With about 1,300 employees globally and headquarters located in Atlanta, Georgia, The Weather Company is perhaps best known for its American television staple, The Weather Channel. Owned as a joint venture between NBCUniversal and investment firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, the channel not only broadcasts weather forecasts and weather related news, but also features documentaries and entertainment programming related to weather. In addition to its programming on the cable channel, TWC also provides forecasts for terrestrial and satellite radio stations, newspapers, websites, and professional weather services. It also maintains an extensive online presence at weather.com and wunderground.com and through a set of mobile smartphone and tablet computer applications.
As of August 2013, The Weather Channel was received by approximately 99,926,000 pay television households (87.50% of households with a television) in the United States, making it the most common cable channel in the country.
TWC faced a business challenge that included providing a platform capable of holding the amount of people they needed on a conference bridge at a cost point that could actually scale with the business. As Nick Gardner, Senior Director of Internal Systems reflects, “We needed to be able to provide that solution to the number of employees that needs this ability on a daily basis. The amount of people in the company that need large conference bridges is very high because of different business units.”
When new employees join The Weather Company, the company holds IT training sessions to get everyone on board and show how easily their employees can go into Google Apps and UberConference to sign up for their free line. They also use Google Chromebox for meetings, where they use the UberConference integration with Google Hangouts.
“We rely heavily on Google Apps and UberConference for our day-to-day business,” Gardner said. “UberConference is one of the key pieces in our employee toolkit because it fits so nicely with Google, and it’s part of our forward-thinking technology plan.”
“UberConference usage and Google Hangouts usage across the company in general is very high,” Gardner said. “Drive and Hangouts are critical collaboration tools for us.”
The integration with Google was not the only benefit. After switching from their previous conference calling service, The Weather Company saved about 70%-75% of the cost with UberConference.
Employees are able to schedule their weekly meetings easily, and join them from anywhere. The mobile app adoption rate has been huge; it’s so much easier to get on calls on mobile devices because there isn’t a PIN number. “I request that anyone I ever have a conference call with uses my UberConference line,” Gardner said. “I’m on the road a lot, and don’t want to have to enter my PIN or punch in a bunch of random codes.”
Gardner also likes how easy UberConference is to use.
“The ease of use is also great,” he said. “Everyone gets into their calls a lot quicker
out the conferencing client. Speaking of saving time, I can set somebody up with a new conference bridge in a matter of minutes, instead of having to wait 48 hours (or sometimes more) with other services. The deployment process runs a lot more smoothly. That is a big deal to us as a fast-paced company. UberConference fills a huge gap for us and makes everyone more productive.”