Sydney, 6 July 2020 – Ricoh, a leading provider of smart workplace technology, has announced that Latrobe Valley Enterprises (LVE), a not-for-profit organisation with a network of commercially viable businesses providing employment for people with disabilities, has deployed a Ricoh Interactive Collaboration Hub to facilitate remote-based board meetings.
The deployment follows a market review in conjunction with Ricoh Victorian partner, Gippsland Business Machines, which recommended the IWB D7500 collaboration white board technology. Its features provide for real time collaboration, ease of use and interactivity with touchscreen convenience. Users can also share results by producing documents that can be sent to email, USB or directly to office folders, a company network or on the cloud.
Prior to the Ricoh deployment LVE had attempted to use a laptop to allow board members to connect via a video conferencing service and have that streamed to a television monitor in the boardroom. However, the setup was unreliable and limited to just a single connection.
“We knew there had to be a better way to connect remote meeting participants and so we set out to find a viable alternative,” says Wendy Bezzina, LVE Chief Executive Officer. “Of all the options we examined, the Ricoh Interactive Collaboration Hub stood out because of its ease of use. Being touch-screen equipped makes setting up group calls and using all the other features on offer very easy.”
Once the Interactive Collaboration Hub was operational, board members quickly noticed significant benefits. Remote participants are now able to use their mobile phone, laptop or tablet device to connect, and have the option of joining a meeting as a voice-only participant or in video mode.
The large 75-inch display screen means participants in the boardroom can see everyone else as well as share documents and other materials during the meeting. Documents can be marked up with remote attendees seeing these changes in real time.
For the functioning of the organisational board as a whole, the Interactive Collaboration Hub has made a big difference. Where members have been forced to miss meetings due to COVID-19 restrictions, now they can ‘attend a board meeting’ from almost anywhere.
The Interactive Collaboration Hub is also being put to use by other organisations including community groups and local businesses. “As well as helping them, it helps us to promote our operations more widely in the region,” says Bezzina.
At other times, the Interactive Collaboration Hub can be used in local-only mode. Meeting participants can display multiple documents or webpages for everyone present, using cord-free connections. It can also be used to play video clips or display photographs.
“We are finding new uses for the Interactive Collaboration Hub every week,” says Bezzina. “It’s become a very valuable tool for the entire organisation. And, importantly, our board loves it. They were becoming increasingly frustrated with our existing communications channels but these concerns have now been fully alleviated. It’s also been a fantastic investment for us especially in the light of COVID-19 where we’ve still been able to operate and have our monthly board meetings despite travel restrictions.”
LVE’s 110 employees work in a diverse range of areas including grounds maintenance, recycling, secure document destruction, sign-making and business support services. The organisation has been operating for nearly 54 years and sets out to provide meaningful employment for their 90 employees with disabilities.
“The Ricoh Interactive Collaboration Hub is so simple to use, and it just works,” says Bezzina. “Even if people are not particularly savvy when it comes to technology, they find the interface very intuitive.”
Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, communications services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2020, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,008 billion yen (approx. 18.5 billion USD).