History of Video Conferencing

By Amit Walia, Chief Revenue Officer at Compodium

The early days of video communications

It’s incredible to think the earliest ideas about transmitting an image at the same time as audio began as long ago as the 1870s, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne.

The technology to take things to the next level hadn’t been invented then, although the first telephone was patented in the US in 1876.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the first video camera was invented by John Logie Baird. Video cameras didn’t really catch on until the 1970s, quite a long time after the Bell’s Lab video phone was developed in the late 1920s.

So, it’s not surprising that the word ‘video’ didn’t evolve until 1935, and people didn’t start using the phrase ‘video phone’ until the 1950s.

Much of the technology that was being developed during the majority of the 20th century was funnelled into analogue television.

It took until the 1980s for video communications to gather momentum, when transmitting video images became possible over analogue phone lines, although at that time it was extremely costly.

How digital changed everything

The switch from analogue to digital marked a significant change in the world of video communications.

Compodium launched during that period, in 1997, when we began by helping people to connect with one another via telephone lines. Compodium were delivering pioneering services such as bringing people together from different parts of the world for remote conferences.

Back then though, the concept of secure and authenticated video communications wasn’t even on the radar. Compodium’s first Vidicue platform was launched from 2010.

The challenge of video has always been the amount of data needing to be transmitted as it’s far more than with an audio call. High definition video calls need almost 11 MB per minute, which is much easier to service today with superfast fibre network connections.

At Compodium, the quality and stability of the images we’re transmitting is very important because we know that regulated industries such as healthcare professionals rely on them to make diagnoses and treatment decisions.

Hand on heart, it makes me feel so privileged to know that some people are using our platform to save lives every day. There’s no greater honour than that.

Looking ahead

Today we’re in a global video communications revolution, with demand booming as people are becoming more aware of what the technology can do for them and their business.

As we launched our new Vidicue platform in October 2020, we’re feeling excited as a company about the benefits this will bring to our customers. As we seamlessly migrate our existing customers onto the new platform, they’ll experience even better stability and quality, with all the military-grade security features that already provide so much value.

Over time, we’ll be introducing other innovative features to give our customers superior functionalities, surpassing their expectations.

We’ve also recently welcomed our new CEO Charlotte Berg, an accomplished leader who’s bringing her charisma, expertise, global network, thought leadership and professionalism to drive Compodium to the next level.

We’ll be taking forward our global expansion plans and moving into new markets as more and more businesses see the value that Vidicue brings.

More information about Vidicue >>>

By |2020-11-24T12:14:16+01:00November 24th, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on History of Video Conferencing

Vidicue’s cyber crime armour

By Amit Walia, Chief Revenue Officer at Compodium

There may be many motivations for someone planning to carry out a cyber crime… or maybe none at all. Where opportunity exists, so does risk. And with it, the need for protection. Amit Walia, Chief Revenue Officer at Compodium, explains why no suits of armour are needed with Vidicue’s high level security.

Amit, how secure is Vidicue?

Our security on the Vidicue platform is military grade, catering for all regulated industries that seek trusted communications.

We have inbuilt cyber security features including end-to-end encryption, in-house data management and unique virtual meeting rooms.

Our software is built around Compodium’s own algorithms, designed by our technical team in Sweden using our own source codes.

With all of these features in place, customers are protected against any potential cyber-attack – no suits of armour required.

How reliable is Vidicue?

All our customers across any sector can rely entirely on our Vidicue platform to keep their video communications safe, with positive user experiences.

In the last few months across the world there’s been an explosion of virtual communications. People are talking to one another more than ever, using a whole range of different platforms.

I’m not here to compare platforms, but what I can say is this: Compodium’s entirely different to anything I’ve been involved with before, even having been in the industry for over twenty years.

Is that what made you join the company?

I joined as an advisor and investor and then took to the operational business leading worldwide sales and marketing because I was drawn to the company’s unique value proposition, the team and the platform.

We’re very close, there’s no hierarchy or individual glory. I know I couldn’t be successful in what I do without the team who work alongside me.

I enjoy being part of a global team and staying in touch is easy because we use our own technology.

Whether I’m talking to prospective customers or working with the team regarding on-going projects, every day is different and I’m genuinely proud of the benefits our Vidicue platform creates.

