City & Guilds Choose Azzurri For Unified Communications And Supplier Consolidation
City & Guilds, the UK’s leading awarding body, has chosen Azzurri Communications as their strategic telecoms partner. The first engagement in this relationship is for a £900,000, three year contract. Azzurri will consolidate four existing telecoms suppliers (covering mobility, IP telephony, audio/videoconferencing, calls and lines and support) into one managed service to deliver cost savings and reduce complexity. Azzurri will then assist City & Guilds in their quest to use ICT in a radical and strategic way to drive real business change, through a planned and phased unified communications strategy.
Ian Turfrey, Head of Architecture and Strategic Development, City & Guilds, said: “Our first priority was to procure a cost effective service and get more from our existing infrastructure, through an operational costing model rather than capital expenditure. We also wanted a long term strategic telecoms partner that could help take us on ‘the journey’ to a fully integrated unified communications environment. We believe this is the best way for us to support our business objectives of enhancing staff collaboration and productivity.”
City & Guilds used Azzurri’s Insight service to understand how they could make immediate cost savings. The commercial evaluation identified savings of 33% on their fixed voice estate and 41% on their mobile estate. This gave City & Guilds the confidence to change to the managed service model, moving away from incumbent suppliers Vodafone, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, BT and Britannic.
Phase one of the contract will see Azzurri upgrade City & Guilds’ entire IP telephony network to the latest version of Mitel’s Communications Director software. This will give all of City & Guilds’ staff standardised telephony features and the ability to ‘hot desk’ from any location, as well as access to a single global directory. This phase will also see Wi-Fi installed into City & Guilds’ London headquarters.
Further phases currently under discussion include the replacement of the current Nortel contact centre with a new Mitel/Callmedia solution that will ultimately be integrated into City &Guild’s SAP CRM system, and the deployment of SIP and WAN services delivered via Azzurri’s new Intelligent Cloud-Optimised Network (ICON).
The SIP services will reduce ISDN costs, deliver a single numbering plan and enable City & Guilds’ staff to have access to full telephony functionality independent of location. ICON will provide City & Guilds with a state of the art infrastructure platform, to enable them to host and virtualize telecoms and network services and technologies as required.
City & Guilds will also take advantage of Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), through Azzurri’s Mobile Extension (Mobex) and Mobile Extension Zone (MEZ) services. This will join City & Guilds’ fixed and mobile estates together to deliver advanced functionality usually only found on fixed phones, to mobile handsets. FMC creates one integrated group telephony estate and allows for more efficient tariffing and reduced call costs.
Ian Turfrey explains: “We try to think as radically as possible about technology. As part of the RFP, we asked: ‘Do 500 people really need both a mobile and a fixed line phone?’ Most businesses currently have both, but we want to get to the point where the choice of device is irrelevant – we just want to provide staff with the communication services they need regardless of their location.”
Vim Vithaldas, CEO, Azzurri Communications, said: “City & Guilds are truly looking to drive business change with technology. We’re therefore delighted they’ve chosen us as their strategic partner following a very competitive RFP. It’s a validation of our belief that Azzurri’s unique combination of independence, deep technical capability and commercial flexibility is becoming increasingly attractive to the market. We look forward to helping City & Guilds achieve their ambitious goals.”
About Azzurri Communications
Azzurri is the UK’s leading independent provider of managed communications services. We help organisations transform ICT into a strategic asset to support growth, enhance agility and efficiency, boost collaboration and deliver competitive advantage.
Our flexible, integrated communications services encompass IP and mobile telephony, converged networks, unified communications, contact centres and document solutions.
For more information contact:
Azzurri Communications Ltd
T: 01932 264850
M: 07824 819159