Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco endpoints
Industry: Oil and Gas
Vendors: Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, O365
Gateway/MCU: Cisco Webex CVI
Endpoint: Cisco Webex
Number of endpoints: 75
“We saw that most of our users were very unsure of how the meeting rooms worked.
Not only that, there was a general dissatisfaction towards the IT department because the users didn't understand how to get it to work”
“Suddenly there was ONE way to do it all, and the room for user error was almost eliminated. With Synergy SKY on top of our current workflow and technical setup, we were able to make the meeting journey a lot easier for our users.”
Jørn Snorre Andersen
IT Collaboration Lead - Neptune Energy
As a result of mergers and acquisitions and transitioning to globalized roles, Neptune Energy was experiencing a higher use of video conferencing. However, in a mixed vendor environment, users found the technology challenging to utilize.
Neptune Energy began using Skype for Business as an on-prem deployment together with Atea Anywhere in late 2018, before moving to Office365 and then moving again to Microsoft Teams in 2020. Now they have incorporated Cisco Webex as CVI.
In the Summer of 2018, they were joined by VNG who had invested heavily in Cisco equipment for their meeting rooms. They then decided to use Skype for Business as their desktop collaboration platform, and used Atea Anywhere (Pexip) as their interop to Cisco, before transitioning to Cisco Webex.
“We saw that most of our users were very unsure of how the meeting rooms worked. Not only that, there was a general dissatisfaction towards the IT department because the users didn't understand how to get it to work,” Jørn Snorre Andersen, IT Collaboration Lead at Neptune Energy says.
Most users of video meetings don’t have deep-seated knowledge of computers and meeting room equipment.
“Very few are actually able to make use of all the functionalities the different vendors offer today. Having a simple setup is extremely important for their workflow”.
When VNG joined Neptune in the summer of 2018, they had two main office locations and saw the importance of being able to collaborate through high-quality video conferencing. They had standardized on Cisco rooms and had no Skype-equipped rooms at that time.
Neptune Energy decided to use Skype for Business as their meeting room platform in combination with Atea Anywhere later that fall.
The IT Manager of VNG, who became the IT manager at Neptune after the merger, met Synergy SKY at the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona. He saw how the solution could solve the complexities around their mixed environment and suggested that Neptune Energy implement the Synergy SKY solution.
With Synergy SKY, the workflow will be undisrupted when the technical solution is changed or moved from on-prem to cloud. Users can join the video meetings from anywhere - with one click to join, regardless of the platform. Meeting invitations with simple and intuitive call-in details are provided automatically every time a user schedule a meeting.
Neptune deployed the Synergy SKY solution at the end of 2018. At this point, they were using some Skype for Business, some Microsoft Teams, and had Cisco endpoints and some Skype for Business MTR in their meeting rooms.
They did a lunch and learn for the employees to teach them how to schedule, join, and forward meetings to rooms and other participants with the new setup, all in one way.
Neptune intended to spend 2020 implementing Teams in their meeting rooms, but they got a Teams CVI in place in December of 2019 to support the projects that were already using Teams at that time. Then Covid-19 happened.
“When we started working remotely in March, we began using Microsoft Teams from home while Operations and Drilling were still in the office and on the rigs using our Cisco equipment.”
Now the entire organization has also deployed Cisco Webex as a platform.
After having implemented the then-called Synergy SKY Suite in 2018, Neptune Energy could easily move from on-prem to cloud, and later to a new cloud, without having to disrupt the workflow for any of their users. "We didn’t experience any challenges using Synergy SKY, everything just worked.”
When they had to roll out Teams during the pandemic in 2020, they already had Synergy SKY as a layer on top. This made the transition pain-free for both IT and users of video conferencing, as there was no disruption in the workflow.
The result of this was far less pressure on the IT department regarding collaboration issues, and the users were happy and satisfied with the transition.
“All we had to do was switch out the Skype symbol in Outlook, and the users didn’t even notice the change. They kept doing what they had been doing for over a year. That made 2020 a whole lot easier for us,” Andersen says.
Andersen says that simple solutions are key for successful collaboration and that most users of video meetings don’t have deep-seated knowledge of computers and meeting room equipment.
“Very few are actually able to make use of all the add-on functionalities the different vendors offer today. Having a simple setup is extremely important for their workflow”.
“The less you have to communicate and explain to the end-user, the better. With Synergy SKY we didn’t have to communicate anything apart from the simple lunch and learn session to introduce the new approach.”
“Our success is that we have now taught our users one simple way of using the meeting rooms and created an infrastructure that supports this,” Andersen says.