Vidicue safeguards users against unauthorised people accessing meetings by requiring them to verify the identities of all participants. This is especially important when there are children involved – parents and teachers need to be able to trust that their children are not at risk of being exposed to inappropriate material via third parties.

Healthcare professionals in different locations are using Vidicue to make urgent life or death decisions when every moment matters. In situations like these, there isn’t time for a patient to be waiting for a specialist to visit, they need to know there and then what to do to save that person’s life.

Knowing Vidicue is helping to save lives is an amazing feeling.

Who are your customers?

Vidicue is a solution for all regulated industries, such as finance and healthcare as well as Government and Enterprise.

Our platform is customisable because it’s modular and suits a wide range of customers. From the outset, we treat everyone as an individual and work with them to create the most appropriate solution for them.

We’re motivated by providing the right solution for each customer and their particular industry. What works for a community healthcare provider, for example, may not be suitable for a firm of accountants or Government officials.

We value our customers’ loyalty too, making sure we look after them with our suite of global logistics hubs. We have a 24/7 technical helpdesk available, giving customers access to over 400 engineers globally, covering 9 different languages.

Compodium have an extensive portfolio which includes Connected Events, Web Casting and Video Conferencing Professional Services.

We want our customers to expect value for money but most importantly we deliver an optimised service from the global team at Compodium.

Our customers tell us they enjoy the peace of mind that our identity verification process gives them. It ultimately provides reassurance from a data privacy perspective, addressing key points such as GDPR and complete data protection.

Underneath, there’s a web of complexity – processes, a network and data – but to our customers it simply works.

With such a broad reach, you must value diversity?

Diversity brings different people, experiences and ways of thinking into the mix, enriching our lives and sparking creative and innovative thinking.

We’re fully committed to equality and diversity within the company, bringing in new colleagues with fresh ideas and expertise to lead us into new markets.

We’re proud of our recent appointment, Charlotte Berg as our CEO.  She brings a new approach to Compodium, with thought leadership and the strategic vision for accelerating global growth.

We’re also expanding our global salesforce and we were delighted that Anette Ericsson joined us as Head of Marketing earlier this year.  The marketing team has subsequently grown under Anette’s stewardship and is operational in Sweden and the United Kingdom.

What’s your strategy for the rest of 2020 and beyond?

Building our affiliations with the United Nations, addressing key topics such as sustainability, climate control and working with regulated industries.

We’re going through a significant period of growth, expanding into Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as Asia and the Pacific.

Our innovative technology is cutting edge but what really sets us apart is the way we look after our customers.

At a time of universal upheaval, we’re working harder than ever to provide our customers with reliable, secure services while surpassing their expectations.

More information about Vidicue >>>

By |2020-11-10T12:10:32+01:00November 5th, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Vidicue’s cyber crime armour

Privacy and data protection will be central to video conferencing

Amit Walia, Chief Revenue Officer at Compodium, discusses why privacy and data protection will be central to video conferencing in public sector digital transformation, post-COVID

A recent report by Ofcom found that more than 70% of us now take part in a video conference at least once every week. That’s a significant increase from just six months ago and we’re all well aware of the reason why. What’s more, recent research from Sungard Availability Services suggests this trend is set to increase post-COVID, with many UK consumers having used lockdown to move to a digital-first mindset. Given government guidance is now moving back to encouraging people to work from home where possible, this is likely to increase even further.

For many people in the UK, a significant proportion of their personal and professional lives now exists online. And while the country has experienced a leap in the use of digital services, Sungard’s research also reveals rapidly changing service and availability expectations from users.

Beware: Changing expectations

Digital transformation has been taking place across the public sector for some time, and many local authorities and public sector organisations were already struggling to keep pace with the customer experience offered by private organisations. Then, coronavirus hit and the monumental shift to digital services in recent months has placed even more pressure on the public sector to match the increasingly demanding expectations of those using citizen services.

Yet, while functionality and uptime are undoubtedly important parts of the customer experience, one area consumers are not prepared to negotiate on is security.  This – above all else – needs to be the priority for the public sector in the renewed drive for digital transformation. 72% of UK consumers say they would immediately switch provider if they were to experience a data breach from a private organisation, while in the US 55% have already changed providers or reduced service levels due to technical issues in the last few months. nI the private sector, this can cause revenue loss and reputational damage, for the public sector the consequences could be far worse.

