In a competitive market, being agile is increasingly a company’s best bet if it wants to grow and gain market share. At a world class engineering company, agility and acquisition are top of the business agenda – especially for a company that already employs more than 6,000 people in 27 countries has big ambitions for growth.
But bringing new business operations online quickly and keeping cohesion across the whole company means everyone needs to be using the same tools for everyday communications. To keep the fast-growing and far-reaching business closely connected there has been a Unified Communications strategy to migrate its various operations to Skype for Business – powerful communication, collaboration and conferencing platform that allows users to see who’s available and make internal calls over IP, avoiding traditional call costs.
Standardization Paves the Way for Scalability
As a provider of high-quality products and services to the oil and gas, power and petrochemical industries, the company’s operations span the globe. Traditionally, managing communications across different locations have meant dealing with telecommunications providers in each market. As well as being costly, this has meant coping with variances in networks and technology from one site to the next – especially in the aftermath of an acquisition.
The plans to roll out Skype for Business to all operations are designed to overcome many of these barriers, but the inconsistency of service between locations was hampering attempts to standardize on a single IP-based communications platform. That was until an IT manager from another company recommended talking to Pure IP, a provider it had used to connect its multiple business units around the world.
“We did some more research, and it became clear that Pure IP provided exactly the service we needed. They were one of the first Microsoft partners to be certified with the latest version of Lync (2013) and Skype for Business which was a big tick,” said a senior IT manager at the company.
Overcoming Legacy Limitations
Since deciding to partner with Pure IP, the company hasn’t looked back. The company has updated legacy phone systems, and ISDN lines have been replaced with a complete SIP solution from Pure IP so that all direct-dial numbers can be managed over the Internet across the company’s UK operations. Time was of the essence. For certain offices, the old analog phone systems didn’t support the use of Skype for Business for phone calls and audio conferencing without an upgrade from BT.
With a site in Germany which is fully SIP-based, as well as locations in the US and Canada – these moves were determined by the inability of existing telecoms systems and services to accommodate the use of Skype for Business. Rather than relying on local telecommunications providers, Pure IP supplies the local area codes and in-country numbers for these offices, a strategy that will eventually mirror other territories.
“The cost-saving even for just one office was significant enough to justify the move. We started with outbound calling to remove that cost, then started porting our inbound phone numbers to Pure IP over the following 12 months,” continued the client spokesperson.
Assimilating Local Needs
With a site in Germany which is fully SIP-based, as well as locations in the US and Canada – these moves were determined by the inability of existing telecoms systems and services to accommodate the use of Skype for Business. Rather than relying on local telecoms providers, Pure IP supplies the local area codes and in-country numbers for these offices, a strategy that will eventually mirror other territories.
"For some European sites where a full Skype for Business implementation isn’t justified – we can use Pure IP’s London data center to direct the in-country audio numbers. As everything is happening over the Internet, we can point the numbers wherever we choose. If it’s a situation where we don’t have a lot of control, Pure IP will advise us on what we can and can’t do, based on their vast experience of migrations. That’s been a massive benefit, especially when we’ve been up against quite aggressive timescales," added the client.
Where There’s Skill, There’s A Way
Where a new office needs equipping from scratch, the process is even more straightforward – also when organizations acquire new business locations. As acquisitions can separate a division away from the former owner, the new parent company has to act quickly to roll out new telecom’s services. Indeed, the level of support provided by Pure IP has been consistently impressive.
“We’ve dealt with the large telecommunications over the years, and it’s tough to get support quickly. Pure IP is different. Not only do they know the Skype for Business system inside out, but they’re also highly responsive. Instead of waiting indefinitely in a call queue, we can drop them an email or see who’s available via Skype for Business. Nine times out of 10 we get a response within a minute. You can’t buy that level of service from any other provider,” reported the client's IT manager.
Other considerable benefits include the disaster recovery/high availability provision customers receive from Pure IP. With an ISDN connection there’s a physical cable, and if there’s an issue, there’s no easy way to get around that for inbound calls as they are tied to that circuit. With the Pure IP’s global data center network if a customer loses Internet connection at one site the numbers automatically flip over from one to another, without any interruption. This robust failsafe service impresses many business executives.
For organizations that have a small internal IT and communications team, it is also reassuring that Pure IP takes away all the hassle of dealing with incumbent telecoms providers in each country. Pure IP takes care of everything from an ordering perspective too – it’s not just the technical support that customer can count on from Pure IP. Whatever the country, we’ll deal with local providers via our various partner relationships to port numbers for our customers. Customers have been able to do this in France, Sweden, and Germany to name a few, and didn’t have to be involved with local providers at all.
“It can be hard as a smaller enterprise to command the level of service you need, and our requirements are 24/7. But like us, Pure IP is a follow-the-sun company, and we can call on them right around the clock, which gives us peace of mind,” continued the IT manager.
Delivering Around the World
To date, 1,800 numbers are now routed over Pure IP’s SIP trunking service internationally.
“Our ambition is to apply the Skype for Business service to all 5,000 numbers globally – in Sydney and beyond - so that everyone is connected over Pure IP and Skype for Business in the future. We looked at other providers, including AT&T, but no one else could provide the in-country services we needed in the way we wanted. Pure IP has better vendor partnerships and covers everywhere from China to Russia, to Australia. Once everyone is on the service, we can standardize on Skype for Business to stay connected and keep growing in a way that’s agile, affordable and manageable,” concluded the IT manager.