Case Studies

The sound of success

Why Vivonet, a cloud-based technology solutions provider on the rise, called ThinkTel for some help with Skype.

Vivonet—is a fast-growing, Vancouver-based company offering Enterprise-level, cloud-based technology solutions for the hospitality industry. Vivonet helps organizations engage customers, empower employees, and elevate their business with innovative cloud solutions. Known for working with hospitality brands like Texas Chicken & Burgers, Booster Juice, and PitaPit, Vivonet has tripled its size since 2011. Along the way, they earned several awards, including BCTIA's Emerging Company of the Year; BC Business 13th most innovative company in BC; 3rd Fastest Growing Technology Company in BC by TechVibes; and one of the Top 100 Great Places to Work from Best Workplaces in Canada.

So, what’s one secret of Vivonet’s remarkable growth and success? They invest in new tech. To help them identify the most valuable innovations, Vivonet works with a world-class technical team of internal and external talent, including telecom provider and Microsoft partner ThinkTel. ThinkTel provides Internet-based voice, video, and data services to businesses in cities across Canada. This study describes how ThinkTel helped Vivonet complete its digital transformation by enabling them to realize the full potential of the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite.

The challenge

Vivonet outgrew its IT. As the company scaled quickly, its demands outpaced its legacy infrastructure solution. On-premises servers running Exchange 2010, Office 2007, an outdated PBX system could not keep up with the growing demands of the call centre. Vivonet faced over $100,000 in capital costs to replace its servers plus unfulfilled licensing agreements and escalating IT management demands. Vivonet set out to digitally transform its business.

“We wanted a unified communications platform that would bring our remote staff and on-premises staff together and allow them to collaborate effectively. We wanted to do the things that leading companies do—all at a low budget.”

Shafique Adatia, IT Team Lead

Out of order

The migration began with a successful move to Office 365—mostly. Employees quickly embraced the modern productivity apps, except Skype for Business. Skype didn’t work. Audio problems plagued this critical conferencing tool. The call centres needed Skype to work to handle sales and deliver support, but somehow the most critical app in the mix was failing.

“We all saw the advantages of a unified platform—of a suite of productivity & communication tools designed to work better together. But our Skype platform was not performing well, which was eroding confidence in Office 365. As our business lifeline, our call centre team needs always-on tools to deliver services. We simply could not tolerate more outages.”

Shafique Adatia, IT Team Lead

ThinkTel steps up

The Vivonet technical team conducted an exhaustive search for a new cloud solution provider, analyzing the features and ROI of five competing platforms across a whopping 285 touch points. When the dust settled, a careful cost comparison indicated that ThinkTel’s platform promised to deliver the best ROI.

Ensuring compliance

With employees in Canada and the US, Vivonet must comply with 911 regulations and liability issues in both countries. Fortunately, ThinkTel has the experience and knowledge to work on both sides of the border. The team leveraged Azure ExpressRoute and delivered last-mile access using AgileIX, facilitating a dedicated private connection between Vivonet’s network and the Microsoft Cloud.

Seeing is believing

To help ease the transition away from its legacy systems, the ThinkTel team set up a live demo environment and production pilot at no cost—all to demonstrate the reliability and power of a modern unified communication solution. After experiencing the power and reliability of the Think365 Connector in a sandbox for a month, Vivonet greenlit the migration to the cloud.

“With ThinkTel, we optimized the quality and added redundancy to our Skype for Business platform. We can now monitor everything, including our usage, and assert full control over our system, without having to take on the costs and headaches of managing hardware or worrying about security & compliance.”

Benefits

  • Quality → the ThinkTel solution architecture segregates voice traffic from other Internet usage to preserve the best possible call quality
  • Security → Vivonet has significantly improved its security posture, thanks to the introduction of multifactor authentication
  • Integration → Vivonet employees everywhere now use the full Office 365 suite, which sparks more collaboration and better internal communication
  • Cost savings → Vivonet avoided upfront costs and wasting unused licenses to a predictable, scalable, pay-as-you-go model delivering 30-40% in savings
  • ROI → Vivonet has sidestepped the costs and headaches of buying, configuring, and managing its own IT infrastructure and unfulfilled licenses
  • Focus → Vivonet has sidestepped major capital investments, clumsy service agreements, and IT managing headaches and can now focus on its solutions
  • Speed-to-market → In a matter of weeks and with low-to-no business disruption, ThinkTel introduced a mission critical solution
  • Reliability → Vivonet’s Office 365 solution benefits from the 99.9% uptime guarantee of the Microsoft Canadian Cloud
  • Agility → the company can anticipate needs and readily scale up and down its consumption based on sales and marketing campaigns
  • Scalable → Vivonet can easily add new cloud services through-adds to increase uptime, call quality and uptime performance
  • Collaboration → employees can now work from anywhere, anytime and benefit from features like co-browsing and easy file sharing

Learning

For any organization struggling with its current IT infrastructure and legacy suite of applications, the Vivonet story offers some useful learning:

  1. Never settle – Vivonet refuse to accept a poor user experience and tapped experts for help. The result is a solution that works across 285 touch points.
  2. Move to the cloud – By working with ThinkTel, Vivonet has brought costs down by 30-40% and avoided over $100,000 in infrastructure expenses
  3. Compliance confidence – you can harness the power of the cloud yet still ensure regulatory compliance across multiple jurisdictions

The team

ThinkTel planning and deployment included subject matter experts from various teams—from pre-sales to post:

  • Michael LaMontagne, Microsoft MVP
  • Mike McDonaugh, Project Management
  • Irene Rossaert, Account Management
  • Paul Vaillant, Unified Communication Architect
  • Mario Stocco in Sales Engineering

Links

About Vivonet

So, what’s one secret of Vivonet’s remarkable growth and success? They invest in new tech. To help them identify the most valuable innovations, Vivonet works with a world-class technical team of internal and external talent, including telecom provider and Microsoft partner ThinkTel. ThinkTel provides Internet-based voice, video, and data services to businesses in cities across Canada. This study describes how ThinkTel helped Vivonet complete its digital transformation by enabling them to realize the full potential of the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite.