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Brands2Life Case Study

After struggling with poor comms and telephony systems that didn’t work for them, Brands2Life found the perfect solution with Exactive and CloudUCX™ for Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams Direct Routing Case Study

Overview

After a poor experience using a cloud solution from Broadsoft, Brands2Life decided to move to Teams with telephony and they chose Exactive to help them on their journey.

Due to rapid growth and global office locations, Brands2Life needed a solution that would give them flexibility and enable any user to make any number of calls, to any destination. They initially looked at the Microsoft direct hosting solution for Teams but this was not suitable, given their requirements, and would have cost them double what they ended up going with.

From the first phone call, they were confident in Exactive’s expertise and ability to deliver exactly what they wanted. Brands2Life chose Exactive’s CloudUCX™ solution because it helped them achieve scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

Challenges Faced

Five years ago, Brands2Life had an analogue phone system that was massively complex, massively expensive to maintain and massively expensive to scale. Scaling became a serious concern when the IT department were told to expect a lot of growth, and since then, the company has doubled in size.

They realised they needed to modernise and adopt modern workplace practices, especially as new recruits and clients were expecting communication methods such as Instant Messaging and other collaborative tools. With fixed desks and landline phones, most employees were using their mobile phones, and this had huge implications in terms of cost, effectiveness and reliability. It became clear that they needed a new flexible solution, suited to their global business, and one that would allow them to easily scale as the company grew.

They tried a Broadsoft with Skype for Business solution, and although they enjoyed the collaborative features of Skype for Business, once the solution was scaled, they had endless trouble with the reliability between two platforms. They ended up moving away from Skype for Business completely and just using UC1 native dialler (a soft platform) which could only receive and take calls, had very poor integration and no mobile apps.

The Solution

Having previously enjoyed the features of Skype for Business, Brands2Life started to trial Teams and it went down very well across the company. Once they heard that telephony was available for Teams, they knew that was the solution they needed, and they knew the connection to their current Microsoft services would make it easier. As a bonus, it wouldn’t cost them because they were already an Office365 customer.

Initially, Brands2Life looked at the direct hosting solutions available with Microsoft. They quickly realised this was not suitable for them because they have massive disproportionate usage across the company. They needed something that was completely flexible, that would enable any users to make any number of calls, to any destination, and the Microsoft solution isn’t geared for that. Given these requirements, the total cost for Microsoft Calling Plans would have been more than double what they ended up going with.

Head of IT at Brands2Life, Ivan Corbett, commented: “After the first call, I knew Exactive could deliver what I wanted. They offered the most inclusive package and they understood what we were looking for, unlike some other legacy providers we spoke to. Exactive demonstrated excellent knowledge of the product, they had experience delivering the solution before, and they gave us the confidence they could deliver it in a way that would work for us.

“Exactive offered the most inclusive package and they understood what we were looking for, unlike some other legacy providers we spoke to.”

Brands2Life chose Exactive’s CloudUCX™ Calling Service which is a telephony solution for Microsoft Teams that provides a flexible and cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Calling Plans.

Ivan also commented: ”The onboarding was fantastic, the staff were brilliant, and the process was definitely one of the better ones I’ve ever done. They scheduled regular catch up meetings, notes were transcribed and dropped across to me with action points – and as a customer that is just fantastic because it shows us there is continual progress. The technical implementation of this project has been very smooth. We haven’t had any periods of unexpected downtime and we haven’t run into any roadblocks. If I had to do it all over again, I would choose to work with Exactive.” ”The onboarding was fantastic, the staff were brilliant, and the process was definitely one of the better ones I’ve ever done…If I had to do it all over again, I would choose to work with Exactive.”

Outcomes

Brands2life have already started to notice results. When their staff work from home – which happens a lot – they are now using Teams to make calls into the office or to anywhere in the world.

They completed a couple of assessments about what the impact of Teams has been, and so far, they’ve seen a 22% reduction in email volume and a significant improvement in internal communication and office knowledge sharing. They have also used Teams to expand in other areas, such as delivering training. They now do training in a classroom environment but also stream from Teams to their global offices and those who work remotely.