Heinz is going live with a global videoconferencing roll-out. The deployment has been made possible by improvements to a corporate-wide converged network that is already reaping big savings for the food manufacturer.
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The company has been using Cable & Wireless to manage and develop its network since 2000. In that time, operational running costs have been reduced by about half, and bandwidth has increased considerably.
In the past year, Heinz was upgraded by Cable & Wireless onto a new network configuration to improve localised management of its voice, data and video traffic across nearly 100 locations.
Chris Middlehurst, head of shared services at Heinz, told Computer Weekly that the move towards videoconferencing had been made possible by the maturing of IP technologies.
"As the Cisco technology evolves we are seeing more features that enable collaboration.
"Webcams are now a very simple add-on, and we are already seeing big benefits from video collaboration, particularly between different cultures within the business. The face-to-face meetings enabled by webcams are improving colloboration as well being cost effective."
A report by analyst firm Yankee Group found that, since the converged network's original installation, Heinz has accumulated a 10% operational saving from the European network alone.
Middlehurst said videoconferencing would be particularly helpful to Heinz because it is pursuing an acquisitive strategy. The drive for new businesses has led the company to expand into countries including China.
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