Better Collective is a developer of digital platforms for betting tips, bookmaker information and iGaming communities. From its Copenhagen headquarters, Better Collective’s portfolio includes more than 2,000 websites and products and five international offices with more than 225 employees.
The company sought videoconferencing and communication systems to build relationships and a stronger corporate culture across its offices and to communicate with external organisations and enable more reliable meetings. This started with two meeting rooms at the Copenhagen office. The company is in a period of strong growth, making real-time communication increasingly important as a way of keeping employees and external stakeholders connected across its five global offices.
Headquartered in Copenhagen, Better Collective recently acquired another company based in Vienna and wanted to create a unified, inclusive culture across offices. This extended to external stakeholders located in different countries including investors and bankers. Therefore, the brief was for a solution that would work for both internal and external communications.
Better Collective’s internal design team worked closely with Ricoh Denmark and selected the Ricoh UCS Advanced platform for its ease of use and interoperability with its other collaboration technologies for day-to-day communications including G Suite. “With our mixed videoconferencing environment, we needed a simple way to tie it all together. Ricoh UCS Advanced serves as that bridge,” says Martin Andersen, IT manager at Better Collective.
The initial roll out of the system was at Better Collective’s Copenhagen HQ, which currently includes 130 employees and has two meeting rooms including its flagship Copenhagen Meeting Room. The office in central Copenhagen is in an historic building, originally located on one floor, but has now been expanded over 10 floors and is designed as an open space environment. As part of the project, it was important to blend the new technology with the historic aesthetics of the space.
After reviewing a couple of options, the company selected Ricoh UCS Advanced in combination with Polycom. Better Collective has equipped its main office in Copenhagen with several Polycom Group 310 devices registered to the Ricoh UCS Advanced cloud, and teams now have the ability to join meetings hosted on other services like Skype for Business straight from the conference room.
The main goal for the two rooms was to provide a meeting environment that would be highly collaborative with wireless video and audio file sharing. Following the upgrade, the flagship meeting space, Meeting Room Copenhagen, which is for approximately 12 people, includes a Philips Q-Line 84in full HD LED display at the front of the room, working with the Polycom 310 videoconferencing system. Completing the Polycom solutions is the microphone array hanging from the ceiling and delivering optimal audio during meetings. The Neets Echo control panel is located at the side of the room, which is an eight-button control system with built-in controller, and the Corner Audio speakers are mounted horizontally by the wooden ceiling beams. Barco ClickShare CS-100 enables wireless content sharing between users. The Ricoh UCS Advanced Virtual Meeting Room platform provides virtual meeting rooms for employees around the world to connect to the virtual space via browser, Skype or smartphone.
There is a similar set up in the second meeting room, on a smaller scale. However, instead of a central LED display there are two Panasonic LCD WXGA projectors mounted on top of the ceiling beams. The other difference is Apart Audio speakers are mounted by the side of the wooden ceiling beams and there is no Neets Echo control panel.
A big reason why the Ricoh UCS Advanced solution met the brief was around its ease of use for staff. “Now, our employees can join meetings from their desktop, web browser, mobile phone, or the conference room,” comments Andersen. “Ricoh UCS Advanced calls are easy to join, regardless of how you access the service or where you are.”
Feedback from employees has all been positive, centred on the usability, accessibility and higher quality than the previous videoconferencing service. Ricoh UCS Advanced runs on a dedicated global network built for video, which means media traffic doesn’t compete with other traffic and bandwidth is never capped, so the video and audio feeds are in sync and reliable.
The company has said its employees around the world now feel more connected than and the scheduled video meetings have built a stronger sense of inclusion and camaraderie among offices. A big part of the success in driving user adoption has been the IT team’s efforts to train and educate employees on the service. The team sends emails, posts information in conference rooms, and helps ensure that users are self-sufficient on the service. Now that the first phase of the Better Collective deployment is completed, the team looks forward to expanding the service to other offices around the world.
“I would recommend Ricoh UCS Advanced to anyone looking for an easy-to-use videoconferencing service that integrates with other solutions like Polycom, Microsoft, and Google,” concludes Andersen. “In fact, I’ve already recommended Ricoh UCS Advanced to my former boss and told him he needs to start using it.”