VEGA Europe continues its development as one of the leading audio visual and video conferencing systems integrators. Tim Dobson, sales and commercial director, VEGA Europe, gives CIE the inside track.
CIE meets Tim in the welcoming environs of a local café and delicatessen. The builders are hard at work with the recent expansion of the company’s European headquarters based in Crawley, which is due for completion very soon.
It’s an exciting time for the company having recently been selected for a number of awards – Winner of Install Awards 2016, finalist at the AV Awards 2016 and now as a finalist at the InAVation Awards 2017 which will be presented at ISE in Amsterdam, an event the company is also exhibiting at for the very first time.
More about that later, as for Tim, his current position comes after 23 years’ experience in the industry, starting out at an IT infrastructure company before building an AV business and then going onto running VEGA Europe.
Tim explains: “Five years ago the opportunity to work with VEGA presented itself and with a pedigree of 30 years in the industry with presence in many countries around the globe, the chance to help the company expand its operation in Europe was too good to miss. The company now has presence in fifteen countries and has 22 separate offices.”
Headquartered in Hong Kong and now widely recognised as one of the leading AV/VC Systems Integrators in APAC, the company made a decision five years ago to expand its operations into the UK and mainland Europe, leveraging its success with global corporates in countries like Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan and India.
Tim says: “In tandem with VEGA’s growth, the company has evolved and diversified so we understand the importance of full integration with all areas of a company’s unified communications platforms and strategy (audio-visual, voice, telephony and IT-based collaboration and communications platforms). This has been especially important with the convergence of voice and video platforms and the emergence of IT-based voice, video and collaboration applications, such as Skype for Business.”
Tim explains: “Another key success to VEGA Europe’s business growth over the last five years has been the foundation set from winning a three year contract to support the global AV/VC estate for one of the world’s largest high-street banks – a contract which has now been extended into its fifth year”.
Tim continues: “The first task within this contract was to design a standard portfolio of products and solutions which VEGA has continued to deliver and support throughout the estate.”
In order to ensure the highest standards of design, integration and support were maintained, VEGA, very early on, secured CISCOs top telepresence accreditation, MATP ( Master Advanced Telepresence Partner). This has further enabled VEGA Europe to enjoy success in all verticals within the corporate sector.
As the company has grown, so the market has changed and expanded too. Tim enthuses: “We have seen fundamental changes across the industry, with the convergence of voice and video platforms and the accelerated convergence of IT and AV environments, with the introduction of IT based collaboration platforms such as Skype for Business. This has now helped to transform the way companies communicate and present both internally and externally and has changed attitudes towards more dynamic working practices.
“Another market trend to make note of is the clients’ requirements for simplicity, ease of use and consistency across their systems. Being vendor agnostic provides VEGA Europe an opportunity to advise on which is the best technology to suit each individual business.”
Tim explains: “We had a good example of this recently when we worked with a long-established company in the brewing industry. The company needed help up-dating its conferencing and meeting room, as it reported finding it hard to recruit and retain graduates due to its out of date technology and working practices.”
So what other verticals are interesting right now?
Tim offers: “Retail has seen big changes with more customer interaction and impact in-store to help entice shoppers away from the Internet. But here again, it’s important to keep things simple and provide interactions that are quick to deliver the correct message and hit the right target audience.
“Pharmaceutical companies are also a big area for us, this sector tends to be quite dynamic and keen to embrace the latest technologies and innovations. On the other hand, law firms, who whilst want the advantages of modern technology, tend to be a little more traditional in their approach.”
Keeping up to speed with new innovations and manufacturer roadmaps is a full-time job in its own right. VEGA has a dedicated team who are employed specifically to do just that, to keep on top of technologies, trends and products ensuring the company is always at the forefront of technology.
So how does VEGA go about choosing the right systems for each project?
Tim explains: “As mentioned earlier, key to our success is to remain completely vendor agnostic and importantly, listen and understand our clients’ requirements and what they are looking to achieve.
Support is incredibly important for our clients. The first step is to ensure we professionally install the most reliable products possible. Following that, its key to be proactive, not reactive: prevention is our philosophy and VEGA prides itself on its quality of installations and preventative maintenance programmes, backed up with proactive and remote monitoring, ensures our clients enjoy trouble free facilities with little or no down-time.”
Anyone for Tio?
Existing within such a dynamic and demanding market place has also meant VEGA has identified other opportunities and is about to launch its own Service Delivery platform called Tio.
The idea was born from a project where a client wanted to update its in-room hospitality services. The old system worked by staff attending a meeting room to take an order, return with that order to the kitchens and then take it back to the room. This client from the financial sector wanted to show some innovation, but also save time and make the ordering system much more efficient. VEGA created a tablet driven ordering system that via an easy to follow and fully up-dateable interface tells the kitchen what is required, where and when.
Those occupying the meeting rooms simply place their order and get on with their meeting. In turn it means the catering staff can then concentrate of preparation and delivery rather than physically taking the orders. Before the system was installed it could be 10-15 minutes from when an order was taken to delivery. The aim was to reduce the SLA to below five minutes and the VEGA system has in fact delivered an average time of two mins. The system is not just for hospitality services, Tio can provide a platform for any type of service delivery, such as in-room support for AV and VC systems. Check Tio out at ISE in 2017, Hall 5 Stand 80.
So with busy and exciting times ahead for the company, Tim concludes: “It’s great to see our business and profile grow within the market. The industry is changing, but with change comes opportunity. Technology and innovation is now providing simpler solutions to meet client requirements, thus giving them the confidence to roll-out solutions across the whole of their businesses world-wide, knowing that their users will enjoy ease of use and consistency. VEGA with its experience, expertise and global footprint are ideally placed to provide the service and support required establishing long-term and strong relationships with its clients. Rest assured VEGA will deliver – global business – local service!”