Houlihan Lokey, an international investment firm with services that include mergers and acquisitions, valuations and financial advisement, recently completed a worldwide deployment of Polycom high definition HDX 9004™ telepresence systems between offices in New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Minneapolis.
The video systems allow Houlihan Lokey consultants to stay in touch with colleagues and clients around the world regardless of geographical barriers, which allows for real-time communication, reduces the hassles associated with travel for both the firm and its clients, and at the same time, reduces costs.
“We chose Polycom because we knew we’d get a standards-based, high-quality HD telepresence solution that’s also very cost-effective,” said Mr. Louis Chen, senior vice president and chief information officer, Houlihan Lokey. “We looked at all the major vendors, but most offer a closed, proprietary solution and we needed an open system that would allow us to tie in any video conferencing system we want.”
Among the largest financial restructuring companies in the world, Houlihan Lokey was recently ranked by Thomson Reuters as the top merger and acquisition advisor for U.S. transactions under $2 billion. With continued growth and expansion in mind, Mr. Chen recognized the firm could significantly benefit by leveraging video in a number of ways:
Real-time, face-to-face communication with clients. The firm can better serve its clients with improved communication and immediate responsiveness using the state-of-the-art video technology.
Improved productivity. Eliminating a single employee trip saves hours, even days, in transit, allowing Houlihan Lokey staff to focus on their core competencies and significantly enhancing their work-life balance.
Sharpened competitive edge. Video interactions also enable Houlihan Lokey clients to reduce travel costs, enabling the firm to create better interpersonal relationships while differentiating them as an industry leader. When searching for and recruiting new talent, telepresence also enables Houlihan Lokey to reach vast new pools of candidates, without requiring travel.
Reduced travel costs. With airfares, hotels, and other expenses costing the firm a significant amount annually, Mr. Chen estimates Polycom telepresence systems will pay for themselves within a year.
All Polycom HDX telepresence systems leveraged by Houlihan Lokey feature the Polycom UltimateHD experience, which enables users to see and interact with video, audio and content – all in high definition quality. According to Mr. Chen, the advantage of HD is that it enables truly life-like face-to-face interactions.
“In our business, it’s important to see that body language,” he added. “Accurately interpreting counterparty’s moods or responses are essential to successful negotiations, and so even slight changes in a person’s demeanor can tell you a lot. At the end of the day, Polycom’s visual communication solutions have made our job easier and our business much more effective,” he concluded.