Project Description

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BAKO North Western, part of the BAKO Group, was launched over 50 years ago as a regional buying co-operative. Today BAKO North Western are seen as one of the largest nationwide distributors to the food industry; supplying a vast range of major brand names as well as their BAKO Select products.

As a market leader in innovation and technology in their industry, BAKO NWG are always looking for opportunities to improve the way their employees work and communicate. Until recently, BAKO NWG used a third-party audio conferencing solution to communicate between offices. However, having experienced rapid growth in 2015/16 and with a number of offices across the UK, BAKO NWG realised a more sophisticated video conferencing solution was required.

The adoption of Stellaris has significantly enhanced our conferencing capabilities whilst substantially reducing overheads in relation to travel and availability of staff. Features such as Skype for Business integration and the ability to connect from almost any device has ensured we can enjoy enterprise-grade collaboration without the need for a large up-front investment. Stellaris allows us to always be there without physically being there. The value of Stellaris is clear and following our initial investment, we proceeded to purchase two additional packages.
Brendan McGrath
National IT Manager

The Requirement – a better enterprise video conferencing system

In September 2016, BAKO NWG contacted Cinos to discuss an upgrade to their conferencing capabilities. Whilst the audio conferencing system was widely used across the organisation, they appreciated there were limitations on the functionality when compared to web and video conferencing alternatives.

Following a business decision to extend their conferencing ability to include video, BAKO NWG outlined the mandatory requirements of the upgrade:

  • The need to connect at least three sites using video.

  • The ability to include Skype for Business, telephone and web-based participants within a single meeting.

  • To provide mobile video conferencing units which could be moved between rooms.

To deliver on these requirements Cinos proposed that using Stellaris, a scalable enterprise collaboration solution for any size business, would not only meet their requirements, it would exceed them.

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The Solution – Stellaris & Cisco Telepresence Video Conferencing

Stellaris is a scalable telephony, unified communications, collaboration and video conferencing platform which leverages the industry leading Cisco portfolio to deliver a range of pre-defined packages or bespoke deployments in order to exactly meet the business need.

For BAKO NWG, with the need to connect to multiple sites for full video conferencing collaboration, it was decided that the Stellaris Room (VR) package would best fit their requirements.

To ensure connectivity between the BAKO NWG office in Preston and sites in Wimbledon and Durham, three VR packages were required. Each package included a Cisco SX10N Video Endpoint, mounted on top of a 55” LCD display. Each display was then securely mounted onto a mobile trolley.

In addition to the VR package, which supports registration and call control of the endpoints in the cloud, three bolt-on packages were required. The bolt-on would allow Microsoft-based systems such as Skype for Business and other third-party suppliers to join the video conferencing meetings. These would also allow access for almost any device via a web-based application including users on Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android.

The beauty of Stellaris means that should there have been no requirement for screens or trolleys, there would have been no need for an engineer to attend the sites for the installation. Stellaris endpoints are able to contact to their call control platform over the internet and automatically download their configuration at the point of installation. In short, this means Stellaris can be activated with little or no requirement from a technical resource.

Using the corporate internet connection at BAKO NWG, the endpoints registered with the Stellaris cloud service and were ready to make and receive video calls immediately.

Each endpoint was provided with its own unique URI, similar to an email address, enabling any video system to connect with Stellaris such as external Cisco, Polycom or LifeSize users. Furthermore, users are able to take advantage of the full range of Cisco proximity features available on the endpoints; allowing them to control the unit with their mobile device, or use that same device to view any content being shared within the meeting.

After seeing the value of Stellaris, BAKO NWG proceeded to purchase two more Cisco SX10N endpoints and VR packages. These endpoints integrated flawlessly with their existing setup and immediately provided additional capacity to a system which is rapidly growing in popularity within the business.