Video conferencing tools are becoming the cornerstone for all organisations in the shift to a new, digital-first service delivery environment. But while they are now a must-have for any public sector organisation providing citizen services, the adoption of these video conferencing platforms can pose a significant threat to the privacy and security of communications.  Who can have failed to read about the recent Zoom-bombing incidents, including one infamous case in a New Zealand courtroom?

Understanding the risks

Before public sector organisations rush to embrace video conferencing, they need to understand where the potential risks are. While it may seem as simple as joining a video session via a single link, there are far more privacy and security considerations that need to be made to protect citizens’ data. These range from basic security and authentication safeguards to ensuring communications meet the requirements of regulations like GDPR.

A comprehensive understanding of the risks involved will always centre on user data – including how video conferencing providers are accessing, collecting, managing and storing this data. However, before you can ensure this data is protected you need to know exactly what data is being collected. Under normal circumstances this will include a username and email address, as well as data collected in the background, such as IP address, device, operating system and call information. In a public sector context, this information will likely be linked to wider user information contained in public records and databases of previous interactions, so any access to this must be taken into account.

Once you have a clear idea of the data being handled, the next step is identifying how data is being used and any associated restrictions that might be governing this. For example, processing the data to support the function of the call is fine, but sharing the data with unauthorised third parties is not. Those using citizen services need to be confident their data is private, secure and the handling meets any relevant regulatory standards.

Security is the bedrock of data protection and any video communication channel being offered to citizens should provide industry security protocols such as AES-128, AES-256, SSL and TLS. Beyond encryption, public services should provide further security tools such as military grade authentication, waiting rooms and confidential communications, to ensure only those individuals invited to a video call are able to attend.

Privacy and security best practice in video conferencing

The recent pandemic has fundamentally changed the way public services are delivered, speeding up a drive for digital transformation that was already well underway in the public sector.

There’s no question as to the significance that video conferencing has played here, but while it is not a new technology, many organisations have rushed to roll out services under significant pressure. As the dust settles and it’s become clear that many of the recent changes public sector organisations have made are here for the long term, there is a greater need for a new focus on protecting the sensitive, confidential and valuable data contained in video conversations.

Privacy and security cannot be an afterthought – it must be built in – and it is not yet too late to ensure this is the case. But as the public sector communication landscape continues to evolve, we must ensure that people have a positive, safe and protected experience.

The original article is published on Open Access Government.

By |2020-11-09T11:36:51+01:00October 19th, 2020|Categories: business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Privacy and data protection will be central to video conferencing

Work and Life Week

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

With National Work Life Week taking place in the UK between 12th-16th October, it’s a time for everybody to focus on wellbeing and work life balance.

Mental Health UK (with the help of YouGov) have found that 51% of people feel they’re more prone to extreme stress levels this year compared with last year.

Finding harmony between the different aspects of life is central to our happiness and wellbeing.

Sadly we’re still living with uncertainty, so prioritising wellbeing is more important than ever to avoid burnout, a state of exhaustion that the WHO recognised as an ‘occupational phenomenon’ in 2019.
 

Remote working

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many people working remotely and relying on video communication platforms to keep in touch with their colleagues.

Openness and honesty about the challenges and joys this brings are essential. It’s important to recognise that people are often balancing work with parenting or caring commitments.

Home-working has become a familiar and relatable situation, often injecting humour into our days, with pets and children making guest appearances or a knock at the door mid-meeting.

In many ways, our working lives have become more informal and personable, which I think is a positive change as it’s helping to break down barriers.

Video communication

With social distancing requirements likely to be with us for the foreseeable future, it’s important that we continue using video communication technology to make our lives easier.

Video calls give people the ability to check in with their colleagues as well as engaging more formally for meetings. Keeping in touch is helpful for wellbeing as it’s a time to reflect on how things are going, resolve any issues or just to talk.

We’re all navigating our way through challenging times, and people are sharing innovative and resourceful ways to help us make the most of this unprecedented era.

Finding the balance

Many health and fitness practitioners are using video communication technology to continue their teaching, with classes on everything from yoga to karate happening in living rooms far and wide.

Online workouts with Joe Wicks became a daily routine for many during the national lockdown, seeing him awarded with a Guinness World Record and an MBE.

Work colleagues are also using virtual meetings to keep in touch socially with one another, engaging in virtual quizzes and after work drinks. And organisations are providing online wellbeing talks and activities to help people with their mental health during the pandemic.

