Editor's note: It’s been just over a year since we launched Chromebox for meetings, and to celebrate the milestone we’re sharing stories about our customers and their approaches to business, culture and productivity that are bringing them success. In today’s post, online accounting software provider Xero tells how it manages to keep its startup-like efficiency, innovation and feel while expanding globally. To learn more about Chromebox for meetings, watch Chrome Live and see how companies scale face-to-face meetings across the globe.Xero was started by several developers nine years ago in an apartment above a coffee shop in Wellington, New Zealand. Today, we have more than 1,000 employees in 15 cities across the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand and provide online accounting software to more than 400,000 global customers. With more than 200 percent five-year average sales growth as of June 2014, our biggest challenge now is managing the fast-paced growth while maintaining our nimble, tech-forward startup culture.
We like to keep work in small groups and move quickly. Our teams work closely on projects even when they’re located in different offices around the world. And since we like to stay on the cutting edge of technology, we’re using Google Apps, which allows us to stay coordinated and productive.
Our pain point in IT was finding a way for teams in different cities and offices to meet and collaborate at the same time. We used a variety of video conferencing technologies, including PCs, HDMI/VGA and projectors. They were difficult to set up, meetings were delayed and productivity suffered. As we continued to grow, this struggle intensified, and we realized that we needed to find a solution fast. We needed to streamline our meeting room setups and get the most out of Hangouts. When we heard about Chromebox for meetings, we jumped at the chance to try it out.
We started with six Chromebox for meetings units. Today, we have nearly a hundred. They’re in every meeting room. We use them for room-to-room conferencing and all hands meetings. The global team uses them to connect every two weeks and the CEO addresses the entire company via Hangout on Air.
Chromebox for meetings allow us to keep things simple. There’s very little infrastructure or wireless connections needed on our side, so no cables necessary. Setup is fast and the integration with Gmail makes joining Hangouts as easy as clicking a button. It’s easy to share documents and work on them together. Then there’s the cost savings. Instead of spending between $40,000 and $60,000 on a video conferencing system, we spent one-tenth of that on a Chromebox and a display.
We may be a larger company now, but we still want to move and act quickly. No matter how large we become, our values align with those of fresh innovative companies that respond rapidly to market demand, customer needs and competition. Thanks to Chromebox for meetings, we can keep the startup feel and agility while growing at breakneck speed.