At a Glance
- Facilitated interviews with potential employees
- Maintained connection with remote employees
- Improve communications
- Increased work efficiency, reduced costs
World Leading Mining and Steel Producing Companies Unites Its International Teams with Video Collaboration
Leading Russian mining and steel company keeps a global base of 84,000 employees informed, focused, and in step through extensive use of its 102-terminal video communication network.
OAO Severstal is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated steel and steel related mining companies, with assets in Russia, USA, Ukraine, Latvia, Poland, Italy, Liberia and Brazil. Severstal’s gold business, Nordgold, was established in 2007 and comprises of mines and exploration projects in Russia, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Guinea. Severstal currently operates facilities in ten countries and employs a workforce of 84,000. OAO Severstal is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated steel and steel related mining companies, with assets in Russia, USA, Ukraine, Latvia, Poland, Italy, Liberia and Brazil. Severstal’s gold business, Nordgold, was established in 2007 and comprises of mines and exploration projects in Russia, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Guinea. Severstal currently operates facilities in ten countries and employs a workforce of 84,000.
In 2003 Severstal engaged in an expansion programme, which included the opening of a new office in Moscow. The staff based in Moscow, were required to regularly meet with their manufacturing head office in Chereopovets, which is some 500 kilometers away. Severstal needed to maintain regular face-to-face meetings and hold its summit conferences, and find a way to avoid lengthy and frequent business trips. Video collaboration was chosen as the best solution, and Polycom was selected as the vendor of choice.
Polycom specialists offered the experimental installation of its solutions to demonstrate and test its capabilities, functional flexibility, usability and quality. Andrey Kozyrev, Director of the technical department at Severstal-Infocom explained: “When a new office was opened in Moscow, we initially chose Polycom as the video collaboration supplier. We tested the Polycom solutions for a month. We were able to assess the quality, and benefits, and were quickly convinced we had made the right choice.”
Severstal has its own team of professional staff responsible for installation and technical support of the solutions. “In the past, we have installed other video systems, but we’ve always returned to Polycom, with whom we have formed loyalty and we trust them to continue delivering the best the market offers”, said Andrey Kozyrev.
Video collaboration is now widely used within Severstal, with102 terminals installed in offices, globally, including Europe and the United States. Severstal first chose the Polycom VSX video system, and upgraded to the Polycom HDX Room Solutions. The video collaboration rooms range from small conference rooms to large halls with a capacity of 500 people. To bring all sites together, Severstal chose the Polycom RealPresence Platform, comprising a Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server (RMX) and Polycom RealPresence Resource Manager (CMA). This platforms creates a seamless UC environment driving adoption through ease of use. Now, Severstal holds two or three summits per day using the Polycom solutions. Regular in-house team meetings are held, and there is a permanent connection between the Moscow office and manufacturing site in Cherepovets.
Meetings on an international level are regularly carried out via videoconferencing, involving five plants in Europe and the USA, where management can easily interact with all employees. “During these sessions there are up to 30 points connected simultaneously — thousands of people, this is a great way for our company to deliver our messages. On average, Polycom equipment pays for itself in just six months”, says Andrey Kozyrev. In addition, video collaboration is widely used by the HR-department during the recruitment process. With video, a candidate can be interviewed by several people in the organisation, from any location, in just one visit as the solutions deliver lifelike video and voice quality and full motion content sharing securely.
Initially, using the new technology took some getting used to for the employees. Today, at all levels, from top managers to labor collectives, the use of the Polycom solution is completely normal, and so easy, they forget about the technology.
According to a study conducted in January and February 2011 by Coleman Parkes Research commissioned by Polycom, 50% of Russian companies regularly use video conferencing on a daily basis. This statistic is not surprising to Severstal who compiles averages of 590 hours of video meetings per month.
Open Collaborations & Unified Communications
To further enable users to collaborate from their desks, on the road, from home or from a conference room, Severstal deployed Microsoft® Lync™ Server and integrated with their Polycom RealPresence Platform. “This unique open standard approach of the Polycom Platform supports our large-scale deployment, and allows us to add new business applications such as Lync.” Confirms Kozyrev. Today, anyone can join a meeting by video from where ever they are.
The next steps forward
The near-term plan for Severstal is to create the unified field of interactive communication for all exception with the help of Polycom video collaboration systems. They are piloting the Polycom CX phones to optimize Lync. The objective being to deploy the Polycom SoundStation IP 7000 in the conference rooms, and the Polycom CX600 on the desktops.
Severstal developed the objective to integrate personal terminals of different types in the videoconferencing network by the end of the next year, which will provide an opportunity to connect any person to a session regardless of the location. This project will connect video clients in stationary meeting rooms, mobile clients and those who currently are not equipped with the necessary solutions yet.