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January 23, 2007

Eureka! Canadian Ad Agency Embraces VoIP Collaboration

By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director


Tom Blackmore is an advertising executive who understands the value of good technology. Blackmore is president of Sharpe Blackmore, Euro RSCG, a global advertising agency, which offers account management, creative, media, metrics public relations and all the other services one would expect from a world-class agency.


Blackmore and his team are in the process of rolling out Eureka, a VoIP collaboration tool that he’s using to, "…help the process of developing better ideas, more quickly for our clients."


The Eureka solution is based on technology developed by Bradon Technologies. The technology, which is called Bradon Technologies Audio Codec or simply BTAC, is a frame-independent codec, which lies at the heart of the company’s SAViiDesk solution.


The Simultaneous Audio Video Interactive Internet (SAVii) Desk meeting software and live presentation application are very lightweight. In fact, the meeting host application is only 265Kb while the client/participant software is only 289Kb in size.


Once downloaded onto a machine, the application allows a meeting host to visually present their desktop to any number of participants, while they all collaborate via voice over IP.


One of the more practical features of the solution is the fact that every presentation or conference call can be automatically archived for later, on-demand viewing. The archived file is an exact replay of how the meeting happened and becomes available for instant replay immediately upon conclusion of the session.


I asked Blackmore how the Eureka solution was working out for his company.


"It’s good," he told me. "We just launched, and we’re rolling out client by client. We’re using Eureka for Volvo in Canada and we’re using to conduct meetings with dealers.


"Essentially, we’re using it to present creative concepts as they are being done, to a variety of people."


Blackmore praised the solution’s availability to change his firm’s processes in how they present ideas and concepts to their clients.


"Eureka allows us to get input, see what the clients think, see where we need to change, enabling us to adapt, region by region.


"The solution makes the process of developing advertising much more efficient, and it allows us to spend more time developing the solutions and less time physically trying to get them approved," Blackmore said.


I asked Blackmore to elaborate on how a solution like Eureka is able to fundamentally change the way agencies like Sharpe Blackmore do business.


"We’re always trying to figure out how to get more hours out of each day. The client is always looking to get more value from their agencies. That part doesn’t change. What does change perhaps is the process of developing ideas and the process of selling an idea and collaborating on an idea."


Blackmore turned to the Volvo example.


"Let’s say I want to do something for the Montreal dealer group and present it live, I would spend a couple days developing that, get on a plane and fly to Montreal, make a presentation, make all the changes, fly back to Toronto. That can take a day or maybe that’s two days of just the selling part or the adapting and collaborating part.


"If I now use Eureka, then that part can now take 15 or 20 minutes or an hour so I still have the two or three days to work on the solution. I’ll only need a few hours to sell it and this time that I have saved, I could spend developing more ideas.


"What it means for me and why I like it, is that I now have hours and hours more time to work on a client’s project than my competitors, because of the way I’m using technology."


Blackmore is embracing technology in order to drive his business to the next level. Taking advantage of advances in technology to enhance the business processes that enable a successful company to compete… what a concept.


In closing, Blackmore echoed the message that technology is allowing him to move ahead.


"If I really wanted to make a quantum leap difference in the advertising business, I would figure out a way to cull down the process of the selling part of it and spend more time on the development of the creative ideas. And if you can do that by using technology, you will truly be a different agency in today’s world. And no one else is doing that today. No one else has this technology."



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