Whilst the new normal is still as much a goal as a reality, video communication is making the difference to people’s lives, helping us to find the balance between all the aspects of our lives.

It’s exciting to consider how this will evolve over the coming months and years as people find ever more innovative ways of harnessing the opportunities it brings.

By |2020-10-15T10:54:27+02:00October 15th, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Work and Life Week

From lectern to laptop: privacy and data protection best practice in the video conferencing era

By Amit Walia, EVP Managing Partner at Compodium

recent report by @Ofcom found that more than seven in ten of us now take part in a video conference at least once every week. That’s a significant increase from just six months ago. And we’re all familiar with the reasons why. As universities welcome students back for the start of another academic year, video conferencing will continue to play a significant part in their lives as the laptop becomes the digital lectern. And with the latest statistics showing a sharp rise in cases of Covid-19 throughout a number of UK universities, video conferencing will become an essential link not only to their studies, but to friends and families too.

However, a word of caution. Just as video conferencing tools are now a vital communication tool, the adoption of these platforms can pose a significant threat to the privacy and security of our communications if not implemented properly. Who can have failed to read about the Zoom-bombing incidents earlier this year. And just last month, Zoom’s video conferencing platform crashed coinciding with US schools returning after the summer vacation, leaving hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and workers unable to connect. Fortunately the outage lasted only a few hours, but both these incidents illustrate the importance of utilising a video conferencing platform that’s ‘fit for purpose’ – one that is not only robust and scalable, but puts users privacy and security at its core.

Enhanced security features and technical advancements are being added to video conferencing platforms all the time to help minimise the risk of succumbing to a security incident. But in addition, there are also some straightforward steps that organisations and users alike can take to ensure privacy and security concerns are minimised.

For organisations these include:

  • Data Protection – the arms of data protection regulation are long and complicated. Having come into play in 2018, many organisations have found themselves on the wrong side of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has imposed some considerable fines. All organisations should consider whether information being shared or recorded will have a data protection impact. If you’re unsure, you should conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment to help determine the best way forward to remain within the scope of regulations such as the GDPR.
  • Reading and understanding the various privacy policies – users should be able to trust that companies will respect and protect their privacy and security.  Many of these policies draw on the Digital Standard, a set of benchmarks that can be used by organisations to design digital products that are respectful of consumer privacy rights. Policies vary but they should include information for assessing how secure the tool will be, including whether communications will be end-to-end encrypted or not.
  • Create user guidelines – users should be provided with an organisation’s policy on the use of video conferencing technology so that they are aware of the measures that have been implemented to protect their personal data as well as the rules governing usage.

For users:

  • Familiarise yourself with the platform’s functionality – most platforms have options that enable users to improve security. This could be configuring controls to enable the waiting room option, the screen share option or even simple steps like using a background image to prevent personal data being visible during a call.
  • Read the user guidelines and privacy policy – if you have not been given this, ask to see it. It’s important to understand the policies and parameters that are in place relating to the use of video conferencing tools, specifically relating to security and privacy concerns.
  • For students working from home, or private rental properties, they should ensure their home router is not using the default administrator password and IP address. Changing the administrative password on the router is a good idea. Sometimes it comes with a complex password which is good, but it’s even better when it’s something only you know.

Although 2020 will likely be remembered as a year of disrupted education, cancelled holidays, postponed celebrations and more, the silver lining is that we have access to technology that enables us to carry on, regardless. Video conferencing tools have been the saving grace for many of us, and so long as we secure communications and maintain privacy by implementing sensible precautions most aspects of our lives can continue to operate relatively normally, despite the global pandemic in our midst. At the heart of this is having a video conferencing policy which outlines the expectations and requirements from both the organisation and its users.

The original article is published on FE News.

By |2020-11-09T11:22:38+01:00October 8th, 2020|Categories: business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on From lectern to laptop: privacy and data protection best practice in the video conferencing era

Martijn Voorhoeve: Vidicue’s double layer of trust

Hi Martijn, please could you explain more about Vidicue?

Vidicue is a secure, authenticated video communications solution that brings two or more people together in a virtual meeting room.

Organisations only have to share a web link to a lobby and can organise their call flow into lobbies with virtual waiting rooms. Virtual meeting rooms are uniquely created for every meeting and will be removed when it ends.

