Retravision switches on to Web conferencing for dispersed IT team

No costly hardware set-ups

The 50 member IT department at electrical appliance company Retravision were struggling to maintain a cohesive team when staff were divided between each state and territory.

The company's national IT manager, Angela Averte, said there were six people in each state and territory as well as two staff in New Zealand, so it was difficult to function.

As a result, Retravision began trialling Web conferencing and collaboration services from WebEx holding online meetings across Australia and New Zealand.

"It was difficult to function as a cohesive team when we're so spread out," Averte said.

"We used to hold regular teleconferences but they didn't allow us to actually work or collaborate together.

"People would struggle to remain focused with just a boring telephone in the middle of the table."

Today, Averte said the team meets monthly on WebEx.

"Our productivity has improved because we can work on documents in real time, share ideas and get things done in the sessions," she ssaid.

" It's about collaborating with all of the team members to improve IT processes and ultimately increase Retravision's efficiency as a business.

"As an on-demand Web conferencing solution, WebEx doesn't require us to invest in costly hardware set-ups which is an added bonus."

Based on the success of the trials, Retravision has longer term plans to connect corporate offices with store outlets.

Averte wants to introduce WebEx Training Centre so IT can remotely train staff in the stores on how to use Point of Sale (PoS) systems.

"We have more than 450 stores across the ANZ region, many of them in regional areas," she said.

"The staff at each store are not necessarily tech savvy so we required a service that was intuitive and provides ease of use.

"There's potentially over 4000 people to provide online training and technical support for at our stores, but we're confident WebEx can help us achieve our objectives," she said.

"Our goal is to train end users without having to send an IT person out to individual locations, or arrange a group training session.

Ultimately, we'll be able to reduce travel costs and free up resources to focus on maintaining and improving our IT systems."

WebEx Australia regional director, Kevin Mackin, said Retravision is a good example of how Web conferencing can benefit retailers with staff located in dispersed shopfronts and offices.

Established in 1961, Retravision has grown to over 450 stores in Australia and New Zealand.

WebEx, which is part of Cisco, has 2.2 million registered users.

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