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Biffa upgrades unified communications managed service

Karl Flinders

Waste management company Biffa has signed up to managed services for its unified communications to improve technology integration, cut costs and bring a recent acquisition in line with its current infrastructure.

In 2008 Biffa outsourced its communications to Azzurri when it wanted to move from a traditional network infrastructure to use internet protocol (IP) telephony. However, Biffa now wants to get more from the agreement and has penned a new deal with Azzurri.

Key to the new contract is a reduction in costs of about £2m from the previous contract, which cost £7m over three years.

David Gooding, IT director at Biffa, said cutting costs was a critical aspect of the new deal, but added that a combination of factors meant the time was right to upgrade the existing managed communications network service.

Biffa acquired Greenstar for £166m in 2010 and wanted to integrate the networks. “We wanted to take out Greenstar’s legacy equipment,” said Gooding.

It needed to improve connectivity for its remote operations. “We have about 200 very diverse sites ranging from head offices to individuals in portacabins. Because of increased traffic over the network following the 2008 improvements, we wanted to improve bandwidth,” added Gooding.

Biffa also wanted to integrate its contact centre with its unified communications infrastructure. “In 2008 we put IPT across most sites and we centralised contact centres. We now want to integrate the Avaya contact centre with the entire communications estate.”

Gooding said integrating the communications network is critical as the proportion of customers getting in contact via email increases.

The contract includes:

  • Wide area network (WAN): Azzurri’s Icon (Intelligent Cloud Optimised Network) platform will provide network across Biffa’s 200 UK sites, forming the infrastructure to implement the UC environment. The WAN also provides Biffa with network monitoring tools for real-time information about the performance of business applications across the network.
  • Enterprise mobility: 4,500 mobiles will be managed by Azzurri using the 02 network. Biffa will receive a mobile tariff that allows for free IP calls for mobile to mobile calls, as well as fixed lines to mobile.
  • Contact centre: Biffa has chosen a centralised, hosted Avaya solution integrated with Azzurri’s Callmedia multi-channel application to allow Biffa to interact with customers across a number of communication methods and ensure the most appropriately skilled agent is provided to the customer.
  • ICT: Azzurri has refreshed Biffa’s existing Cisco IP handsets, while adding 2,500 SIP endpoints.
  • Support services: The managed service is delivered via Azzurri’s 24/7 network operations centres and their 400-person UK-wide engineering team.

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