Through a tailored approach and utilising existing hardware, Parkinson’s UK were able to equip their meeting rooms with an easy-to-use solution that gives everyone the same great experience and inclusivity, no matter where they are dialling in.
Parkinson’s UK is the largest European charitable funder of Parkinson’s research, and leads the way in driving better care, treatments and quality of life for people living with the condition. The charity offers support and information to people affected by Parkinson’s, including families, friends, and carers.
Parkinson’s UK operates a hybrid working model, with around 40% of employees being office-based and 60% working remotely. In 2019, Parkinson’s UK decided to deploy Google Workspace with the help of Netpremacy. However, their existing meeting room hardware didn’t account for the accessibility features and functionality that Google Workspace provided, which resulted in a poor enablement experience for the end-users. Remote workers would use Google Meet and benefit from Recording a Meeting and Companion Mode. In contrast, users in the office would dial in from a meeting room using a third-party tool that wouldn’t support the same features. To keep their entire workforce connected and ensure meetings were accessible for all, Parkinson’s UK wanted to deploy a simple solution that delivered a barrier-free experience.
Parkinson’s UK required a system that required minimum effort for end users to join meetings, a simple one-touch experience and low IT support maintenance.
“It’s all about the experience and inclusion, ensuring that you give everybody in the meeting as much of an equal experience as possible. Some of us are at home, some might be in a cafe, and others are together in a meeting room. We were looking for an equitable solution that gives the same great experience for everyone.” – Shaun Le Geyt, CIO at Parkinson’s UK.
It allows everyone, everywhere, in the charity to connect on the same platform and use the same handy features, such as Google Meet Recording, Polls and Breakout Rooms – popular features with many teams in the organisation. High-quality video and audio, Live-Captions and, in particular, Companion Mode are also utilised to improve collaboration and give remote users a seamless experience.
Google Meet Hardware has given Parkinson’s UK better enablement and stability than their previous video conferencing solution and has contributed to an improved collaborative environment. The new set-up complements the flexible/hybrid working culture. The feedback from the end users across the organisation has been positive, with many commenting on the simplicity of clicking once to join a meeting rather than an unnecessarily complicated process.
“From the technical side, it was transformational for us and as simple as anything. It does exactly what I wanted: a one-touch solution. We now get consistent feedback about how good the meeting rooms are.” – Shaun Le Geyt, CIO at Parkinson’s UK.
In addition to ease and functionality, Google Meet Hardware was also cost-effective. As a charity, Parkinson’s UK needs to be lean and maximise their current technology stack and the technologies they procure. Replacing the whole office with new meeting room hardware would have been costly. However, with the help of Netpremacy, Parkinson’s UK was able to use their existing cameras and microphones but incorporate these with additional Logitech hardware required to deliver the mandated meeting room experience. By only sourcing the equipment that was needed, it meant the rollout process was quick and straightforward. This was also a more commercially viable approach for Parkinson’s UK.
As a result of deploying Google Meet Hardware, Parkinson’s UK have successfully:
Built a Google-centric workforce. The features in Google Meet have significantly increased adoption amongst office-based teams, with colleagues accepting and embracing the change and benefitting from the functionality and features that the hardware provides.
Boosted communication and collaboration between hybrid workers. Google Meet Hardware in the office meeting rooms was the final link in connecting their office and home workers, allowing them to foster and enable hybrid working.
Improved IT resource efficiency. As Google Meet Hardware auto-updates the device and the software, there is no need for the Tech teams to manage and maintain the equipment – it looks after itself.
Strengthen their inclusive culture. Parkinson’s UK wants to continue building a more inclusive hybrid environment. They plan to bring in additional hardware, such as extra cameras to spotlight the speaker and double screens so people in the room can continue to see all the remote attendees, making the experience much more rounded and accessible for all. The new interoperability features between Google Meet and Zoom will be beneficial to Parkinson’s UK and enable business change across a broader scale. Many of Parkinon’s UK communities use Zoom, which will allow people to feel included and dial into meetings on their preferred platform.
Maximise their tech potential. Parkinson’s UK is in the process of reducing its office footprint, so it will be crucial to optimise its new office space going forward. Further collaboration with Google Calendar and implementing the Logitech Tap Schedulers, Parkinson’s UK will look to automate the room booking process by suggesting the appropriately sized room; based on the number of guests and release rooms if a booking has been cancelled.
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