EUROCONTROL is a pan-European, civil-military organization dedicated to supporting European aviation and committed to the European Union’s vision for a Single European Sky. As Europe’s Network Manager, EUROCONTROL plays a central coordination role, supporting 41 Member States and a wide range of stakeholders in a joint effort to make aviation in Europe safer, more efficient, more cost-effective and with a minimal environmental impact.
In 2015, EUROCONTROL embarked on the search for a partner to manage its Cisco® Webex Meetings Service for a distributed workforce spread across four locations in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. With activities encompassing operations, service provision, concept development, research and Europe-wide project implementation, the right technology to support effective liaison with its 41 Member States and a wide range of stakeholders is essential. Online meetings with over 100 participants are held regularly, so it was vital EUROCONTROL’s employees had access to a reliable, secure and easy-to-use meeting solution.
Peter Donnelly, Service Delivery Manager at EUROCONTROL explained: “We knew what we were looking for, with a very clear set of requirements. We wanted a partner who could deliver reliability and consistent quality of service across all our sites, together with the technical expertise to address any issues as they arose. With over 1,200 Webex Meetings users at the time, European presence and scalability to meet our needs was vital. And, given the nature of our work, security was another key requirement.”
After a competitive tender, EUROCONTROL selected Intrado as their chosen Webex Meetings partner, with a five-year contract that included Cisco® Webex and Cisco® Collaboration Flex Plan licenses.
Peter Donnelly: “The Intrado bid was quite simply one of the best technical bids I have ever seen. As part of the bid evaluation process, the technical and financial aspects of the bid were assessed by two teams, from our IT and Procurement departments. Both teams concluded that Intrado provided the best response to the brief.”
As EUROCONTROL was already using Webex Meetings, the transition to Intrado in 2015 was relatively seamless. Since then, Intrado has consistently demonstrated its value as a long-term partner, providing outstanding service in a number of ways.
Peter Donnelly: “We have always received fantastic service from Intrado. Our Account Managers have proved to be extremely diligent and proactive and always make sure any issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. In the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, our team was under quite a bit of pressure, but Intrado rose to the occasion and gave us the support we needed.”
Intrado was able to further demonstrate its value in 2019, when Rob Phillips, Client Experience Analyst undertook an ROI assessment. It identified an opportunity to implement an Enablement Project that would drive savings by encouraging VoIP adoption and moving to the next level of UCaaS with Cisco® Webex Cloud Connected Audio.
Rob Phillips: “As a member of Intrado’s enablement services, we are always looking for new ways to deliver value to our clients. One of the big opportunities in recent years is the ability to move to VoIP to save on telephony costs, together with the availability of video conferencing services to help reduce travel costs.”
Since EUROCONTROL was already using Webex Meetings before the Intrado partnership, the key benefits have been Intrado’s proactive service and technical capability, which has proven itself repeatedly over the last five years. More recently the enablement project and the move to VoIP have dramatically reduced audio costs.
Peter Donnelly: “It is pretty good news when you have a service provider who can reduce their costs rather than increase them – and the move to VoIP means that Intrado has been able to do just that. The switchover to VoIP was seamless, with no disruption to our service and we have been able to make significant cost savings as a result, mainly thanks to the enablement project.”
Prior to the enablement project led by Rob Phillips, VoIP adoption was at 16%. Just over a year later, in June 2020, the figure had risen to 80%. This has led to audio cost savings of 70%. Video conferencing adoption has also increased significantly, from 2% at the outset, to 33% in June 2020. Rob also led a series of direct training sessions for a group of around 60 administrative and technical staff, receiving an almost perfect user feedback score (4.84/5). And the recorded sessions are available for wider use on the IT Service Desk Portal.
The enablement project proved to be timely, helping to ensure that EUROCONTROL had the communication capability to coordinate an efficient response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, not only on behalf of its employees, but also on behalf of the industry.
Peter Donnelly: “In March, when we first felt the impact of Covid-19, we were under immense pressure. We needed to hold a series of big meetings with up to 100 participants to liaise with our Member States and stakeholders to coordinate a response on behalf of the European aviation industry. The staff training by Intrado, led by Rob, really came into its own during this period.”
With up to 80% of staff working from home at the peak of the pandemic, EUROCONTROL reports that the move to working from home was almost seamless, with no major issues to sort out. With around 2,000 desktop users within a workforce of 3,000, this is a major testimony to the level of service provided by Intrado.