Telephony is currently undergoing watershed change. Voice over IP has replaced the ISDN standard. This not only allows companies to communicate more cost-effectively, but it also gives them more control over the management of voice and video data via their network. Above all, companies derive benefits through the simple integration of additional IP-based network services.
The multinational media company Bertelsmann seized the opportunity offered by this change in technology to further refine and develop its internal and external telecommunications. With Colt’s VoIP solutions, not only are individual sites and business units better connected, but Bertelsmann also benefits from the high degree of reliability for telephony thanks to geo-redundant networking of different locations and phoning free of charge between Bertelsmann companies
On the way to a central voice infrastructure
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company operating in 50 countries around the world. The conglomerate includes the RTL Group in the area of television, the Penguin Random House book publishing group, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and the international fund network Bertelsmann Investments. With its 126,000 employees, the company generated revenues of EUR 18.0 billion in the fiscal year 2019.
When the contract for the ISDN fixed network connections with the existing telephone provider expired and the switch to Voice over IP became an option, Bertelsmann decided to put modernisation and upgrading their connections to the public telephone network out to tender.
“Since we had to reposition ourselves in fixed-line telephony anyway, we took this as an opportunity to see what was out there in the market at present. Our main goal was to obtain a central voice infrastructure that meets the respective requirements of the business units. In Colt, we have found a provider that satisfies various needs and interests with a flexible and future-oriented solution,” explains Sebastian Michel-Wildner, Category Manager at Bertelsmann Group IT Sourcing – a strategy that could also be applied in Bertelsmann’s European subsidiaries.
“With Colt’s solution, we are not only making our telephony more efficient, but we are also implementing a new vision of collaboration within the Group. The move to Voice over IP will make all our work more digital and collaborative”
Oliver Bürgel, responsible for Strategic Program Alignment in the Architecture & Standards Division of Bertelsmann Corporate IT.
Voice taken one step further: Quick and easy access to Microsoft Teams
With the SIP trunking solution, up to 10,000 calls can be transmitted in parallel and flexibly sent to external locations via the company WAN and LAN. Each group company receives individual SIP trunks, so the services can be used separately. Furthermore, Colt has set up high-performance IP access at nine locations nationwide, while smaller sites are connected directly via the Internet. By prioritising voice data, voice quality is maintained even with increased data volumes. The SIP trunks are additionally secured by geo-redundancy between the sites. If a problem or disruption occurs at one location, another one takes over the operation. Colt will transfer more than 800 call numbers by autumn 2020.
Colt’s SIP Trunk also provides the basis for the Unified Communication solution implemented by Bertelsmann based on Microsoft Teams. Colt connects Microsoft 365-based Teams to the public telephone network via SIP Trunk.
Solution with a bright future
“We were convinced by Colt at the very first meeting. Not only was the price-performance ratio right – Colt’s account team made an extremely competent and professional impression right from the start. An impression that has also been confirmed through the technical implementation of the project, even when changes are necessary at short notice. With this solution, we also believe that we are well-positioned for the future requirements of digital collaboration,” is how Petra Lootze, in charge of Carrier Management at Arvato Systems, expresses her satisfaction. A large system house, the Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato Systems also provides internal IT services and assumes operational tasks involving migration and regular operation of fixed network telephony throughout Germany.
The switchover to Voice over IP offers significantly more opportunities for companies than just migrating their existing fixed network to another standard. IP-based voice services support the digital transformation of companies while expanding the bandwidth for new forms of collaboration.