Alternative to time-consuming travel

Published on 07/08/2014 in Customer Stories

Alternative to time-consuming travel

Ontex is further expanding the use of video with a new videoconferencing system that connects its conference rooms around the globe. What’s more, staff can now take part in these virtual meetings via tablet or smartphone.

Belgacom rolled out a Polycom videoconferencing solution for Ontex in 21 conference rooms distributed across 15 production sites and sales offices. Video offers the company a valid alternative to much of their travel.

Ontex sells products for personal care and hygiene. The Belgian company’s range includes diapers, feminine hygiene products and incontinence solutions. Ontex markets the disposable hygienic products under a range of brand names, as well as under retail brands. In part thanks to various acquisitions, the company has experienced strong growth in recent years. Currently active throughout Europe, and Algeria, Turkey, Russia, China and Australia, Ontex has opted for centralized IT support from its datacenters in Buggenhout.

Replacing outdated solutions

Ontex began using videoconferencing in 2007, with implementation and technical support provided by Belgacom. “Over the years, videoconferencing has grown into an indispensable tool for our company,” says Jurgen De Wolf, Group ICT Operations Manager at Ontex. “But, in the meantime, our systems had become outdated.” So Ontex was looking for a new solution.

Video for all

At the same time, the company also decided to give employees fast access to video via Microsoft Lync. “After thorough market research, we chose the solution from Polycom because it enables integration with Lync, which is slated for phased implementation in our roadmap. That way, we’ll not only have video connections between the boardrooms at various locations but, in the very near future, via Lync, employees will also be able to take part in videoconferences on their tablets or smartphones, from any location whatsoever.”

Saving time and money

Ontex will continue to work with Belgacom for their new videoconferencing infrastructure. Belgacom has rolled out the Polycom solution in 21 conference rooms, distributed across 15 Ontex production sites and sales offices. “In the past, our managers were constantly travelling back and forth between locations,” explains De Wolf. “The advent of videoconferencing has allowed us to save huge amounts of time. Not to mention a major reduction in travel costs.”

Video replaces the airplane

Of course, sometimes face-to-face meeting are still the best way to go, but for certain tasks – such as weekly status meetings that often involve lengthy travel – video offers a great alternative. Ontex is essentially using videoconferencing to replace the airplane. A manager who opens the company’s self-service tool to book a flight is automatically offered the option of scheduling a videoconference instead of making the trip. “We also use video for training. Quite frequently, employees in three or more locations will watch a presentation from the conference room at once.”

Company profile: Ontex

– largest European retail brand manufacturer of disposable hygienic products
– headquartered in Aalst (Erembodegem)
– global workforce of over 5,000 employees
– a publicly traded company

Business benefits

– a valid alternative to travel
-major time savings
– cuts travel costs
– visual contact
– document sharing possible
– suitable for simultaneously training groups at different locations


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