London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, has announced details of its performance in the first phase of a recent managed services contract signed with union giant, Unite. Early indications point to a sharp reduction in fault resolution times and greater control of networking costs for the union.
Unite is Britain’s largest union with two million members in every type of workplace. It was formed by a merger between Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) to create a ‘powerhouse throughout the economy with a major industrial, political and campaigning voice’.
Office moves and changes generated by the merger had already had an impact on the union’s infrastructure, increasing the complexity of its network estate and creating a long list of unresolved queries with BT. However, the final straw came when changes implemented on the network started to result in outages for its IP telephony system.
“Most of our members contact us by phone, typically because something has happened to them and they need advice and support at work,” said Dominic. “If we’re not available to speak them, they’ll probably think twice about paying for union membership in the future.”
Dominic knew that the union need a better level of service than it was able to provide on its own and decided to seek advice from the management team at BT.
“That was when BT suggested the SAS route as a possible way out of our predicament,” said Dominic.
SAS met with BT and the union and consolidated all outstanding actions in one issues log. It then devised a formal process of meetings and conference calls for tracking and eliminating the issues.
“The first weekly calls lasted over two hours but now they’re down to just 15 minutes because the issues log has decreased so vastly,” said Dominic.
SAS also carried out an audit of the union’s communications estate to establish precisely what it owned and what it was using. As a result, Unite was able to claim a refund of £20,000 for products and services that had been previously cancelled but for which it was still being billed; SAS has since assumed responsibility for managing the estate on a day-to-day basis to ensure that support, billing and inventory information is always up-to-date.
“We can now be more certain that what we pay for hardware, software and services is what we should be paying,” said Dominic. “We also know that if we cancel something it will be taken off the bill straight-away and not six months later.”
Having demonstrated its pedigree in support and network expense management, SAS now provides 24/7 monitoring of the union’s infrastructure for availability, performance and capacity planning. It also acts as a single point of contact for all MACs, faults, billing queries and provisioning on the BT product set.
“So far all the work that SAS has done is on what was formerly the Amicus network, but the rest will come on board in due course,” said Dominic. “In terms of benefits, probably the most significant is how quickly faults get resolved through SAS; I only need to have one conversation to raise a problem – SAS investigates my query with BT and gets it sorted.”
“Navigating a vast organisation like BT can be time-consuming and hugely frustrating when you don’t have the right contacts,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “By deploying SAS managed services, Unite has gained access to the highest levels of support it will ever want from BT and has not been forced to make a compromise with its technology in order to receive the service levels it needs.”