Imerys, the world leader in minerals processing brings its operations around the world together every day.

"With activity in so many countries, Imerys must integrate cost-effective, reliable solutions to maintain communication with all sites," says Mark Worrel, global telecommunications manager of Imerys. "To complete this task, we rely on conferencing applications and services."

Worrel has successfully implemented WorldCom's audio conferencing, videoconferencing and net conferencing tools into Imerys's everyday activities. Worrel states, "We have been using video, voice and network conferencing for several years. At this point, we look at it as a strategic tool to reduce our overall costs."

Imerys uses audio conferencing for sales and marketing functions, videoconferencing for board meetings and research and development functions, and net conferencing for global IT management.

"We make audio conference calls all the time, for marketing and sales meetings," says Worrel. "With so many manufacturing sites, it's important to keep everyone in the loop." Imerys utilizes audio conferencing to make sure employees at each plant and those who travel regularly remain up to speed on the latest developments within the company.

Videoconferencing, used at least twice a week, has become a staple for many Imerys R & D and executive meetings. This tool has proven to be the most beneficial of the three. According to Worrel, "It provides the face-to-face element of meeting people without the expense of traveling. Moreover, with executives around the globe and English as the primary language, the ability to see when people don't understand each other provides for better communication by allowing one to clarify certain points or start over."

Net conferencing also plays an important role in the day-to-day functions of Imerys. The company hosts presentations and monthly business reviews via net conference, which allows sites in Paris, the UK and the U.S. to collaborate online and provide instant feedback to all colleagues. For example, R & D staff use it to discuss new uses for the minerals they excavate. The U.S., Latin America, Brazil and Europe offices use net conferencing to discuss global IT change management. Typically, recommended changes or alterations are submitted in Lotus Notes. Then participants meet via audio and Net Conference to discuss what they are doing and why they are doing it and to receive approval to implement the change.

Conferencing allows Imerys to effortlessly communicate anytime anywhere – and you can't put a price on that. "Voice, video and net conferencing are inherent to what we do", says Worrel. "From a budget and cost perspective, I haven't performed an analysis in a couple years because these technologies are a part of our daily activities."


Busy professionals attend over 60 meetings each month. However, most say they cannot attend all meetings to which they are invited due to the tremendous demands on their time.
A five-person meeting conducted in-person (involving plane travel for four of the attendees) is over seven times more expensive than a meeting conducted by audio conference, and nearly three times as expensive as a videoconference:
In-person meeting $5,197.50
Audio conference $ 689.24
Videoconference $1,700.69
The average time participants spend to prepare for, travel to and attend this in-person meeting involving five people is 53 hours and 24 minutes. This is more than three times the time involved in an audio or videoconference

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