Extending the availability of HD video conferencing with BlinkPipe an interview with leading life science company Abcam


Thursday 10 October 2013



Life science company Abcam turn to BlinkPipe for a solution with their video conferencing requirements.

Leading life science company, Abcam, supplies protein and research tools. The company is headquarted in Cambridge, UK, but with additional offices in the UK, USA, Japan and China, Abcam rely heavily on video conferencing to conduct thier global meetings.

They also have software development teams based in India. Abcam has been using BlinkPipe for just dial HD video conferencing since January 2012. BlinkPipe caught up with Dr Ed Ralph, CIO, and Dr Fay Moutevelis, Senior Project Manager at Abcam, to discuss the impact that BlinkPipe has had on their business.

The drive towards BlinkPipe
Abcam has existing Polycom systems - two in the Cambridge office, one in Boston, one in San Francisco and smaller versions in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Abcam had outsourced some software development to India and, being fully aware of the business benefits of video conference meetings, wanted to conduct daily stand-ups between the UK and India using video conferencing. However, there was limited availability of the Polycom systems in both offices and cost was a barrier to equipping other meeting rooms with similar equipment. Seeking an alternative solution, Abcam initially tried Skype for these meetings but encountered problems.

Ed Ralph, CIO, explained: “We were doing distributed stand-up meetings between the UK and India, trying all kinds of things eg. a typical stand-up would have had us using Skype for video, and then dialling into a phone bridge. The Skype video was usually too small and poor to be useful and setting up was a nightmare.

“The main problem with Skype is that it needs a good internet connection end to end. With our calls being between the UK and India it is often unreliable and a lot of time is wasted. If you take the time of 30 people you cant afford for this to happen.”

“For us, Skype wasnt a good solution,” said Fay Moutevelis. “This is where BlinkPipe came in. I just wanted to flick a switch and see the other team.”

Ed continued: “The cost structure of the BlinkPipe cameras made for a low barrier and the ease of use was a no-brainer, so we tried them out.”

Heavy use of BlinkPipe HD Video Conferencing
Abcam has made over 2,800 minutes of BlinkPipe calls in the last 30 days alone.

“I use BlinkPipe from 9.00am-12.00pm every day for software development team stand-up and other regular meetings with typically eight or nine people in Cambridge and 10 or 11 people in India,” explained Fay.

“At Abcam the BlinkPipe advantage is not having to compete with people to book video conferencing. Being able to dial the other meeting room and the video just coming on is fantastic.” said Ed.

Would Abcam recommend BlinkPipe?
“I’m very happy with BlinkPipe and would recommend it for businesses wanting an easy to use business video conferencing system. With BlinkPipe I can focus on the meeting and not on the technology which is a win-win for Abcam”, said Fay.

“Just do it!” concluded Ed.



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