Vodafone

Vodafone

Simplified user lifecycle management for a private, hybrid cloud-based Skype for Business service

Background

Vodafone Netherlands (www.vodafone.nl) is the second largest mobile telecommunications company in the Netherlands based on turnover and profitability and has almost 5 million customers as of 31 March 2017. Vodafone Netherlands is part of VodafoneZiggo, a 50/50 joint venture between Vodafone Group and Liberty Global. Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunication companies based on revenue and Liberty Global is the largest international TV and broadband internet company. The growing demand for unified communications (UC) services among its business customers led Vodafone Netherlands to introduce a hosted Skype for Business offering based on a private cloud infrastructure. On the one hand, the hosted service is an attractive proposition for enterprises. It eliminates the need for the enterprise to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for maintaining and managing on site servers while users still get to benefit from the full UC experience. On the other hand, however, with the service provider responsible for all moves and changes, the enterprise IT staff have no control over their day-to-day operations. Common tasks such as adding users or modifying their settings are out of the hands of the IT department and will only be performed after a call to the service provider’s call center, potentially increasing waiting times and affecting user satisfaction. Vodafone Netherlands wanted its private cloud Skype for Business customers to have the best of both worlds – unified communications with reduced operational and capital costs while at the same time ensuring that customers’ IT teams still had maximum control over the management of their own users’ lifecycle.

Highlights & Challenges

  • Full customer control

    Full customer control

    Ensure customers retain control over management of their own users

  • Seamless integration

    Seamless integration

    Seamless Active Directory and Office 365 integration

  • Simplified service delivery

    Simplified service delivery

    Delivering a private cloud Skype for Business service simply and effectively

  • Easy user management

    Easy user management

    Powerful yet intuitive GUI-based user management

"Since its introduction to the market, Vodafone Netherlands has successfully deployed the UMP 365 based solution at dozens of customers across the Netherlands."

Solution

The solution Vodafone Netherlands selected was built around AudioCodes User Management Pack™ 365 application. User Management Pack 365 (UMP 365) is a powerful software application that simplifies user lifecycle and identity management across Skype for Business deployments. UMP 365 sits on top of existing Skype for Business systems - connecting the on-premises environments with cloud-based deployments (including Microsoft Office 365) through specialized connectors.

AudioCodes supplied Vodafone Netherlands with a white-labeled version of UMP 365 giving the solution a complete Vodafone look-and-feel. The solution serves as a self-service portal for its enterprise customers, empowering IT managers with role-based access control for day-to-day user management, even when the customer’s environment is also linked to Office 365.

UMP 365 achieves seamless integration between customers’ on-premises network, their Office 365 tenant and Vodafone Netherlands’ Skype for Business private cloud through built-in connectors:

  • An AD Connector that connects one or more of a customer’s Active Directories to Vodafone Netherlands’ Skype for Business private cloud deployment for user lifecycle and identity management.
  • An Office 365 Connector enabling straightforward integration with a customer's Office 365 tenant for simplified hybrid setup and Cloud PBX user configuration.

UMP 365 enables IT managers to manage and control their Skype for Business users simply and cost-effectively via a single, centralized application. Its intuitive graphical user interface simplifies common user management tasks removing the need for costly outsourced support teams.

  • User Management Pack 365

    User Management Pack 365

    User Management Pack™ 365 is a powerful software application that simplifies User Lifecycle and Identity management across Skype for Business deployments.

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Results

By incorporating AudioCodes User Management Pack 365 into its Skype for Business private cloud offering, Vodafone Netherlands has realized several significant benefits both for itself as a service provider and for its customers.

As we have already seen, Vodafone Netherlands’ customers benefit from:

  • The ability to retain full control of their users and user configuration during and after the migration to the Skype for Business private cloud.
  • Smooth integration with their on-premises Active Directory and Office 365 tenant.
  • Simplified and centralized operations through an intuitive, GUI-based application.

As far as Vodafone Netherlands itself is concerned, by handing user management over to its customers, it differentiates itself from other similar hosted UC offerings in the market where customers are not generally granted that level of control. Other important benefits include:

  • Standardized roll out of Skype for Business private clouds, allowing Vodafone Netherlands to offer a cost-effective solution without assuming the risk of having to handle potential troubleshooting or ‘unknowns’ within the customer environment.
  • Clear demarcation between Skype for Business private cloud from Vodafone Netherlands and the customer environment, reducing the potential for damaging disputes over responsibility for service issues.

Since its introduction to the market, Vodafone Netherlands has successfully deployed the UMP 365 based solution at dozens of customers across the Netherlands. Thanks to UMP 365, Vodafone Netherlands has gained a competitive advantage over other similar service provider offerings in the region with the ability to generate greater value to its customers.

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