EG Group Raised the Bar on Video Communications with Zoom + Neat
UK fuel and retail operator EG Group leveraged Zoom and Neat to coordinate essential services during the pandemic.
Location: Blackburn, United Kingdom
Challenges: Complex legacy video conferencing, communicating with a large, globally distributed organization
Solutions: Zoom Meetings, Zoom Rooms, Neat Bars
Business benefits: Improved user experience, seamless global communication, reduced costs, and enhanced solution management
For a number of reasons, the Neat Bars became the product of choice for our Zoom Rooms. The quality of the video, the clarity of the features, the fact that it will automatically end a meeting after everyone has left the meeting room is great. In my IT strategy, I aim for simplicity, resilience, and innovation, and with Zoom and Neat, we get all three.
Graham BillsboroughGroup CIO, EG Group
EG Group is a leading global independent fuel and retail convenience operator with a diversified portfolio of over 6,000 gas station and convenience retail sites across 10 international markets in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Founded in 2001 by co-CEOs Mohsin and Zuber Issa with the acquisition of a single gas station site in the United Kingdom, the EG Group provides an innovative approach to forecourt trading and a best-in-class customer experience for grocery & merchandise, foodservice, and fuel, providing excellent service and good value, quality products at well-maintained, convenient locations.
Its transformational retail approach has been built upon investing and creating omnichannel destinations supported by excellent relationships with leading international brand partners and strategic acquisitions. EG Group’s global network is supported by almost 50,000 employees who continuously deliver products and services to an average of 24 million customers per week and support the local communities in which they operate.
As a global organisation providing an essential service to its customers during COVID-19, EG Group has leveraged Zoom to effectively coordinate in-country operations during the pandemic and maintain the day-to-day communication that is so critical to its continued success.
The race to fix communications
After expanding its operations to 10 countries, the teams at EG Group turned to video conferencing to enhance leadership and management’s ability to communicate and collaborate with in-country offices overseas.
“Managing EG Group’s business interest across various markets presented a number of unique challenges. It was a norm for teams to travel and meet face-to-face, sometimes staying in another country for extended periods due to poor performance of technology,” said Graham Billsborough, Group CIO at EG Group. “So there was a real hunger to fix the deficient technology performance to improve people’s ability to communicate from anywhere and at the exact time it was required. EG Group operates in a fast-paced retail business environment and as such needed a communication platform that made these markets accessible daily.
“However, every time we tried to do a video call there were connection issues or the rooms weren’t working. The whole thing was frustrating for everybody involved, and people just refused to use it based on that experience.”
Zoom Rooms + Neat = Video conferencing simplicity
EG Group needed an effective meeting solution to ensure collaboration among its global offices.
“I’ve had plenty of experiences with other video conferencing solutions, and having reviewed what was available in the market and aligning this with our overwhelming business need for a stable solution, we wanted to implement Zoom because it simply works,” Billsborough said. “Initially we trialed it in the United Kingdom, and everyone loved it. We then decided to implement it globally because we felt it provided a stable, robust technical solution that was relatively easy to implement and more importantly, would work and operate within our business.”
As EG Group began implementing Zoom across the organisation, Billsborough decided to leverage Neat’s conference room technology to provide teams with a market-leading communication experience.
“For a number of reasons, the Neat Bars became the product of choice for our Zoom Rooms,” Billsborough said. “The quality of the video, the clarity of the features, the fact that it will automatically end a meeting after everyone has left the meeting room is great. In my IT strategy, I aim for simplicity, resilience, and innovation, and with Zoom and Neat, we get all three.”
As COVID-19 emerged to be a global challenge, EG Group began to rely more heavily on Zoom for business continuity across its various geographies, which have stayed fully operational during the pandemic.
“As EG Group provides access to the local communities they serve and essential support to the emergency services, we have relied heavily on Zoom and Neat to keep in touch with our amazing frontline workers who are keeping EG stores open,” Billsborough said. “Where stores rely on more traditional telephony, we have seamlessly integrated them to the Zoom and Neat solutions by deploying Zoom Phone. Without any issue, we rapidly deployed Zoom Phone to 10 countries and saw immediate benefits.”
Zoom has also played an important role in helping EG Group reduce costs and protect the health and safety of its staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We recently had an HR workshop with four of our HR people in Europe,” Billsborough said. “Rather than flying them in and paying for food and hotels for three days, we held the workshop over Zoom. We saved the company over £5,000 by hosting it digitally, which more than pays for a Neat Bar and a Zoom Room license by itself.”
A partnership for the future
With Zoom and Neat, EG Group can more easily coordinate its global teams while providing an intuitive, cost-effective solution that allows for frictionless collaboration. As EG Group continues to expand its global footprint, its partnership with Zoom and Neat will continue to be a critical aspect of its operations.
“When it comes to Zoom and Neat, it’s not just that they listen to requests, it’s that they hear them, and they do something about it,” Billsborough said. “I’ve made suggestions, and I’ve seen them deliver on it. That’s what partnership is made of. Businesses want partnership, not just a supply chain, and Zoom and Neat deliver that for us.”