The business need.
Stericycle UK and Ireland is part of Stericycle Inc. which provides healthcare services to over half a million customers worldwide. Although its origins are in healthcare waste, the Stericycle Group now offers much more, such as: paper and hard drive destruction, compliance tools and training. In the UK, its clients include NHS Trusts, GPs, dentists, pharmaceutical firms and, increasingly, non-healthcare companies too. Stericycle operates an extensive network of transport and disposal facilities, providing customers with solutions that streamline essential services and ensure legislative and environmental compliance.
With fast-track growth comes an inevitable communications challenge: how to provide reliable, high quality unified communications in a consistent manner from, and between, a growing number of locations. For Stericycle, that challenge was exacerbated by the fact that many of its near-50 sites are remotely situated, with poor existing connectivity.
When its incumbent service provider was unable to offer the network quality, reliability and flexibility required, Stericycle put the challenge out to tender. “Our business is moving on at a pace and we’ve got big plans in place for the group,” explained Emma Peace, Head of IT at Stericycle. “We couldn’t afford to compromise with an ITC infrastructure that’s not fit for purpose or fit for the future, so we needed to work with a provider who was on our wavelength and could help us deliver our vision.”
Stericycle picked Connect to help it support its fast growth plans. “Connect’s proposal impressed us,” noted Peace. “We liked the creative way Connect approached the brief, we were reassured by the extent of their capabilities and we were pleased with the competitiveness of their costs. It was a win, win, win situation.”
To combat the issue of Stericycle’s inaccessible sites, the Connect approach combined a number of networking solutions:
- ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line)
- EFM (Ethernet First Mile)
- fibre, and
- wireless connectivity.
EFM, for example, provided an option where ADSL speeds were insufficient or where it proved more cost effective than fibre.
Connect incorporated 3G wireless for backup and an internet gateway allowing for the delivery of voice and other critical applications over an MPLS, SIP-enabled network.
In addition, the Connect solution allowed for sophisticated network monitoring and bandwidth control across all sites via an online portal.
By teaming up with Connect, Stericycle was able to realise a number of substantial business benefits:
- Greater control over costs
- Flexible, reliable and consistent connectivity across 45+ UK sites
- Assured business continuity with 3G back-up services
- Future-proofed capacity and greater efficiency via network provision that can be scaled up and down as required
- Better management of resources via an online portal that monitors network performance and per-site bandwidth usage
In addition to tangible business outcomes, Stericycle was keen to find a supplier that would become a true partner not only to work through existing challenges but to explore future opportunities, too. “We were very much looking to partner up with our provider, rather than be customer number one thousand and something in a long list of large multinationals. Connect has helped us forge those relations before, during and after our commencement with them,” explained Matthew Bentley, Group Infrastructure & Support Manager of Stericycle subsidiary, ERS Medical.
Peace agreed. “We needed a partner who could deliver robust, high performance connectivity anywhere in the UK, Europe and beyond. We have found a partner who works as an extension of our team.”