Heineken had used Polycom’s RealPresence video collaboration solution that combines multi-party, video and content collaboration to increase communication between its London office and the head office in Edinburgh and thereby reduce the travel costs on sales staff.

In the first year of its use, Heineken saved £250,000 in travel costs and around 160 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

By working with Polycom partner Talk and Vision, Heineken has installed more than 11 video-enabled rooms in the UK alongside existing 160 units installed in over 50 countries across the world including the Netherlands, Mexico, Romania, Poland and the US.

Polycom RealPresence Immersive video suites (Polycom OTX series) and Polycom RealPresence Room video solutions (HDX 7000), both powered by the RealPresence Platform, are the two new solutions in the UK.

Additionally, Heineken can use the Polycom CMA Desktop’s concierge service from Talk and Vision to participate in any of over 8,000 video conferences held across its global offices every year.

Heineken IT architect Brendan Rafferty said the high-definition quality, ease-of-use, and the almost life-like realism of people at the other end of the Polycom video conferencing system has led to larger usage demand for video conferences, with people booking repeat meetings much more frequently.

"We haven’t even had to launch it internally; it’s been word of mouth that has carried the solution into the live operating environment," Rafferty added.

The company further plans to run the Polycom RealPresence platform on iPads for the staff to make video calls and conduct meeting through video collaboration suites.

Heineken IT innovation and solution development manager Jem Anderton said Heineken will be investing heavily in mobile and tablet technology in the UK.

"Our vision is that our sales force will use personal video to stay in touch with each other and customers, cutting down the time required for one-to-ones and also keeping them in real-time contact with colleagues in the office," Anderton added.