Founded in 1899, Suntory Group is among the world’s leading consumer products companies, offering a portfolio of beverages with sales of $19.2 billion in 2017. Its alcoholic beverage business encompasses whiskey, beer, wine, and ready-to-drink brands. In 2014, Suntory acquired Beam Inc. to form the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory. Its non-alcoholic beverage business is expanding internationally, including New Zealand’s Frucor Group, France’s Orangina Schweppes Group, as well as the Lucozade and Ribena drink brands. Suntory Group operates in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa.
The global IT team at Suntory is responsible for investigating ways to simplify and modernize company-wide communication. Like many enterprise companies, they have both conference rooms and individual workspaces, which have previously been outfitted in various manners. In addition to teleconferencing systems, Suntory had been using Skype for Business for internal desktop communication, and meeting rooms were equipped with Cisco and Polycom endpoints. Unfortunately, cross-platform integration did not work well.
Suntory + BlueJeans
Though traditional teleconferencing had been part of their past, Suntory demanded quality video meetings to build international relationships and overcome communication barriers. However, this required a new solution—one without intricate, on-premise infrastructure. “We’re not doing on-premise anymore; we don’t want the hassle of installing and managing it,” Devitt contended.
BlueJeans is more simple than other solutions, and it was easy to set up. Once the BlueJeans cloud became Suntory’s central hub, the one-to-one connectivity issues went away. “With BlueJeans, there’s only one connection to resolve, not 100 separate connections. We have much more confidence that it will work,” said Devitt.
Uses: International Team Collaboration
The BlueJeans service model provided Suntory with the flexibility to optimize usage across time zones. Besides delivering modern video conferencing, BlueJeans reduced IT support requirements, preparation time, and troubleshooting, while delivering consistent reliability. Finally, it connected virtually any device to meetings. For example, BlueJeans allowed users connecting via smartphones to transition to a conference room—without ever leaving the meeting.
For users, the BlueJeans Meetings interface proved intuitive, alleviating the frustrations common with previous solutions. “There was a time when using video conferencing required specific training,” observed Devitt. Setting BlueJeans up to be the accepted standard, IT personnel offered small group education sessions and developed in-room, instructional posters. To further simplify in-room meetings, the IT team is exploring BlueJeans Rooms, which integrates calendar applications, conference room systems, and tablet computers to make joining a BlueJeans meeting easy and automatic.