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Ogilvy & Mather defy distance

with Polycom RealPresence Solutions

Before the Polycom® GroupSeries 500 solutions were installed in the offices of Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, employees were often travelling for ten hours for a two hour meeting. It takes five hours door-to-door to travel each way between the company’s Johannesburg and Cape Town offices and the more than 1,000 employees across the two cities often needed face-to-face meetings. The potential for a gain in efficiency with high quality video-conferencing was immense. Eastwood Loftus, Financial Director of Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town, says the main objective for deploying video conferencing was cost saving through the reduction of travel costs but he believes that the benefits have gone far beyond to efficiency and productivity gains. For Loftus, “the benefit and flexibility video conferencing has brought to our agency is priceless.”

 The executive staff were first to adopt the solution with their bi-monthly five hour executive meetings. Before video conferencing was introduced at least five senior staff travelled from Cape Town to Johannesburg to attend. The benefits have also been felt by client service teams who can use the VideoMeeting Rooms (VMR) managed on a Polycom hosted bridge as a “Video as a Service” (VaaS) solution for remote interactions of a far higher quality than simple audio conferences.


“The benefits and flexibility Polycom has brought to our agency is priceless!”

 “We chose the Polycom GroupSeries 500 because of its efficient use of bandwidth, Dual Screen and content sharing capabilities, and its ease of use.”


The VMR also facilitates connections both in IP or ISDN which is important in South Africa. Ogilvy & Mather can show clients the latest commercial they have created and get comments and edit in real-time. They also are able to call other agency staff into the meeting at any time.

 “The flexibility - the ability to be fluid, fast and effective - has transformed O&M’s operations and improved the workflow which is key to the profitability of the agency,” Loftus adds.


The solution and rooms were designed and implemented by Polycom Partner Galdon Data, a subsidiary of First Technology Holdings, and everything was carefully taken into consideration for the design and architecture. The outcome is of the highest quality with sound and lighting making the meeting experience as real as possible. When asked why he chose Polycom over other vendors, Loftus said, “Polycom is a well-established brand here and is known for its quality so the choice for us waswhich solution to choose in the Polycom catalogue. We went with the GroupSeries 500 because of its efficient use of bandwidth, Dual Screen and content sharing capabilities, and its ease of use.” Galdon Data also delivered adoption services to ensure all O&M staff was comfortable with the solutions.

 Ogilvy & Mather South Africa is part of one of the largest marketing communications networks in the world, founded originally in 1948 by David Ogilvy. The network has over 20,000 employees across more than 450 offices, in 120 countries. Ogilvy & Mather believes the key to success lies within their Twin Peaks philosophy of creating integrated agency work that is both creative and effective. Ogilvy & Mather South Africa offers integrated creative advertising agency and marketing services from offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

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