Hub One Helps the Mobile Enterprise Take Off
This is part of a series of case studies showcasing how Mitel helps companies achieve their business communication objectives.
If you’re ever fortunate enough to walk down the broad streets of the Champs-Elysées in Paris, you might be delighted to find that free and unlimited Wi-Fi is available as you stroll past cafes, bistros, high-end fashion boutiques, and of course chocolate shops. Tourists and locals can enjoy a mobile experience from outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux, which lets them connect to the Internet without spending a byte of their data plan – thanks to Paris-based telecom operator Hub One, in partnership with the Champs-Elysées Committee.
Hub One, a subsidiary of Groupe ADP (Aéroport de Paris), is a telecom operator and integrator of mobile and tracking solutions for 4,500 enterprises of different sectors in France and supporting 95 million passengers per year across three Parisian airports in France (Roissy Charles de Gaulle, Orly, and Le Bourget), as well as in shopping malls and campuses, and another 70 million passengers per year through the Amsterdam airport. Since it was created in 2001, Hub One grew to serve the 120,000 employees who work at Paris Aéroport, as well as hundreds of thousands of passengers each day who depend on a reliable communication system.
More recently, by leveraging its experience in airport environments and partnering with companies like Mitel, Hub One grew beyond the airport market and expanded to other vertical markets. As an IT and communication service provider for businesses, the company provides a range of services including telephony and unified communications (UC), mobile telephony, Wi-Fi, radio communications, and data networking, as well as traceability and enterprise mobility management with RFID, barcode, and voice recognition technologies. In addition, they develop mobile applications for a range of IoT and consumer or trade applications, whether providing Wi-Fi for customers, visitors, passengers, and professionals, or long-term mobile enterprise capabilities for retailers. For business telephony and unified communications, Hub One delivers 100% cloud-based solutions based on Mitel MiVoice Business and MiCollab, Mitel’s collaboration solution. The goal is to enable the mobile enterprise, making communication seamless.
Moving to the The Cloud for Increased Scalability
To help meet its needs as a growing telecom services provider, the company realized that it needed a more scalable and reliable communication platform to help it move to the next level. According to Patrice Bélie, General Director/CEO, Hub One recognized early on that the cloud would be the best way forward and that it would be easier to run a network from the cloud. In 2011, the company selected Mitel as its cloud IP telephony provider, and resells – and uses – Mitel’s unified communications and telephony cloud services, as well as Mitel’s devices and applications for business customers. For example, Hub One uses MiVoice Business as their core private cloud solution across both French and Dutch Airports. Bélie notes that, “Thanks to Mitel we have grown so that the airport market now represents only half of our business.” Avis and the French Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honor are some of the prestigious brands that Hub One serves using Mitel cloud solutions.
The Mitel solution is fully in the cloud and managed centrally, making it easy to scale up or down as needed. For example, with an increased number of travelers in the summer and during holidays, airports need to scale and accommodate more employees and more phones. Bélie says, “With the cloud, we can grow as needed.”
Enabling the Mobile Worker
Mobility is a key part of any business today, and Hub One provides tools to enable mobile workers to effectively perform their tasks. Bélie explains that Hub One provides mobile workers with “the appropriate software for the appropriate end device, as well as the connectivity for that device to connect to the company and beyond.”
Providing unified communications, collaboration, and mobility services based on Mitel cloud services lets Hub One make office and mobile workers more productive. For example, basic instant messaging (IM) is a key collaboration tool that cuts down on the number of emails sent and received, while helping remote workers feel more connected and less isolated.
Capabilities such as single number reach let individuals dial a single number and connect with the recipient regardless of where they are or what device they’re using – whether a desk phone, mobile device, or a softphone-enabled computer. While basic single number reach has been around for years, the ability to seamlessly move a call from one device to another is now made possible by Mitel’s cloud-based applications.
Bélie explains, “If someone calls me when I’m out of the office, all three of my devices will ring and I can pick up the call on any one of them. If I’m in my car, I can get the call on my mobile handset and when I get back to the office I can keep the call and pick it up on my desk phone with seamless handoff. Alternatively, if I’m on a call at my desk and I need to go somewhere, I can take the call on my cell phone with total continuity.” This seamless handoff from one device to another helps workers stay connected without losing any valuable time – making them more productive, competitive, and effective.
