Hive Solves Video Communication Challenges For Hexion

PRODUCTS USED
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Analytics
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Operations
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Optimization
Company
Hexion
Headquarters
Columbus, OH, USA
Industry
Chemical Engineering
Employees
4,300

Company background

For more than 100 years Hexion Inc. has been advancing specialty chemicals and performance materials. Based in Columbus, Ohio, they are a global leader in thermoset resins. Hexion serves the global wood and industrial markets through a broad range of thermoset technologies, specialty products and technical support for customers in a diverse range of applications and industries.

In 2017, Hexion generated revenues of $3.6 billion and employed more than 4,000 associates. As of December 31, 2017, Hexion operated 22 domestic production and manufacturing facilities in 12 states and 30 foreign production and manufacturing facilities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. Non-U.S. operations account for approximately 60 percent of sales.

" Our deployment of Hive Streaming has been a huge success for Hexion and especially the Information Technology organization. Deployment was incredibly straight-forward and the response from employees has been tremendous as they feel we have now arrived and caught up with their social media habits.
Dennis Ryan
Vice President & CIO

The Challenge

In 2017, a new CEO joined Hexion who sees regular dialogue and transparent communication with associates as critical to the success of the company and his leadership role. In a company with more than 4,000 associates spread over 30 countries, he saw regular company-wide communication and real-time dialogue as critical to ensure all associates are aligned with the corporate strategy and believe that they are involved in the overall success of Hexion. While in-person meetings are ideal, this isn’t always possible.

Hexion recognizes that video is the most vibrant and engaging means for associates to convey their message to large, global audiences. Limited bandwidth connectivity between offices made large-scale, high-quality video distribution near impossible. Additionally, Hexion communicates many corporate announcements in up to nine languages, requiring messages to be translated, many times taking up to six weeks for associates to receive the message.

Historically when Hexion wanted to conduct an all-hand broadcast, they had to gather people in centralized locations which was costly and inconvenient. Cramming into elevators, dressing in coats, trekking across the street to a meeting hall was inconvenient and disruptive.

A solution needed to be found, one that:

  • Was minimally disruptive to associates
  • Made better use of network resources
  • Eliminated impact on user applications
  • Improved monitoring and reporting of event performance
  • Extended the broadcast capability companywide
  • Improved the video quality to all users
  • Allowed associates speaking a variety of languages to hear the message in real-time.
  • Integrated with Microsoft Office 365 and Skype Meeting Broadcast
  • Was cost effective.
" I wish all vendors and their products were as easy to work with Hive Streaming. The Hive team is incredibly responsive and are very accommodating contractually, and their product is one of the easiest software deployments we’ve ever made. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to deploy Hive.
Scott Stephen
Manager Domain & Workplace Services

The Evaluation

Hexion embarked on a search for a solution that would enable them to fully embrace internal video communications. After consulting with industry peers, it became clear that a software-based solution with efficient delivery capabilities was compelling due to the lack of investment required in capital equipment and bandwidth. Also, the ability to integrate with Office 365 and Skype Meeting Broadcast would leverage those investments and increase adoption throughout Hexion globally. The analytics and reports were also critical.

Not just typical macro statistics like number of viewers, time viewed, and average bit rate, but also the reporting of actual user experience by individual user and measures of quality of experience so accurate and timely trouble-shooting could take place.

At the end of the evaluation process there was a clear choice – Hive Streaming.

At the completion of the evaluation phase, Hexion decided that Hive Streaming met their selection criteria:

  • Incredibly efficient at utilizing existing network resources – claims of optimal network offload down to one stream per site
  • Eliminates impact on user applications during broadcasts
  • Minimal maintenance and more cost effective due to it being a software-based solution
  • Comprehensive and detailed live monitoring and reporting of event performance
  • Ability for the IT group to manage and administer centrally Improve the video quality to all users – 1.7 Mbps to most users
  • Microsoft Office 365, Skype Meeting Broadcast and FLIK integration and team endorsement.

As well as meeting their evaluation criteria, the team at Hexion was very impressed with the Hive contracting process and the responsiveness of the Hive team. Also, the Hive Streaming Silent Testing enabled the Hexion team to run tests in the background, without impacting users, to make sure their network was ready for a broadcast prior to an event.

The Result

Since selecting Hive Streaming for evaluation, the Hive Streaming product has been put through extensive simulated and live testing. Hexion IT has worked closely with the Hive Streaming team and, after addressing some initial deployment customizations due VPN customizations to Bluecoat, the Hexion team had the confidence to conduct a companywide broadcast.

This year a companywide broadcast was conducted. A test broadcast was conducted across 20 cities, in 11 countries, and 21 Hexion locations, with more than 800 participants. For video delivered by Hive, the results from testing were outstanding:

  • Company-wide, 85 percent had either a good or excellent viewing experience.
  • Saw as high as 99 percent bandwidth savings via Hive peering. Achieving in Hexion’s case, near theoretical optimal traffic offload from WAN links.
  • Less costly that traditional town halls due to not having to hire outside resources and expertise for lighting, audio/visual and production expertise.
  • Easier for associates to ask and answer questions

The Columbus corporate headquarters was a high priority with the largest concentration of viewers. It was very important to Hexion management that the associates in Columbus could view the townhall with little to no issues.

With Hive Insights Reporting and Silent Testing, Hexion could locate problem areas on the network before the CEO Townhall meeting and address these issues ahead of time. Several smaller sites were optimized through the Hive Streaming SDN capabilities to ensure the viewers there watched the highest quality stream with minimal to no buffering issues.

As a result, Hexion is now confident of utilizing video broadcasts more frequently. Hive Streaming customer and more importantly, they now feel confident in more frequent use of video communications and extending use to more users and facilities.

92%

Savings at Columbus, OH Headquarters

91%

Viewed Excellent or Good quality

93%

Viewed HD/HQ video streams