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24 September, 2013 - 21:10 By News Desk

Red Gate takes fear out of video conferencing


Red Gate Software, a global provider of software tools used by over 600,000 SQL Server, .Net and Oracle professionals, says that adopting Cambridge technology BlinkPipe has removed the fear from video conference meetings.

Red Gate was founded in 1999 in Cambridge UK and in May 2011 opened a US sales office in Pasadena, California. It also recently opened an office in Singapore. Keen for the company to ‘feel as one’ and develop the company culture in the new offices, Red Gate turned to video conferencing.

“Initially we had a ‘US window’ in the open-plan sales area of the Cambridge UK office with the equivalent in the new Pasadena office,” explained Simon Johnson, head of sales EMEA. “This was essentially a high-end webcam with microphone on a large plasma screen with a laptop.”

This ‘home grown’ solution didn’t meet Red Gate’s requirements. “It simply didn’t deliver the right quality that we needed,” said Johnson.

Red Gate then tried Live Meeting with a Polycom Panoramic system. However this didn’t give a quick and easy solution. First they had to make sure that the PC was on and had the correct version of Live Meeting installed on each and every client. Then they had to make sure all participants had the correct link, sending the link around before every single meeting.

“I used to really worry about video conference meetings, feeling that if the equipment didn’t work it would reflect poorly on me,” admitted Johnson. “In an ideal world I would have liked to test the equipment before the meeting start time, but as our meeting rooms are heavily used this was rarely possible.

“I often found that we would lose 15 minutes at the start of meetings which is really bad for morale and business. Once this happens, the meeting tempo is lost.” This was when Red Gate chose Blink Pipe.

Red Gate’s CEO, Simon Galbraith, explained: “We wanted to be able to interact with our staff around the world in the richest, most powerful way possible. We chose BlinkPipe because we loved the concept: a video conference call that takes no more energy or effort than a telephone call.”

Red Gate now makes around eight hours of BlinkPipe HD video conference calls per week. With the Pasadena office and the newly opened Singapore office taking extra cameras this number is expected to rise significantly.

“As BlinkPipe has removed the fear and complexity from video conference communication, we now conduct a wide range of meetings via video conference including 1:1s, global sales meetings, marketing and development updates, and sales review meetings with the Leadership Team,” said Simon Johnson.

“As BlinkPipe is so easy to use, I can also conduct quick ad hoc 5/10 minute conversations with my US colleagues in a private meeting room rather than grappling with the frustrations of Skype at my desk in an open plan office.

“With BlinkPipe I no longer have the fear and embarrassment of the technology not working and wasting 20 minutes of the call trying to get it all to work. I have increased the amount of time I spend in video conference meetings rather than avoiding it.

“As we no longer have to spend time trying to get the video conferencing equipment to work I estimate that BlinkPipe has saved Red Gate at least three hours a week. BlinkPipe has shifted the perception that video conferencing is a pain.”

Simon Galbraith described the benefits that BlinkPipe brings to Red Gate. “I use BlinkPipe to hold company meetings with our entire US office. Having a widescreen HD picture on a big TV means that I get instant feedback on how my message is coming across in a way that’s just not possible with lower-fidelity video chat.

“The fact that BlinkPipe uses our stable phone system also means that I never have to worry that I’m not being heard, and I’m never interrupted mid-flow with ‘Can you say that again? You just cut out’.

“We can’t wait for the next batch of cameras that we have on order to arrive so that we can extend the availability of BlinkPipe HD video conferencing even further.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Red Gate using BlinkPipe

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