The Southern Co-operative Chooses Azzurri For UC

The Southern Co-operative (TSC) has taken spend on their unified communications contract with Azzurri Communications to £1.8million. Azzurri manage TSC’s Wide Area Network (WAN) and their mobile and fixed lines, with TSC recently adding IP telephony and a digital print implementation at their HQ and all their stores. As TSC look to grow their store estate, they are looking to technology to help underpin and enable their critical business operations.

The managed service brings together a unified communications implementation. Paul Sargeant, Head of ICT for TSC said: “We have a core network with IP telephony, mobility and fixed mobile convergence (FMC) now running over it. That could be considered UC, but we’re not pursuing it for the sake of it. We make our choices on what the business requires. And because they are one of the biggest independent telecoms integrators, Azzurri helps us make those choices by showing us where the market is going – not all the vendor blurb – just what’s right for us.”

Vim Vithaldas, CEO, Azzurri Communications, said: “My focus at Azzurri is to build long-term business value on the back of our recent refinancing. We’ll do this by continuing to create mutually beneficial customer relationships, and the Southern Co-operative is a great example of where we’ve become a trusted partner to a successful and forward-looking enterprise.”

TSC has 3,500 employees and runs 155 stores across Southern England. They had previously been running Azzurri’s Retail Application Network with 24/7 support to their MPLS network. In terms of return on investment (ROI), TSC say that the upgrade to the MPLS network paid for itself just through withdrawing the old ISDN network. And by moving their fixed lines and calls to Azzurri they reduced costs by 25%. TSC now expect to expect to save 35% on current spend with the digital print implementation.

At a commercial level, Azzurri help TSC manage their costs by providing a fixed price contract, but one that can still be flexed up or down as required. This enables new technologies to be introduced when TSC need them, and the older ones phased out. TSC also use Azzurri Innovations’ sophisticated cost management tool, ITEM. This gives TSC full visibility of all fixed line and mobile call costs and links directly into their finance system.

In addition to the core managed service, Sargeant also gains from being part of Azzurri’s customer community. He said: “Azzurri’s focus on providing peer-to-peer networking for their customer base is a big bonus. They make a concerted effort to connect their wide range of customers from different industries, to help them share insight and best practice, at really good discussion forums.”

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