News Release

Vancouver Film Studios Gets 'Blockbuster' Benefits from Cisco Unified Communications

Berbee InformaCast drives additional customer service capabilities at Canada's largest film and television production centre
May 31, 2006

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - May 31, 2006 - Vancouver Film Studios, Canada's premier film and television production centre, is improving client service, reducing costs and growing operations after implementing Cisco® Unified Communications, a suite offering voice, data and video products and applications specifically designed to help organizations of all sizes to communicate more effectively.

Vancouver Film Studios (VFS) is a full-service film and television production facility that provides everything from sound stages and office space to grip and lighting equipment. Working in one of the world's most demanding industries has resulted in an ongoing focus on customer service.

"At any given time, we can have thousands of people working at our facility, spending millions of dollars on a production in just a few months," said Gordon Hawkins, network and systems administrator for VFS. "And every production manager has a different idea of how they want to handle calls. Our Cisco Unified Communications solution allows us to deliver the customized features our clients want, quickly and easily."

Prior to its Cisco Unified Communications deployment, VFS struggled to adequately service the telephony needs of its demanding client base. "We were raking up significant adds, moves and changes costs every time a new production moved in. Unique customer needs were usurping a lot of employee time and energy," added Hawkins.

When its private branch exchange (PBX) phone system reached capacity in 2001, the studio, already running a Cisco data network, made the "easy decision" to deploy a Cisco Unified Communications solution. "It's exactly the kind of technology we need for the film industry. As we grow bigger and bigger, this resilient, highly available and customizable communications system scales with us," said Hawkins. VFS utilizes Cisco CallManager, Cisco Unity® and 500 Cisco Internet Protocol phones in multiple buildings.

Since deploying their solution, VFS has continued to expand its communications capabilities, most recently by adding the Berbee InformaCast® paging solution to allow VFS clients to communicate with each other immediately within their temporary office buildings. Hawkins chose the IP-based paging solution to meet the demands of a multiuser environment with a wide variety of tenants with many different needs.

"Any organization that needs to do large-scale paging, including across multiple facilities and locations, is the ideal customer for InformaCast," said Ken Bywaters, vice president of voice products for Berbee Information Networks Corp. "With Berbee's InformaCast, customers can use the displays on the IP phones to page out text, and give their clients access to Webpages so they can design their own pages and push them out."

Available as a component of the Cisco Unified Communications system, Berbee InformaCast is a robust, full-featured paging system that allows users to simultaneously push an audio stream and/or text message to multiple Cisco IP phones, InformaCast IP speakers, the InformaCast desktop agent, or an overhead paging system. An administrator may select a prerecorded message or send a live broadcast through either a password-protected Webpage, or the IP phone services menu.

About Vancouver Film Studios

Vancouver Film Studios (VFS) is a state-of-the-art film and television production facility featuring the finest in sound stages and office space, and outfitted with the latest in technical support. In total there are 15 buildings, 10 of which are purpose built sound stages, along with mill space and office space. VFS customers enjoy a wide array of top quality facilities and amenities, along with a full complement of production support and services such as lighting and grip, voice and data systems, lifts and equipment, and office equipment. More info on VFS can be found at

About Berbee Information Networks Corp.

Berbee is a proven partner for IT solutions, including network infrastructure, server and storage infrastructure, productivity applications, communication and collaboration, application development and security. Berbee's data centers deliver hosted applications, co-location, and managed services to clients nationwide. Berbee, a leading provider of technology for business is among a handful of companies worldwide to achieve the highest level of partnership with our strategic partners Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft. Berbee has offices in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Additional information about Berbee is available at