We’re currently using Vidicue across Sweden for patients and healthcare practitioners to communicate with one another.


What’s particularly special about Vidicue?

A double layer of trust. Ease of use. No implementation needed.

Patients and healthcare practitioners can each trust that the person they’re speaking to is who they say they are, because they have to authenticate their identity before the meeting can start. This is also helpful when individuals haven’t met each other before.

It’s vital for patients to know they’re in the virtual room with a qualified and legitimate practitioner. We’ve all heard horror stories about people pretending to be doctors, but with Vidicue only authenticated people can enter the room, making it highly secure.

For the practitioners themselves, their license to practice could be on the line if they give advice or prescribe medications to the wrong patient due to mistaken identity. After all, the patient hasn’t checked in at a reception desk on their way.

Healthcare is high stakes. No one wants errors to be made, which is why minimising risk is so important.

Organisations need to ensure they’ve done everything in their power to prevent problems arising, and Vidicue provides that reassurance. Privacy laws are stringent.


That’s great, so how’s Vidicue working in practice?

Vidicue isn’t just for community clinics.

We’re saving lives with Vidicue; bringing specialists into operating theatres, maternity units and hospital departments where every second counts. In complex and unpredictable situations, such as a breech delivery in obstetrics, practitioners can jointly make timely and potentially life-changing decisions.

Outside hospitals, we’re making healthcare more accessible than ever before by removing the need to travel. Vidicue empowers patients, especially those who live rurally or have more complex needs, because it enables them to speak to a healthcare practitioner without leaving their home or having to rely on someone else to transport them.

Vidicue also supports a holistic approach to care by providing the opportunity for additional people to join a consultation, by invitation. Interpreters, for example, can be present in the virtual room, which is fundamental for people who rely on sign language, or where there are spoken language barriers.

Where requested or required, family members can also join consultations. This is ideal when one family member is a carer for another, or where there are children involved.

Equally, team members from other specialities can join meetings, speeding up decision-making and improving the standard of care.

Vidicue is a highly flexible solution.

Amazing, but is Vidicue easy to use?

 Vidicue is very easy to integrate into an organisation as only the meeting link to the lobby needs to be shared with the patient or customer, so their existing booking system can be used. To enable ad hoc meetings the link can also be shared on the organisation’s website.

We customise Vidicue to suit each setting. What works in a hospital won’t necessarily be right for a doctor’s surgery. We talk it all through with our customers to start with, to make sure we’re giving them what they need.

Before a virtual meeting can take place, individual users have to authenticate their identity. There are different ways of doing this depending on where you are in the world. In Sweden for example, people use their BankID or SITHS, an identification card.

After the authentications, the meeting participant(s) end up in the virtual waiting room of a lobby. The healthcare practitioner will select the participant(s) from the queue and start the meeting. The address to the meeting room is therefore not known at all before the meeting starts, improving security from third parties joining.

Could you see Vidicue working in sectors other than healthcare? 

Absolutely. In fact, any regulated industry where security is important, such as legal, banking and finance, education and government departments.

Video conferencing is a commodity nowadays, but when unauthenticated meetings take place, information can be accessed by third parties and shared inappropriately, destroying trust. For organisations, it could also result in fines and negative media coverage.


Martijn, what’s your role within Compodium?

I’m the Head of Business, Worldwide Operations and Business Development. I live in the Hague, in the Netherlands and each day looks different. One day I can be supporting our partners and the next looking at new ways to take Vidicue to the next level.

Right now, we’re expanding internationally at pace, moving into the Middle East, the Netherlands and the UK.

We’re an ethically motivated company; we want to help people and make our customers’ lives easier whilst holding true to our high standards.

Watch the Vidicue webinar >>>

By |2020-11-10T12:24:57+01:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Martijn Voorhoeve: Vidicue’s double layer of trust

Bengt Grahn, Compodium’s Founder, reflects on taking delicate human conversations to the highest level of trust

Bengt, what made you start Compodium 23 years ago?

As an early video conference pioneer, I had worked with communications technology and hardware video system sales for many years prior to Compodium. But I realised that too often we oversold more video infrastructure hardware to customers than they actually needed. This led to the idea of starting a specialised video conference service agency.

