When you’re a global asset investment firm with offices in Seoul, Hong Kong, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States, success depends on your team’s ability to communicate and collaborate effectively, regardless of location. For Mirae Asset Global Investments, business is about helping investors get involved in emerging market equities, which traditionally required employees to spend a lot of time travelling between offices and client sites in many countries. But high travel costs and a desire to provide a better work-life balance for their employees prompted this company to limit travel – and the associated time and stress – by streamlining its business communications. At the request of the company’s CEO, Wan-Geu Kim, Mirae Asset’s Director of the IT Division, began exploring alternatives to business travel, particularly one that would deliver a life-like experience capable of replacing in-person meetings.
Traditional conference calls and teleconferences were not meeting employee’s needs for immediacy and clarity, and teams were finding it difficult to compensate for cultural barriers over small-screen video with poor resolution. The existing video conferencing technology was simply not cutting it. Kim desired a visual communication solution that would deliver the face-to-face immediacy of videoconferencing without the limitations of previous low-quality video transfer methods. Such a system had to be easy to use and reliable, with ample resolution and bandwidth to enable high-quality videoconferencing.
The company’s goal was to empower its employees to conduct meetings virtually but to remain as productive as if they were being held face-to-face. Immersive video, which uses high-definition videoconferencing technology to link conference rooms on opposite sides of the globe, was a clear step forward by providing higher resolution and audio quality. Kim decided to implement Cisco high-definition TelePresence solutions, but required a robust and high-capacity network to provide adequate performance.
After investigating his options, he chose to implement a high-speed Private IP solution from Verizon Business. This solution would not only provide the international reach the company required, but would use Verizon Business’s MPLS network for the robust performance and quality of service demanded by high-definition videoconferencing.
After a careful design and implementation phase, Verizon Business was able to switch on the Cisco TelePresence systems at their offices in Seoul, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, and New York City. At each location, employees sitting in a purpose-built TelePresence suite can see their peers at similar facilities in the other offices. High-definition video and immersive sound, carried over Verizon Business’s reliable network, provide a high-quality videoconferencing experience that’s nearly as good as being in the same room.
Implementation of TelePresence services is helping Mirae Assets dramatically cut its travel expenses. Whereas a business meeting would have taken weeks of organisation in the past, the company can now host casual or large-scale TelePresence sessions without the cost of business travel.
The combination of Verizon Business Private IP and Cisco TelePresence is helping Kim to significantly reduce the company’s travel expenditures, which is especially important in this time of tight budgets and cost reductions. Travel-related savings are expected to increase as future TelePresence systems are installed in China, India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
TelePresence rooms can achieve a high utilization rate because they’re always on and easy to use, which impacts positively on ROI. Indeed, TelePresence services at Mirae Assets have proved so popular that executives are using them more than was initially expected. Kim has even upgraded its TelePresence systems in Sao Paulo and New York City from one screen to three because of strong demand to use the systems.
Throughout all the TelePresence sessions, Verizon Business’s network has performed without a hitch, delivering smooth video and sound even during peak bandwidth consumption. The service has continually performed well beyond target service level agreements, so our telepresence services are available and working whenever their executives need them. And that, in turn, has ensured TelePresence has quickly become an everyday part of doing business.
“Mirae Asset’s business philosophy has always driven us to find new ways to harness innovative and changing business tools,” said Kim. By strategically leveraging the right technology and expertise, Mirae Assets has found new roads to success—and a better work-life balance for its employees.