Company size: ~100 employees
Pexip's interoperability solutions enable the EFCA to meet securely on video across distances.
The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), established in 2005, is an entity of the European Union (EU). The EFCA is headquartered in Vigo, Spain, the largest fishing port in Europe. The agency is responsible for control, inspection, and surveillance of fisheries and fishing activities in the region. This includes: assisting EU member states in adhering to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP); promoting sustainable fishery management to support conservation efforts; coordinating national and international maritime operations; and negotiating agreements with non-EU nations, mainly in the Middle East and Africa.
ChallengesNeed for streamlined, flexible, and secure technology to connect individuals and organizations across a large geographic spread
Lack of interoperability with Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and other services and infrastructure
Video meetings often used in high-security contexts
Expanded video conferencing usage following the Covid-19 pandemic
Pexip SolutionsAdoption of Pexip Infinity as a gateway for interoperability Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and other technologies
ResultsHigh-quality audio and video solution with robust gateway capabilities.
A video conferencing solution that’s scalable and flexible, with full GDPR compliance
Improved workflow and easier collaboration across the organization
The EFCA controls fishing activities in various sea zones across the European region. To maintain their coordinated efforts, weekly meetings are held for the six steering groups and six deployment groups operating throughout the European Union (EU). Though these groups are small (6 to 15 people), the agency still needed a reliable solution for video meetings. Accounting for geographic distance, meeting high security standards, and finding a flexible solution were the most important considerations when it came to choosing video conferencing technology.
Finding the right balance between security and flexibility was also key. The EFCA’s meeting rooms often include member-states’ representatives in diverse yet high-security environments where certain phone and browser restrictions are in place. Users need to be able to easily access meetings from different devices and services without compromising security.
Further challenges arose throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, when the EFCA was forced to increase its collaboration with other agencies for joint patrolling efforts. This need for smooth communication in a time of crisis happened at the same time as the EFCA’s offices closed in March 2020. With everyone suddenly working from home, the EFCA’s use of video conferencing increased by 700% within its Office 365 environment alone.
In 2018, the EFCA was on the lookout for a single, comprehensive, and secure communication solution. The agency tested other web-based solutions and was already using different providers for virtual meeting rooms and web conferencing. The EFCA was one of the first EU agencies to adopt Microsoft Teams, and many of their contacts had Skype for Business in place. The EFCA worried that adding even more tools would confuse internal and external users, and were on the lookout for a solution that could streamline their existing communications ecosystem.
Along with reliable high-quality audio and video, Pexip offered seamless cloud video interoperability for both internal users and guests. With Pexip’s Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams integrations, users could keep their existing tools and workflows. “The Pexip system provides multiple ways to integrate either with an existing product or used standalone,” says Christine Simm, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Administrator. “The WebRTC quality was one of the deciding factors. The fact that mobile application is an equal product made our decision easier.”
Another important factor was security. Pexip’s security-first approach ensures that sensitive information does not leave the EFCA. “Because we host Pexip in-house for our Teams gateway, we are automatically compliant with regulations for data protection, a concern for some high-level meetings, as the data remains in our premises,” says Christine.
"We chose Pexip for two main reasons—seamless integration with Skype for Business, and clientless video services. We did not find anything else that would tick all the boxes for us.”Christine Simm, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Administrator, EFCA
Christine says that while other options looked confusing, complicated, and overwhelming, Pexip stood out with its easy-to-follow documentation. She was able to set it up and deploy the service within a just couple of days.
The solution serves as a gateway for EFCA’s communications infrastructure, mainly to support Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and WebRTC. As the EFCA’s operations continue to expand, its video conferencing capabilities have kept pace.
When the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, having a streamlined video solution already in place helped facilitate a smoother transition to remote work. The choice of clientless video conferencing services meant staff working from home could now simply dial in over VPN, which helped maintain business continuity in a time of crisis.
Christine is also pleased with Pexip’s customer support, pointing to instances where solutions to any difficulties were provided within the hour. “When something comes up, Pexip’s people will immediately resolve it,” says Christine. “Throughout all these changes, we have had excellent technical support.”
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