GEI Consultants, Inc. Adopts Nefsis Web and Video Conferencing for Inter-
Office Meetings Nationwide
Founded in 1970, GEI Consultants provides a broad array of geotechnical, water resources, environmental
and ecological science, and engineering consulting services to clients internationally. The company has
completed more than 25,000 projects in all 50 states, across Canada, and in more than 20 countries. With
450 employees in more than 20 offices across the country, GEI Consultants has earned a reputation for
solving complex geotechnical issues and has gained a strong presence in the environmental and water
resources engineering consulting sectors.
With offices dispersed nationwide, GEI Consultants relied heavily on travel. Once a board member was
unable to travel from the firm’s Sacramento, CA office to its headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts for a
board meeting, the firm quickly began looking into video conferencing solutions. A standalone, point-to-point
(two-party) video conferencing platform was swiftly purchased to connect the offices, allowing them to conduct
the board meeting as planned.
- GEI Consultants sought a multipoint video conferencing
solution to replace recurring business travel.
- Converting existing room-to-room systems to multipoint
would have required the purchase of expensive infrastructure
- Nefsis, an affordable, full-featured,
multiparty web and video conferencing online service.
Business and IT Benefits:
- Nefsis video conferencing cut travel time and
- Nefsis delivered the high-quality video
required, without the cost and complexity of
previously required infrastructure hardware.
- Nefsis cloud-based online services were
easy to implement and expand as needed.
Utilizing video conferencing at its headquarters, other offices in Boston soon used video
conferencing to talk to their West Coast counterparts as well. In time, the IT department began
to get more requests to set up video conferencing meetings, but to extend video conferencing
capabilities to multiple offices, the existing system required reconfiguration of their entire
network infrastructure. Realizing this was going to be an extremely costly project requiring the
purchase of additional infrastructure hardware and dedicated bandwidth, the IT Systems Support
department began to research a more up-to-date solution.
Utilizing Cloud Computing
GEI Consultants came across Nefsis web and video conferencing — a cloud-based video conferencing
technology that required no expensive hardware, network re-engineering, or months-long implementation.
After researching Nefsis’ cloud computing approach and its benefits, GEI support staff purchased Nefsis
Professional based on its video quality, low entry cost, and easy implementation. Nefsis runs over GEI’s
existing network and quickly deployed without any network reconfiguration.
Using laptop computers, the IT staff added off-the-shelf webcams and shipped the configured system from
headquarters to each remote office. Installation was as simple as that. Instead of using costly, large-screen
LCD monitors in each office, the participants have the option to connect the laptop to an existing office
projector for conference room viewing.
Nefsis allows GEI Consultants to connect multiple parties into a single online video conference in real-time.
Built-in diagnostic tools also help support staff to test the network bandwidth and video quality at each location
Edwin Villafana, system support specialist at GEI Consultants states, "Since Nefsis
is web-based and uses standard web URLs and a point-and-click interface, you just turn on the computer and it works.
I also enjoy the scalability and easier maintenance of the system. I don’t have to worry about adding new office
locations. The Nefsis cloud automatically manages it for me."
Improving Inter-Office Communications
Within weeks of purchasing Nefsis, GEI Consultants was ready for its company-wide training. A live presenter taught
a technical writing class from the Connecticut office to more than sixty people from five other offices. The presenter
was able to see and interact with the participants in each office. The class proved to be such a success that GEI
Consultants plan to hold regular trainings for their employees.
Nefsis has allowed GEI Consultants to expand their video conferencing capabilities to company groups such as the
401K committee and the shareholders.
"Conducting telephone conference calls just about every month with a group that
large can get unwieldy, making it difficult to have real dialogue," said Benjamin Sawa, Project Manager of
Operations. "We really noticed a big difference when we changed to a video conferencing format. Having the visual
really helped keep the flow of the conversation going, and there’s a real advantage to being able to see the body
language of the participants."
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