The business need.
When a major beauty company’s multi-national, multi-vendor environment more than doubled in size, Connect was on hand to stabilise and transform its telephony, meeting strict deadlines on every continent around the world along the way.
Connect partnered with one of the world’s leading beauty companies with billions in revenue and an iconic portfolio of leading brands. The leadership team’s focus was on the innovation, creativity and growth required to strengthen its global leadership position in the beauty industry while maintaining its distinctive dynamic culture.
The company needed to improve the management of voice telephony across its 40 global sites, with the aim of a consistent user experience for 8,000 users across every location, worldwide.
At the time, these locations were all acting independently as far as telephony was concerned, each with its own voice technology. That meant there were multiple vendors, varying contracts and unused licences.
The Client Services Director wanted a single partner to bring this together and manage it effectively. Having considered two or three other companies’ solutions previously, he chose to partner with Connect, as it offered the best cultural fit: an agile business with a specialist global capability, capable of being both reactive and proactive.
Connect adopted its preferred Stabilise, Enhance and Transform approach. First, a team visited the client headquarters for two weeks to conduct a full audit of the global estate. By providing a single global inventory, Connect established a comprehensive picture of the communications environment, and could demonstrate and evaluate the company’s worldwide resources for the first time: an essential first step towards a global telephony strategy
Based on that, Connect then adopted a centralisation strategy, consolidating voice operations into two intelligence centres. Core sites were created in the US and Europe, and all other locations are designated as satellite sites.
The global audit revealed that almost 40% of the company’s legacy infrastructure was Avaya. This penetration, along with Connect’s Diamond level Avaya accreditation, ensured successful virtualisation and migration of voice to the core network.
Connect began linking remote sites already using Avaya, and transforming non-Avaya sites as budgets became available, region by region. Connect then wrapped a layer over existing support contracts with multiple providers, centrally managing issues by directing all calls to Connect’s Network Operations Centre, thereby stabilising the environment.
As contracts came to an end, renewals were reviewed, standardised and negotiated to a discounted global rate. The company also felt over-licensed and was only using a limited amount of functionality. Connect began a programme to migrate all licensing over to the two cores and upgraded 4,500 licences to the latest release. A set of core functionality was agreed with the customer and all future system rollouts are provided with this configuration.
Soon after the contract began, the company more than doubled its global estate by completing a merger with another large consumer brands company. From the original brief of 8,000 users in 40 locations, the figures rose to 20,000 users in 110 locations.
While Connect had time to plan before the acquisition, the new challenge involved stabilising and transforming 70 additional multi-vendor sites (with some local consolidations), within a strict 12 month period. The planned timetable was rigid: sites were to be migrated from the incumbent partner on strict dates, with an agreed number of sites migrating over every weekend. Migration, system cleansing, reconfiguration and connection has to be completed in two days, with no room for error.
The project has been a real success. Connect’s partnership with the customer continues, with ongoing migration to a single support model, and only 3,000 users left to cut over.
The system is more reliable and easier to manage, and visibility is greatly increased. Further, by routing voice over the customer’s WAN, there has been a substantial financial return on investment.
As the initial phases of the project near completion, the new focus is integrating mobile and fixed voice systems with MS Office 365, while utilising cost-free voice traffic over the customer’s WAN to increase ROI.