I remember our first assignment came from the Swedish government. They wanted to conduct a series of national video conferences to analyse the Estonia disaster, which was when MS Estonia, a cruise ferry, sank in the Baltic Sea and hundreds of people died. People discussed whether the ship should be lifted from the bottom of the ocean or left as a burial ground in the sea.

Compodium was running the whole conference production and in one of those meetings, from a video studio in the far north, one tiny lady at the back of the room said she had a message for the government. The camera zoomed to her and she said, ‘I am a survivor, my husband died and from my heart I’d like to say, please keep it as it is’. People were moved and cried in the big parliament hall. I felt that it was amazing to be able to take a message from her straight into the heart of the government, to bring true democracy.

It was long before digital telephony and smart phones were commonplace and I thought, this is the technology and services I must spend the rest of my life exploring further.

Truly amazing – this was your inspiration?

Absolutely. Video communications are very democratising, and I’ve always been excited by the opportunities they offer. This experience sewed the seed for our further developments and over time, our technical video platform has grown to be one of the most complete in the field of B2B e-health and clinical telemedicine. We form links between more than a hundred hospitals and a thousand care clinics across Sweden.

We provide thousands of hours each day in meeting capacity, giving professionals the opportunity to share knowledge whilst working in another hospital in a completely different locality.

We’ve grown to be super experts in both upholding quality and knowing what’s needed for doctors and healthcare professionals. Over time, we’ve built up specialist knowledge that’s helped us build a funnel of trust with healthcare practitioners. We are so proud to be a business that provides value for mankind in this way.

How is Compodium helping to save lives?

Let me give one example. There are thirty-four maternity units in hospitals in Sweden, where babies are born daily. Statistically, a number of these will be born with suspected heart failure. There are several different causes, and doctors have to decide quickly whether urgent intervention is needed, as this could make the difference between life and death.

A less experienced doctor in a smaller hospital may consult a specialist obstetrician from one of the university hospitals over a video emergency line. Using the live clinical images being shared between them, they can make a mutual decision about whether to undertake a trauma lift of that newborn or to continue care at the local hospital.

An unclear image due to a poor quality video link would present a significant risk of incorrect diagnosis; such a situation is out of the question. It must be super good quality, so practitioners can trust that the image sent from the maternity unit’s ultrasonic device is exactly the same as the image received at the specialist’s location.

Compodium provides that dependability because it offers seamless connectivity, enabling a trusted bond between two healthcare practitioners: nobody will have a life on their conscience.

This is just one example of how our solutions for telemedicine work for practitioners every day.

What about digitisation in society in general?

As society is becoming increasingly digitised, the need has arisen for a trusting and secure solution for video consultations to take place between a doctor and his patient. For many years, our software developers have added functionality to the platform to address this need. We now call the solution Vidicue.

Vidicue is a secure multiparty video communications platform that is enabling patients and healthcare practitioners to talk to one another remotely, saving costs, time and carbon dioxide emissions. It’s very important that a doctor can legally ensure that the right patient arrives at the meeting. In the same way, it is necessary for a patient to trust that it is a legitimate doctor holding their consultation, not an unknown person dressed in a white medical coat.

Vidicue therefore supports a variety of digital authentication methods including Bank ID, to ensure the correct identity of all participants in the video meeting.

Vidicue provides a higher level of trust that allows professionals new, clever ways of organising workflow processes.


How are the changes taking place in the world right now affecting Vidicue?

The world has accelerated five years in the space of a few months.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how easy it is to share knowledge and run our working lives with digital tools. It’s still possible for many people to earn a living without going to a physical place of work, although of course not for everyone.

A major disaster is cutting across society at the moment, putting pressure on the welfare system, on schools, clinics and places of worship. People are learning to adapt their lives and video communications are at the core of this change.

Panic over the pandemic has eroded into a more sensitive discussion of how we need to communicate remotely in the best ways possible. With that comes an awareness of the need to choose a system that agrees with an organisation’s security and trust requirements.

Vidicue provides this level of security via end-to-end encryption. Beyond even that, by removing the need to travel, Vidicue brings services to the user and connects them to a digital world more securely than ever before.

I think our societies will change dramatically over the coming years. It’s possible to have many benefits of a city life in the countryside. People were spending hours commuting, at great cost, but now they’re realising productivity hasn’t been compromised as a result of working remotely.

What are your plans for Vidicue?

We are humbled by what Vidicue is helping people to do and achieve every day of their lives, and as a business we are continuing to develop the platform.

