LifeSize Results

Video communications bridges the
language barrier for ONCALL

Case Study: LifeSize Results

Video communications bridges the language barrier for ONCALL

ONCALL utilises video communications to deliver high quality translation services to customers across Australia as a cheaper and more accessible alternative to on-site interpreting



ONCALL Interpreters and Translators (ONCALL) provides high quality conference interpreting and translating services worldwide.

Established in 1984 to provide professional language services, ONCALL has over 5,500 qualified, accredited interpreters and translators and provides services in almost 150 languages. The company provides responsive, high quality interpreting and translation services for a wide variety of organisations in the service industries, public and private sectors, non-government organisations and community groups throughout the world. ONCALL has offices in every state and territory around Australia.



A flexible and easy to use video conferencing solution to provide interpreting and translating services to a wider audience.

Customer: Lifesize Results
Published on: April 2009
Industry: Video Equipment




LifeSize® Express™ and LifeSize® Networker™ was deployed in both the Sydney and Melbourne offices. The audio and visual quality was so high that ONCALL is able to provide superior services to clients all over Australia. 


Financial return on investment achieved in less than 12 months and communication between offices is more inclusive and regular.  ONCALL, Black Box Network Services and LifeSize are now collaborating to develop a solution for one of ONCALL’s biggest public sector clients. 


ONCALL has successfully delivered onsite and face to face interpreting services alongside telephone interpreting and translation and multilingual desktop publishing services for over 25 years. In an increasingly fast-paced and digital business environment, ONCALL found that a new method of delivery was required to provide its customers with qualified interpreters regardless of time or location.

ONCALL looked to HD video conferencing to provide auditory and visual communication as a true to life alternative to onsite interpreting.

“ONCALL is an interpreting and translating service with a permanent presence in every Australian state and territory. As a result, we have significant contracts in a diverse range of urban and rural locations. Despite having extensive, on ground support around the country, it is impossible to have National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters accredited staff speaking every language, in every location. To manage this, we needed a solution which would enable our interpreters to have face to face communication with our clients, despite a potential distance of thousands of kilometres separating them,” said Ari Pappas, Corporate Manager, ONCALL.

While providing an efficient, more widely available interpreting service was the key driver for installing a video conferencing solution, international economic pressures meant that ONCALL also needed to revaluate its spending. Rising travel costs was a major challenge, not just for the ONCALL business, but for its clients too. “Clients are continually reviewing expenditure, and travel is one such discretionary expense. Our clients were spending around $200,000 on travel per year for interpreting services.  

The greatest cost benefit to installing video conferencing solutions is in regional hubs which have limited access to translation services. With the introduction of video conferencing, our  interpreters no longer need to travel several hours at a high expense from major cities or other regional hubs in order to provide an appropriate service,” Ari Pappas said.

ONCALL realised that, by implementing an HD video communications solution, it would allow for a large reduction in travel-related spending and offer its interpreters a way to spend less time travelling and more time interpreting. 




ONCALL was originally approached by another major provider, and as a result, reviewed a number of HD video communications solutions. LifeSize was selected for its high quality of audio and video, value for the money and ease of use and implementation. In April 2009, ONCALL installed LifeSize® Express™ and LifeSize® Networker™ in both the Sydney and Melbourne offices, using the services of LifeSize’s partner, Black Box Network Services.

“After reviewing a number of different video conferencing options, LifeSize easily proved to be a better investment, both financially and through intrinsic benefits such as the quality of the solution and ease of use. Our office staff, interpreters and independent contractors have adopted the systems enthusiastically. Interpreters are now able to engage in more face to face interpreting via HD video Conferencing, thus increasing their revenue.”

He added that the simplicity of the system encouraged staff to utilise the video conferencing solution. “Our staff usually hesitate when new IT equipment is introduced, but the LifeSize solution has been so easy for everyone in the business; from the booking officers who organise assignments for the interpreters, to the clients who simply dial in with little or no instruction from us,” said Ari Pappas.

While the key drivers for a video conferencing solution were to reduce travel costs and broaden the locations of easily accessible interpreting services, the company also found the added benefit of improved communicationwith current clients, particularly those with special requirements.

“Our clients have been impressed with how real the interaction is between people on the other side of the screen. Not only do we need to provide interpreting services for spoken languages, but also for AUSLAN, which is sign language for the deaf. The deaf community requires services on a regular basis and obviously face to face interaction is necessary in order to communicate.”


ONCALL has already realised a return on investment in the first twelve months of using the LifeSize system.

“The LifeSize system cost us approximately $30,000 which was $10,000 less than the other solutions we looked at. In 12 months, the system paid for itself and our travel cost was drastically reduced from the previous year,” said Ari Pappas.

ONCALL realised it was able to communicate more flexibly between offices and suppliers by connecting more frequently, spontaneously and involving more people.

“We have definitely seen a tangible improvement in communication between staff in the two offices equipped with the LifeSize solution. Plus, our interpreters are much happier as their time is not wasted sitting in traffic, and their earning capacity is increased,” said  Ari Pappas.

Even though reducing costs was one of the original driving forces behind choosing the LifeSize solution, the real value is how ONCALL’s service has improved for its clients.

“The quality of the LifeSize HD video communication is so high that it does feel as though our interpreters and clients are together, in one room. From the first demonstration, we knew the LifeSize equipment was very good.”

“We’re again working with Black Box Network Services, the LifeSize reseller, to purchase more equipment for greater collaboration and communication with our clients, particularly those in the public sector. The feedback from clients has been so positive that we have decided to place video communications directly into their offices to help manage the client relationship by delivering readily accessible interpreting services quickly and easily,” Ari Pappas concluded.