Blog: All Things Nortec

Professional Services Firm Reduces Travel Time and Expense with Video Conferencing Solution

The Background

Solomon Edwards is a privately held, national professional services firm focused on strategy execution. Headquartered outside Philadelphia, with offices strategically located throughout major U.S. cities, the firm serves both domestic and multinational clients.

Since inception in 1999, Solomon Edwards has supported thousands of clients of varying sizes across a wide range of industry sectors – from emerging growth companies, to Fortune 500 corporations, to government agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Challenge

Like many companies, Solomon Edwards meets quarterly with partners and senior executives in order to stay connected and conduct quarterly business reviews. However, with eight offices spread throughout the United States, travel time and expenses were significant. Lito Abiva, Director of Information Technology at Solomon Edwards had been researching video conferencing solutions throughout the years, but had determined that connecting boardroom to boardroom and was too expensive due to hardware costs.

When the firm honed its offerings and locations to 3 offices in Wayne, Houston and San Francisco in 2015, Lito saw an opportunity to re-visit video conferencing as a way to save on travel cost and still have a person-to-person

The Solution

Lito contacted Nortec to review video conferencing solutions. Nortec recommended Lifesize as it offers web, audio and video conferencing through cloud-based conferencing software. “Nortec showed us the Lifesize demo and we immediately saw that this could really work for us,” Lito says.

In fact, Nortec allowed Solomon Edwards to use that demo unit for its very first virtual 2-day quarterly meeting.

“Everyone was so positive on the experience that we felt the solution would work going forward,” Lito says. “It was all so seamless, with absolutely zero issues –due to all the pre-work Nortec did to make sure we were up to speed and could run our meeting.”

This first virtual quarterly meeting was intended as a proof of concept for Lito: “We needed our partners’ buy-in, and because Nortec understood the true requirements we wanted to deliver to the partners, that allowed us to move forward with this solution for our quarterly meetings.”

The Benefits

Lito says that the firm’s Travel and Expense budget has been reduced by $5,000-$6,000 per meeting. “In a year’s time, it’s close to paying for itself,” Lito says.

Beyond the cost savings, executives and partners are able to be more productive, with fewer lost hours travelling. “I think everyone enjoys this more – because instead of 2 days of dedicated meeting time, it’s more like 4 hours of really effective meeting time and you can still drive your business,” says Lito.

The firm has expanded its use of video conferencing to trainings and employment interviews. Rather than send an instructor to a site for training, or require a job candidate to travel to an interview, the firm has been conducting training and interviews via Lifesize. “The technology has been flawless. Absolutely no complaints about the Lifesize solution,” says Lito.

“We are looking into extending the utility of the solution even further,” says Lito. “There are so many possibilities with the sales teams and recruitment teams – it’s exciting.”

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