Along with our recent move to a new office in London we also this year opened a dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC) in Hemel Hempstead. With a growing client base it was important we kept service levels the same and had staff within a few feet of client’s hosted equipment. With our four datacentres in the city predominantly used for connectivity, most customers have taken space in the Hemel site, Centro. The site went live last year and is cutting edge, offering high levels of power perfect for virtual environments.
With part of the site unable to take racks due to loads on the floor it was deemed perfect for a new support team who will operate on a 24/7 rota. With the rest of the site already manned 24/7 it also helps with Health & Safety regulations on lone workers.
But what has proved most successful in my mind is the technology we deployed to link the two offices together. With Fluidata’s current support team based in London it was important the two teams could communicate effectively with each other. Therefore when designing the offices we implemented HD video conferencing which sits permanently at the end of each team to allow them a ‘window’ to the other. By running it continuously it means that very quickly the technology is forgotten about and the relationship between the staff could flourish.< It doesn’t mean there isn’t any on site contact, but it does mean it can be reduced, and both offices are able to work more as one. Visitors have been impressed by the quality and its effectiveness. You just walk up to the screen (or for the support teams sit at your desk) and talk to each other. I think the perception is one that video should be the thing sitting in the boardroom collecting dust, rather than an integral part of the office environment. There are, of course, other benefits such as green credentials and ROI (in terms of reduced transport) but for me the main driver is the collaboration it drives within the business.
I think that is a very good idea.
Do you mind me asking what hardware / software you use for the video conferencing?
For this install we are using LifeSize and their passport system. However you can get similar solutions from Cisco and Polycom. We work with lots of video partners so let me know if you want me to put you in touch with some of them.