Mobile capabilities are key for Hub One’s customers, and in some cases replacing fixed lines. For example, one customer, a multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company, is using softphones on PCs connected over Wi-Fi rather than using fixed lines to enable their workers to communicate. This helps enable mobility, while being more cost effective.
In today’s mobile world, most work gets done by collaborating with colleagues, partners, and customers. By delivering web and video conferencing services based on Mitel conferencing and meeting capabilities, Hub One makes it easy for its businesses with geographically dispersed workers to easily and effectively collaborate and seamlessly communicate. Bélie warns that videoconferencing can be tricky and not all systems work well, adding that “the Mitel system is very simple to use – you just click on the link in the invite and it works, without having to dial out lots of numbers.” In addition to web and video conferencing, screen sharing capabilities enable users to share and review documents or images on the PC screen. According to Bélie, workers that are scattered in different locations and need to share documents with each other no longer have to email the documents to everyone before a meeting. Instead, they can simply send an invitation to join a video conference and the conference attendees can view whatever is on the user’s PC screen, making changes and updates to the document as needed.
As one of the 500 largest companies in the world, with 12 sites throughout France, a French investment and industrial holding group uses Hub One’s collaboration solutions on a daily basis for conferences, sharing documents, IM, and more.
The Mobile Enterprise at Work
Hub One also uses Mitel cloud-based UC and collaboration tools internally, and is a perfect example of a company “drinking its own champagne.”
“We have to live what we are selling to our customers,” Bélie explains, adding, “Using Mitel’s UC and collaboration applications, plus a range of Mitel devices and various form factors, helps us more easily sell these capabilities to our customers.” As a geographically dispersed and mobile organization, Hub One “uses videoconferencing throughout the company, which helps us more effectively sell videoconferencing to our customers. Since we are using these solutions every day, it’s very easy to explain the value and benefits to customers,” resulting in increased sales and revenues.
As CEO of the company, Bélie is an avid user of Mitel’s solutions, and described how these tools allowed him to remain productive when he was working from home for a few weeks. “I was able to continue my business by running meetings from home using Mitel conferencing capabilities, which provided a seamless way to exchange information with my employees and view documents on my PC screen,” notes Bélie. “I had videoconferences with employees at five different sites with document sharing and other collaboration capabilities.” Prior to this experience, Bélie had concerns about employees working from home, but he has changed his attitude and now realizes that working remotely can be perfectly acceptable, asserting, “Video provides a new way of working, making it easier for workers to stay in touch. Now that we’re using videoconferencing, I can’t imagine being without it.”
A true believer in the value of mobility and collaboration, Bélie says, “Mitel’s MiVoice and MiCollab are simply the way we work now – the mobile enterprise is completely enabled. Without these solutions I don’t see how we’d be able to be as effective or productive. Since the solution is in the cloud, people can do their jobs from anywhere, which truly changes the way we work.”
Teaming up to Challenge the Status Quo
Hub One is an exclusive Mitel partner, selling MiVoice Business and MiCollab in a Service Provider market. When asked, “Why Mitel?,” Bélie explains that “Hub One and Mitel are both challengers in France. Working together makes us a powerful team. It pushes us to listen to the business requirements of our customers. With Mitel, we can customize solutions for our customers and sell specifically-tailored solutions, which is very important. As the challengers, we fight together for business.”
Not all solution providers have Hub One’s level of experience and expertise in the cloud. “There’s a process every telco has to go through when getting a new customer – we ensure the quality of the service, we know the issues to avoid, says Bélie. “As the only Mitel reseller in France that sells pure cloud, we know the hiccups, what to avoid, and what to do to provide the best service for our customers.”
Working together as partners helps Hub One and Mitel adapt and succeed. For example, France uses different emergency numbers and dialing plans than in North America, and the red buttons on phones have different functions. By working together and listening to each other, Hub One helped Mitel optimize its offerings for the European market. Bélie explains, “We are an important customer and partner for Mitel – we wouldn’t get this kind of service and attention from a company like Cisco. We can address customer needs and stay on top of their requirements.” He adds, “We can do more customizations with Mitel than other solutions,” which makes Hub One’s solution more powerful and lets them provide optimal solutions for their customers’ needs. Hub One knows that with Mitel’s clear understanding of mobility and as the voice core, they have the right partner and maximum flexibility to meet their current and future business needs. The two companies are working together to help the mobile enterprise make communication seamless.
Whether you’re in an airport or working in a mobile enterprise, Hub One and Mitel can help you be better connected. C’est magnifique!
This paper is sponsored by Mitel.