Catlin Group Limited is a global insurance organisation, underwriting in both insurance and reinsurance. With a network of offices in more than 55 cities worldwide, premium volume in 2011 was $4.5 billion and the company employs nearly 2,000 people, with about half based in its office in London. Catlin Syndicate 2003 is the largest syndicate at Lloyd’s and the Group is a recognised world insurance leader.
Catlin’s existing global communications network consisted of a wide range of systems and solutions that all needed to be harmonised. The company already used video conferencing, but found the image quality was not ideal and existing room based systems had not been properly integrated, which in turn resulted in a lack of usage, an increase in travel costs and a larger carbon footprint. Catlin sought to upgrade to a High Definition unified communications (UC) video conferencing collaboration solution with a requirement for scalable open standards based interoperability that was both backwards- and forwards-compatible. The solution had to be interoperable and seamlessly tie into other room technologies and other conferencing requirements. The solution also had to provide its workforce, partners and clients with the ultimate meeting experience, no matter where in the world they are based or what equipment / technology they were using.
Solutions and Implementation
In 2009, Catlin made its first deployment of High Definition conferencing through the Polycom® RealPresence® Room Solutions, (HDX® 9000’s and HDX® 8000’s). The quality improvement was immediately recognised and prompted the deployment of the Polycom® RealPresence® Resource Manager CMA™ 4000 to improve the management of endpoints along with CMA™ Desktop video conferencing to provide a more flexible working environment. Catlin required further scalability to its video solution to enable improved teamwork, collaborative decision making and productivity. By early 2010, a trial of the Polycom® RealPresence® Collaboration Server (RMX® 2000) had been completed. This was deemed very successful and three RMX 2000’s were installed in London, Singapore and Atlanta, to enable Catlin to combine multi-party voice, video,
and content collaboration sessions together. A Polycom® RealPresence® Virtualisation Manager (DMA™ 7000) was also implemented to enable the dynamic distribution of calls based on priority and bandwidth availability.
When the company outgrew its existing offices in London, they commissioned Polycom specialists ProAV to deliver a complete solution that integrated the world’s most advanced video conferencing facilities with traditional AV systems. Catlin completed the move to a new London office in early 2011 and the centerpiece of the installations were custom designed fully immersive telepresence suites based on Polycom® RealPresence® Room solutions and the Polycom® AIX™ video systems.
Smaller meeting and dedicated training rooms are based on Polycom® RealPresence® Room solutions such as the HDX® series and codecs. Catlin now have three AIX 300’s plus three AIX 200’s room systems installed in their London office which are being utilised for a wide variety of meetings. Ihese are also being rolled out across other Catlin locations globally and Catlin now have over 60 HDX’s across the globe.
In late 2011, Catlin extended its video conferencing solution to install a further 3 Polycom® RealPresence® Secure Access Manager (VBP Series) and Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile Solutions globally. Ihis latest deployment was to facilitate improved communications with Clients within and beyond the firewall through the use of mobile devices such as iPads and laptops and allows internal and external teams to collaborate more easily and effectively over video. Ihis has proven very popular with staff who often have to cope with different time zones in the same day and now use their iPads, along with RealPresence Mobile Software with Virtual Meeting Rooms to conference in from home. In 2012 Catlin added the ability to record video conferencing meetings and training sessions so they can be broadcast across the Organisation via the Polycom® RSS™ 4000.
Through its relationship with both ProAV and Polycom, Catlin today enjoys a world class work environment with professional meeting, presentation, event recording, streaming and II monitoring facilities. Ihrough the use of the Polycom RealPresence Platform video has moved from a ‘nice to have’ to critical and the investment
in pioneering immersive telepresence technology has changed the way Catlin communicates and works to develop a more collaborative environment that benefits its workforce, partners and clients as a whole. Ihe quality and ease-of-use of the new video conferencing solutions has led to larger usage demand for both internal and external video conferences along with new travel initiatives where any travel booking is now queried to see if the booker had thought of using videoconferencing instead of flying. Bringing audio conferencing ‘in house’ has also resulted in cost savings to Catlin.
Historically, video conferencing has always been tied to the office environment, but in reality, there is a need to conference across multiple time zones, such as Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur, at a time that isn’t convenient to go into the office.
“Ihe video and audio conferencing functions have made communicating a lot easier for everyone in Catlin, these are services that we are rolling out globally. Now that we have them I think a lot of people would be lost without them,” says James Stratford, Catlin’s group operations manager of UK property and facilities management who also adds “the integration of Polycom’s RealPresence Mobile with iPads was a natural step. Everybody likes iPads; they are very effective as a presentation tool for people on the road and allow for a more flexible working environment where staff can join global conference calls across multiple time zones whilst on the move, without having to come into the office to use a meeting room.”
The vast majority Catlin’s 50 global offices now have Polycom Systems to ensure it’s 1,600 employees have the ability to communicate internally and Video Border Proxys located in London, Singapore and Atlanta to communicate with external clients. The transfer of a public audio conferencing service onto RMX’s has cut costs and allowed Video and Audio in the same call. Finally Real Presence Mobile on iPad’s has added further growth by giving users a familiar interface to use their Virtual Meeting Rooms.
Catlin are looking to continue to promote the Polycom RealPresence Platform through Virtual Meeting Rooms, whether Voice, Video, internal or external. Usage continues to grow and it is not unusual for a large number of external conferences to be happening at the same time.