We’re now quickly moving into different sectors, and expanding internationally, based on our healthcare knowledge. Our main focus is addressing services to regulated industries, where information cannot be made publicly available due to personal and professional privacy laws.

We are an ethically motivated company, putting purpose before profit, and we are inspired by integrating the very latest technology into Vidicue to continue our customer-focussed journey.

By |2020-10-01T10:07:04+02:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on Bengt Grahn, Compodium’s Founder, reflects on taking delicate human conversations to the highest level of trust

CASE STUDY: Södertälje municipality maintains operations with secure and confidential video meetings

The Challenge

Simon Lindgren, IT Strategist at Södertälje kommun, one of 290 municipalities in Sweden, is no stranger to using video meetings as a way of expanding support and services to individuals and to make the municipality work more efficiently. In 2018, Simon started investigating the possibilities of using video meetings with external healthcare providers, family homes, guardians and institutions, as well as directly with clients. In these meetings, highly confidential and very sensitive information is often discussed, so security and privacy have become increasingly important.

The meetings would include members from various external organisations and institutions, and in some instances also clients. It’s often the municipalities’ representatives who have to travel to, for example, external hospitals or other care providers, so potentially video meetings could save considerable travel time for the municipality employees. However, it was crucial that the security of the video meeting solution could be trusted.

There’s been an increased focus on tougher demands for security and privacy in the public sector in recent years and today public sector organisations are no longer permitted to use cloud-based solutions from countries outside of the EU. Advanced encryption and strong authentication via electronic identification such as BankID or SITHS, are now also required. All this disqualified many of the usual consumer-focused video conference solutions on the market.

The municipality initially turned to Inera, a company owned by Sweden’s municipalities and regions, working to simplify sourcing of digitalisation solutions. Inera already had a frame agreement in place with Compodium, but as the agreement at the time didn’t include authentication, which was very important to Södertälje municipality, Simon turned directly to Compodium. The frame agreement has subsequently been updated so it now also includes authentication.

Compodium’s solution was implemented in the autumn of 2019 and in the initial set-up, the municipality trained meeting hosts for 5 virtual meeting rooms.

When the Covid-19 pandemic escalated in the spring of 2020, the demand for video conferencing exploded and Simon realised he had to increase the number of meeting rooms. Use of these rooms has tripled since the solution was implemented. Today, there are 17 meeting rooms which can all be used simultaneously. The rooms are divided across Individual and Family Care/Children and Teenagers, Individual and Family Care/Work and Provision, Individual and Family Care/Adult Abuse and Social Mental Health, the Authority for Care of the Elderly and Disabled, and Student Health. The number of meeting hosts has also increased substantially, to 430.

“Compodium managed the very fast expansion during the Spring quickly and easily, and new meeting rooms were delivered the following working day,” explains Simon.

The solution

Compodiums’ service-based digital meetings can be used in three ways; via a web interface, a Windows client or a smartphone app for Android and iOS. There is no need for additional equipment because a computer with a camera, a tablet or smartphone works fine. This makes it really easy to begin and means that employees can use the solution remotely, so they’re not tied to the office.

Each meeting room has a host who will call participants into the room after they’ve logged in from the meeting room lobby.

The high level of security and authentication means that employees, external parties and clients can be confident that their meetings are confidential and can only be reached by authorised participants.

The Result

The municipality’s video meeting users have saved considerable time by not having to travel to meetings, time that instead can be used to provide increased support and service to individuals. Management are seeing great possibilities with this new technology, and they are very supportive of its future use.

And there are other advantages with video meetings as they can sometimes be more focused than face-to-face meetings, taking less time with discussions staying on point. They can also act as a complement to physical meetings and offer additional follow-up and support for individual clients.

“It was really good that we already had the solution established when Covid-19 struck. It made it easier for our operations to keep up continuity in the contact with clients and the support network around them. Virtual meetings have also helped our internal communication,” Simon said.

Simon concluded: “By using Compodium’s video meeting solution we can be sure that we comply with existing regulations and follow guidelines for managing confidential and private information. The fact the solution also saves us time and money and is simple to use, is extremely positive.”

By |2020-10-01T10:04:36+02:00October 1st, 2020|Categories: Blog, business, English, Latest Articles, News|Comments Off on CASE STUDY: Södertälje municipality maintains operations with secure and confidential video meetings