LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 13, 2010) - National Grid is set to reduce carbon emissions by 80% before 2050 and, thanks to a telepresence and video conferencing solution delivered by Cable&Wireless Worldwide (LSE:CW.) and TANDBERG (OSLO:TAA), they are making strides towards this target.
Installing video conferencing solutions forms part of Cable&Wireless Worldwide's recent 15-year, £207 million contract with National Grid to design, deliver and manage a dedicated Next-Generation Operational Telecommunications Network (OpTel NGN) to support National Grid's Core Network Infrastructure and Operational Systems. Continuing its partnership approach with Cable&Wireless Worldwide, TANDBERG was selected to provide the telepresence and video conferencing solution.
National Grid's international operation involves regular face-to-face meetings at all levels within the organisation, in particular at the senior levels. The Company estimated that the investment in TANDBERG's T3 and boardroom systems will be recouped within two years by replacing just nine flights per month; a target not specifically tracked but one that is seen as very achievable. National Grid sees opportunities to introduce more flexible working arrangements whilst improving collaborative working and reducing travel. An example of how reliable video has reduced travel costs and time is the re-structured Executive Committee meetings. The monthly face-to-face meeting schedule has now been changed to alternate video and face-to-face meetings. Steve Holliday, National Grid's CEO, now holds regular one-to-ones with his team over video, further enhancing the way business is done.
Howard Parker (IS Senior Infrastructure Project Manager) said: "We wanted daily face-to-face contact for our executives and the response to video has been fantastic. Our meeting rooms are fully booked from first thing in the morning to the end of day. Our executives are regularly using video to conduct face-to-face meetings instead of travelling as they would have previously done. The use of video has driven more collaborative and flexible behaviours within the company. The visual element of telepresence and video conferencing is a far more collaborative way of working and is very easy to use."
An example of how video has introduced flexibility was during the extended cold period at the beginning of the year. An Executive Director was due to attend an Executive Committee meeting in the US, but needed to be in the UK to be available to work with the UK Energy Minister. The ability to attend the meeting via video allowed him to remain fully engaged with the government, whilst still fulfilling his executive duties.
Cheri Warren, Chief of Staff to the CEO, said: "We are all extremely pleased with the outcome. These are state-of-the-art rooms that we are proud to use for our top level meetings. We are now communicating with our colleagues in other locations better than ever before whilst reducing our travel and making us all more productive."
Howard Parker, IS Senior Infrastructure Project Manager at National Grid, said: "We have grown from being a UK company to an Anglo-American one. As we melded our two cultures and harmonised the way we work, the cost of doing business by flying people across the Atlantic was rapidly increasing. Clearly, we needed to reduce travel costs and increase productivity."
Parker added: "As an organisation we had a number of video systems on ISDN technology but there was no consistent support for them and they didn't allow interaction over video. By working with Cable&Wireless Worldwide and TANDBERG, we now have a dedicated network, quality of service and a single point of contact, which has given us the confidence to use video. We know that all we have to do is ring a helpline and our problem will be fixed immediately."
Jim Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, added: "As part of our strategic relationship with National Grid, we're delighted to be providing our Managed Video Conferencing (MVC) solution, which includes the deployment of TANDBERG's telepresence suites at National Grid sites. This technology not only changes the way business is conducted but helps tackle a number of key business challenges."
Geir Olsen, TANDBERG's President, EMEA, commented: "Working closely with Cable&Wireless Worldwide has proven how strong partnerships are critical to meeting customer needs. Using video, National Grid has transformed the way it conducts business. Employees have adopted a new way of working which involves collaborating with global teams more effectively as well as being more productive during working hours. They also enjoy a much better work-life balance and reduce their carbon emissions."
Cable&Wireless Worldwide installed four TANDBERG T3 telepresence solutions in National Grid's corporate Headquarters in London, National Headquarters in Warwick, US offices in Brooklyn, NY and in the US Headquarters in Reservoir Woods, Massachusetts. As well as installing TANDBERG's technology, Cable&Wireless Worldwide provided the managed services and training to National Grid employees – a critical element in providing the communications infrastructure. It also worked with National Grid and TANDBERG to implement a number of HD desktop video systems, two conference room systems and in small and large meeting rooms.
Among the key factors in TANDBERG being selected to support National Grid's visual communications programme, are the interoperability of its award-winning solutions with other platforms, as well as the superiority and ease of use of TANDBERG telepresence. Furthermore, the strength of the Cable&Wireless Worldwide and TANDBERG partnership, coupled with the flexibility of a bespoke solution, helped make the National Grid project a success.
About Cable & Wireless
Cable&Wireless Worldwide (LSE:CW.) aims to be the first-choice provider of mission critical communications for large users of telecoms. Cable&Wireless Worldwide is one of the world's leading critical communication companies, providing a range of high-quality managed voice, data and IP-based services and applications to large corporates, multinational companies, governments, carrier customers and resellers across the UK, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East & Africa, Continental Europe and North America.
Stretching to more than 500,000 km, the Cable&Wireless Worldwide global next-generation network (NGN) includes the UK's largest fibre network for business communications, and provides connectivity to 153 countries. The Company's Multi-Service Platform, an IP-based next-generation platform that operates across the NGN, offers a single environment on which voice and data applications can be converged to drive business efficiencies.
To find out more, visit www.cw.com.
For more information about Cable&Wireless, go to http://www.cw.com.
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.
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