VMware is a premier cloud computing and platform visualization software provider serving more than 500,000 customers worldwide. They’re known for their robust social community with millions of members and their annual conference, VMWorld, which brings thousands of attendees and exhibitors a compelling, firsthand look at the future of digital business and the innovators behind these exciting advances. (Early bird tickets for the 2018 conference in Las Vegas, August 26-30 are now available.)
Despite being a technology leader, VMware found that keeping virtual connections over disparate teams consistent and personal can be challenging. Beam robotic telepresence solved several pressing problems, including how to implement a more effective telecommuting program, the integration of its overseas workforce, and forward-thinking community engagement with colleagues and customers.
Fully present talent, traffic jam not included
VMware brought in several Beams to offer their employees the option of working from home, two or three days per week, to solve the affordable housing and commuting issues that come with being headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The result is not only a happier, more engaged workforce overall, but also one that better maintains its continuity when a valuable corporate team member moves away from the Bay Area. Whereas other more traditional video conferencing solutions (i.e. Skype, FaceTime) tended to lead to attrition because virtual relationships with other team members eroded or failed to develop, VMware found that Beam provides a more seamless, supportive connection.
As a VMware manager noted, “When we are having meetings, our remote workers on Beam can drive right up to conference table and see everything. We feel like they are in the room.”
Thinking globally, acting locally
VMware’s international marketing division includes three primary groups located in Singapore, France and the UK, and all three locations now use Beam’s telepresence technology on a daily basis for improved collaboration and higher productivity.
As international employees can easily participate in meetings at VMware’s US headquarters, and vice versa: American marketing staff can just “drop by” to connect with their overseas counterparts. An unexpected benefit of these office visits has been random meetings between two or more remote employees, producing opportunities for cross-pollination across international marketing groups. Furthermore, VMware has been able to reduce its reliance on air travel -- the company estimates that using Beam replaces approximately 20 flights annually.
Not only does VMware successfully use Beam to connect it’s internal resources, but also increase engagement between external community members and the company.
For example, since VMware’s online community relies heavily on the know-how of global advocacy experts, the company invites these experts to “beam in” to podcasted community roundtables enjoyed by audiences upwards of 10,000 listeners. And at its annual VMworld conference, VMware has deployed several Beams to provide community members the chance to experience the event at no cost. It’s a smart way to increase brand awareness and loyalty.
For more about how VMware uses telepresence technology to make their virtual world a more closely connected place, read the full case study.