Moving away from traditional phone handsets to softphones for Microsoft Teams was a major part of our strategy as an organisation
to become flexible, agile and collaborative – work on anything from anywhere with anyone and that includes accepting phone calls on the move.
Ricky Harding, Head of IT Service Delivery and
Infrastructure, Mothercare Global Brand.
Mothercare Global Brand (MGB) is a B2B retailer whose products are sold through
more than 1,000 stores and franchises across 40 territories worldwide. Its UK-headquartered operation employs 200 people in two locations; the main office in
Hemel Hempstead and a satellite office in Northampton.
Looking to relocate its headquarters to new offices in the summer of 2020, MGB was already assessing its communication strategy to support a more flexible working environment. As part of that assessment, Microsoft Teams had started to be deployed for internal company communications but in line with a more traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) platform for voice calls.
However, due to the need to pivot all employees from an office-based model to a homeworking model as part of the UK’s response to COVID-19, this assessment was accelerated. This left MGB with a disparate mix of communications platforms including Microsoft Teams, mobile phones, video conferencing systems, and a traditional telephony system.
The solution was to consolidate this mix to a single communication and collaboration platform, and Microsoft Teams was seen as the natural choice.
This decision was driven by MGB employees’ familiarity with the system since the beginning of the COVID-19 – who were already using it daily to work together safely from home.
So, MGB turned to their long-standing partner Daisy Corporate Services to help
them evaluate the requirements and to design a solution that gave them the ability to use Microsoft Teams as their core communications platform.
Daisy worked with the MGB technical team to assess the functionality that was immediately required and to also ensure that when their new office was able to be occupied, that the investment that they had made worked for them.
The current MGB telephony system had features, like a reception team, that MGB would no longer need in the long term, so stripping that out of the scope helped to simplify the overall project.
One of the key recommendations was to add Daisy’s Direct2 for Microsoft Teams product to allow external calling functionality to MGB’s platform. This not only gave MGB the true functionality of an enterprise-grade communications platform, it also future-proofed their communications by migrating their soon-to-be defunct PSTN connectivity to up-to-date session initiated protocol (SIP) connectivity. This means that their Microsoft Teams platform is ready, built and designed with 2025’s PSTN switch-off in mind, whilst still giving the MGB organisation all the functionality it needs right now.
The Microsoft Teams deployment for MGB has given the organisation a communications platform to run their business from wherever their employees are – both now and in the future. Scoped to fit the new Hemel Hempstead headquarters, and the intent to allow a flexible working environment, physical handsets are now a thing of the past.
By utilising the full capabilities of Microsoft Teams, and Daisy’s Direct2 for Microsoft Teams product, MGB can now not only collaborate internally, but with their whole supply chain as well. Manufacturing partners can now join calls and collaborate in meetings using Microsoft Teams; they can dial in from anywhere and even participate in face-to-face meetings creating a new, and more collaborative way of operating.
MGB and Daisy Corporate Services have also worked together to ensure that the Microsoft Teams deployment can be used with the video conferencing equipment installed in their offices, meaning that virtual meetings enjoy the same connected experience wherever the participants are.
An unexpected benefit of the deployment was that mobile phone usage decreased by around 50%, this is something that will be evaluated when the company’s mobile phone contract is up for renewal and will help drive cost and efficiency savings.
As a long-standing and trusted partner for MGB, there are several infrastructures and upgrade projects currently being both scoped and delivered with Daisy Corporate Services.