House Of Commons considering StarLeaf as alternative to Zoom for video meetings

House Of Commons Considering StarLeaf As Alternative To Zoom

The lower house of Parliament has announced that it intends to replace Zoom with StarLeaf, the Watford-based British alternative. This makes the House Of Commons the first government institution to abandon the US video conferencing service provider, after the Ministry of Defence raised concerns over its weak security.

StarLeaf is also pushing to be the provider for the Irish and Northern Irish governments and has started trials in Scotland too. This is great news for StarLeaf!

Will MacDonald, Starleaf CTO said:

“The House of Commons has already purchased some hardware from us, their IT department is currently testing the software and they’re doing a security analysis on us”.

MP’s had become frustrated by one aspect of using Zoom that detects when someone speaks (or makes a noise) and immediately gives that person the focus. This can result in the display rapidly jumping around.

The StarLeaf ‘Spotlight‘ meetings feature will fully address this issue. Spotlight allows a ‘town hall’ style meeting format with only a single person to be fullscreen at any one time allowing them to speak uninterrupted. Using Spotlight, every MP would have enhanced visibility on a screen that would not change in design when someone begins speaking.

Surge In Global Usage

StarLeaf, like other video conferencing services, has seen a huge global surge in usage since the coronavirus pandemic hit with businesses sending staff home and seeking new ways to communicate and collaborate at very short notice.

In the period between Jan to April 2020, the number of conferencing minutes increased by over 1000% in Germany and Italy.

Embracing The New Normal

As businesses start to come to terms with the ‘new normal’, now is the time to embrace remote working as part of organisational culture.

There are sound commercial reasons for doing so. It’s popular with staff and can attract and keep new talent no matter where they are based. It cuts overheads (particularly travel), reduces the need for office space and can even improve productivity.

Secure By Design

But remote working can lead to issues with security depending on the devices and applications in use. ‘Shadow IT‘, where staff abandon devices and software provided by the business in favour of apps which they consider to be superior or more familar, can constitute a genuine threat to information security.

As businesses start to plan for a phased return to the office, all employees must be able to work effectively and securely across both home and office locations to communicate with each other, with customers and suppliers.

Without proper security practices, businesses could expose themselves to malicious attacks.

In a crisis, businesses (and governments) can be forgiven for choosing the quickest solution to hand. However, those companies who evaluate the experiences of the last few weeks and look for the best solutions are the ones that will thrive.

StarLeaf Quick Facts

  • Secure by design – ISO/IEC 27001 certified & HIPAA compliant
  • 99.999% uptime SLA guarantee
  • Easy to set-up – can be installed anywhere in minutes
  • High-definition video and wide-band audio
  • Up to 100 attendees at any one session
  • Works across desktop, tablets and mobile devices
  • Integrates with Microsoft Teams, Google, Slack and Zoom

Download the StarLeaf Security One-Pager

StarLeaf platform ownership means they guarantee less than 5½ minutes of unscheduled downtime per year. Download the security one-pager to read more about the key benefits of the StarLeaf video meetings solution.

We are proud to be a StarLeaf Top 10 UK Partner.

About Datasharp Integrated Communications

Datasharp Integrated Communications is an award-winning, leading provider of Unified Communications solutions including voice, data, mobile, video, network security, contact centre and collaboration technology for businesses of 50 – 5,000 staff.

We are a premier member of the Datasharp Group – established in 1980 – one of the longest-standing and most respected communications solution providers in the UK.

We have clients across the south of England and in Europe and our own, on-premises, 1,000 ft² Technology Suite at our Bath office, where we host regular events and showcase technology solutions for our clients. Contact us for your free comms audit or product demo.

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