Delivering better hybrid meeting experiences for greater business insight, advice and impact

One male and one female in a large conference room with the male engaging a Teams Meeting Rooms touch display preparing to join a Teams Meeting

Johannesburg, South Africa – 16 August 2023: While hybrid work is now the norm for many businesses, the transition to new and better ways of working continues. Organisations are adapting to rapidly changing industry, business and customer needs.

The need to modernise and innovate is more acute than ever – particularly for companies whose reputation is built on the ability to provide sound financial advice that creates real impact.

Financial services firm Alexforbes recognised the urgency to act. It saw the opportunity to streamline and update the meeting spaces of its Sandton head office, as part of an office revamp initiative, to meet and accommodate evolving workplace needs. This meant relooking at how the business collaborated and finding more effective and efficient ways to collaborate through technology.

“Expert advice that is underpinned by deep insights lies at the heart of the services we offer individuals, employers and institutions. The experience is driven by the quality of the conversations we can have with them – and working in a hybrid environment does not change that,” says Etienne Naude, head of technology at Alexforbes. “We needed a technology-based collaboration solution that enables the meaningful conversations that our clients expect and trust.”

Enabling interactive meetings

Microsoft Teams Rooms was the answer. The solution connects people across the hybrid workplace by fostering interactive team meetings for everyone, no matter where they are. The meeting rooms are equipped with devices and features that enable real-time whiteboarding collaboration that is accessible from any device, as well as the wireless sharing of rich media and files. Intelligent content capture and artificial intelligence (AI) processing allow people in the meeting to enhance and digitally share physical objects, such as whiteboards and books, which appear clear and vibrant.

Multiple video streams and AI-powered active speaker tracking with in-room cameras, which use audio, facial movements and gestures to detect who in the room is speaking, also allow everyone to be seen, heard and fully participate from anywhere – making meetings feel more inclusive.

“The rooms, and all the features they come with, have created more relaxed, modern and inviting workspaces. They are standardised, integrated and easy to use. We knew we needed to trust that the solution would be seamless and enhance engagement,” says Naude.

Currently there are five boardrooms equipped with Microsoft Teams Rooms in the company’s Sandton offices, with a total of 12 meeting rooms and five mobile units planned – and more expected to be rolled out to branch offices across South Africa.

Enhancing capabilities to drive value and impact

Choosing the right technology solutions help facilitate experiences that form part of Alexforbes’s broader strategic and business objective:

  • To extract maximum value out of technology investments and partnerships
  • To achieve the purpose and outcomes of the company’s IT cost optimisation strategies by leveraging more from assets.

Microsoft and Alexforbes have been long-standing partners, working together as influential brands in their respective industries for about 20 years to enhance capabilities that will drive value and impact.

“The benefit of our partnership with Microsoft extends beyond Microsoft’s solutions alone. Although we can leverage value and optimise efficiencies by collaborating faster and better, the benefit of our partnership also comes from Microsoft’s ecosystems and skills, making the company the right partner to drive and increase the business value of IT. By leveraging the power of technology and collaboration-driven solutions, we can continue to deliver expert insight and financial advice that has an impact on people’s lives,” says Naude.

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