About the Woodland Trust
The Trust has 450 employees, supporters, members, volunteers and campaigners all working to protect the eco-system of native woodland and trees.
Half the workforce is based in the central office in Grantham and the rest are spread across five offices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition, there are homeworkers and 50 on-site managers.
Why the Woodland Trust chose Class Networks
Ian Teague, Head of IT investigated video conferencing as a solution to enable the Trust’s employees to collaborate and to reduce travelling. Class Networks, which specialises in working with the voluntary sector was asked to tender and were selected after their two-week pilot using Vidyo was the overwhelming favourite, especially, among the non-technical staff.
“Vidyo, the video conferencing solution supplied and serviced by Class Networks is completely changing the dynamics of our meetings and our teams are really starting to appreciate it. The most recent feedback I’ve received is that it’s the best video conferencing meeting they’ve ever been in and it was ‘head and shoulders above Skype For Business’.“ Ian Teague - Head of IT, Woodland Trust
What was the challenge?
The Woodland Trust faces many issues that are unique to voluntary sector organisations. There’s the need to be transparent and make the most of resources, to ensure that as much funding as possible goes to supporting the organisation’s mission. In addition, there’s also the need to ensure the workforce isn’t alienated from from the initial reason that drew them to work for the organisation.
The Trust was overly reliant on telephone conference calls, which users found dissatisfying, with many remote workers feeling isolated, missing out on visual clues and feeling unable to contribute to meetings.
The organisation wanted to enable effective collaboration among their stakeholders. It was also very important to the Trust, that staff could continue to schedule meetings using Outlook, rather than have an additional system only for video meetings.
The Trust needed a videoconferencing solution that would be easy to use. Any system that required specific IT knowledge or extra training, would have taken the employees away from doing what they know and love; working to protect trees.
The solution also needed to work in rural areas of low bandwidth.
What was the outcome?
An on-premises Vidyo offering met all the criteria that the Woodland Trust specified:
- The Vidyo solution provides remote employees easier access to greater participation in meetings
- The new solution experienced rapid adoption throughout the organisation, due to its ease of use compatibility with the existing Microsoft Outlook system. Employees simply book a meeting and the Vidyo conference information is automatically included in the invitation to guests. Vidyo augmented their existing way of doing business (rather than replacing it)
- Reduces unnecessary travel, saves money and helps the organisation’s green principles
- Country directors and managers now conduct Vidyo monthly meetings, rather than travelling from all parts of the UK to the head office and losing time with overnight stays
- Regular meetings with suppliers are also now also conducted using Vidyo
- Woodland Trust is investigating Vidyo recording their supplier meetings to share with team members
- It is easy to learn, especially for those without substantial IT experience
- It can be used effectively in remote locations where broadband speeds are likely to be low
- Users can access the videoconference from almost any connected device eg smartphone, tablet and PC.
The Woodland Trust is now proud to demonstrate its powerful and easy-to-use videoconferencing solution to donors and partners, knowing that Vidyo conferences are easy even for first-time guests. This also helps them cut down on unnecessary travel to meet with these shareholder’s face to face. Any organisation would benefit from less travel, but for an environmental charity such as the Woodland Trust, the value goes far beyond that. Vidyo helps the Woodland Trust reduce its carbon footprint.
“If I had to do it over again, I would have forced the issue instead of waiting for things to grow organically,” said Ian Teague, Head of IT at the Woodland Trust. “We don’t like to impose things on people, but if some of our reluctant employees had tried Vidyo sooner, they would have seen how valuable it is, and how easy it is to use."