At a Glance

  • Face-to-face global collaboration
  • Doubled video use in past year
  • Saves time, travel, and money

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At Prologis, Making a Big World Smaller

Prologis is in the business of making a big world smaller. Operating some 560 million square feet of modern distribution and logistics facilities in 21 countries, the San Francisco-based company is the world leader in industrial real estate. Managing its vast global portfolio – including 3,000 buildings, 11,000 acres of land, and $49 billion in assets – requires the kind of globe-shrinking collaboration that erases cultural and geographical boundaries in an instant.

Following its 2011 merger with warehouse giant AMB, Prologis found itself trying to knit together two very different corporate cultures – and saw Polycom video collaboration solutions as a way to defy distance and build connections with 1,400 employees working in nearly 90 offices around the world. In 2012, the company commissioned Polycom Adoption Services to help design and upgrade an infrastructure that would take Prologis forward, retooling network architectures, outfitting meeting rooms with intuitive iPad-based remote controls, and equipping nearly every employee with a personal Virtual Meeting Room.

The result is a "pure culture of collaboration," says Matt Kerner, director of IT services delivery at Prologis, where the use of video collaboration has doubled in the past year and has become commonplace for a growing number of departments, including IT, accounting, senior management, and human resources.   

"You can't fly people all around the world to bring them together; it's cost prohibitive," says Diana Scott, chief human resources officer at Prologis. "So having the opportunity to remove the impediment that distance represents, and bringing people together so they can resolve issues and begin to work collaboratively, is really important."

A Top-Down Focus on Collaboration

That advantage is just as critical to the Prologis Investment Committee, which meets over video every Monday to evaluate and approve real estate acquisitions worldwide – with multimillion dollar investments approved in just a couple of hours. Susan Pi, vice president and associate member of the committee, says video collaboration "allows us to approve deals that would be difficult to get done over the phone."

For Prologis employees in all departments, meeting over video saves time and money, and promotes meaningful interactions that lead to faster decisions.  

Such widespread adoption is no accident. Kerner's team in IT worked closely with Polycom Adoption Services to ensure video is easy to use for all employees. "We moved from a very high-touch IT model – where IT was involved from scheduling rooms and calls – to where it’s practically self-serve." Meanwhile, the Polycom Elite Services team ensures technical issues don’t stand in the way of adoption. Watch the Prologis IT customer story here.

And it helps, says Kerner, that the company's most devoted advocate for video collaboration is its leadership team. "Defying distance and being face to face with the people he needs to work with has been his number one priority for IT," says Kerner. "We have locations all across the world and the only way for these departments to effectively collaborate is through video."

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