/library/20090907-TANDBERG800.jpg

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