T-Mobile Netherlands Turns to Mitel for New FMC Cloud Service
This is part of a series of case studies showcasing how companies achieve their business communication objectives with Mitel technology.
Competition in the mobile space is fierce, and today more than ever mobile carriers need to find ways to differentiate themselves in order to gain and keep customers. In addition for many mobile operators, fixed mobile convergence technology changes demand and requires all operators to step into this area.
To help it stand out from the crowd and offer customers innovative services, T-Mobile Netherlands (TMNL) introduced Cloud & Clear, a fixed-mobile converged (FMC) solution for small and medium businesses. As the preferred supplier of Cloud & Clear, Mitel’s solutions will enable T-Mobile Netherlands to provide fixed and mobile telephony from the cloud to its customers, enabling a smooth migration path to the cloud.
With 3.8 million customers, T-Mobile Netherlands, which is part of Deutsche Telekom, is one of the largest mobile telecommunication companies for consumers and business customers. When developing Cloud & Clear, the company had several goals:
- Address the emerging cloud market, as well as customers’ need for more “mobile centric” communications
- Provide a lower total cost of ownership than its key competitors
- Expand and become the leader of business-to-business (B2B) customer experience management
- Outperform the market and be recognized as the most flexible provider
- Accelerate service delivery to customers and partners
The Goal – Smooth Migration for Customers
According to Milan Růžička, Marketing Director for the Business Market for T-Mobile in the Netherlands, the company saw the need to go beyond offering cloud telephony services by including mobile capabilities as well as fixed mobile convergence for its SMB customers, specifically customers with 20 full time employees or more. TMNL wanted to help their customers as they migrate their on-premises PBX to the cloud in a smooth and seamless way, while leveraging their existing phones and investments. In addition, the company wanted to utilize a flexible platform that allows the company to continuously implement new features and services that its customers can deploy at various stages.
The Solution – Cloud & Clear
To meet these goals, TMNL turned to Mitel, as the two companies share a vision of a real-time mobile enterprise, which Mitel describes as “a new market where there are no lines between fixed, cloud, and mobile communications, and where new technology combinations drive new opportunities.” TMNL worked with Mitel to develop a flexible, cloud-based Fixed Mobile Communication service for its customers, while creating an operational business case for new and existing channel partners. Based on Mitel’s cloud services, TMNL’s new Cloud & Clear service features a variety of Mitel technology including its collaboration, unified communications and VoIP solutions.
Cloud & Clear is a fixed-mobile converged solution for small and medium businesses that offers full flexibility and scalability and includes a variety of Mitel’s unified communications and collaboration capabilities, combined with T-Mobile’s wireless service. Cloud & Clear provides a bridge between enterprise and mobile capabilities, as customers can start with either cloud telephony or mobile first. The service provides presence across fixed and mobile, one number for fixed and mobile, free calls between all users to enable them to be reached on any device, plus seamless integration of home offices and multiple office locations. The call routing always runs through the cloud PBX, enabling TMNL to add any feature people are used to in their current fixed environment, such as presence and chat.
Not all users have the same communications requirements, and with Cloud & Clear they can select and customize user profiles based on common consumption models. Office workers, mobile workers, telecommuters and road warriors are each assigned their own set of features and services. Customers choose from four user profiles, which are fine-tuned to the individual user needs. For example, an administrator may get a fixed-only profile, while a sales person may get the mobile only profile. The service for each profile offers Mitel’s MiVoice capabilities and its 500+ functions. In this way, TMNL can tailor solutions for customers while offering one standard solution:
- OP DE ZAAK ("In the office") – Provides only a landline number with a fixed phone, with free intra-company calls on fixed and mobile.
- OP WEG ("On the run") – Provides only a mobile number with a mobile phone, with free intra-company calls on fixed and mobile, and includes mobile voicemail.
- WAAR DAN OOK ("Wherever you are") – Provides a fixed and mobile number via a mobile phone. This profile builds on top of the other services and adds mobile voice mail and fixed voicemail to email, the ability to dial out or be called on a mobile device with a fixed number, the ability to set personal reachability with the MiCollab application, plus presence and chat capabilities. Users can have a fixed number on a mobile device, which is appropriate for sales people and those who want a fixed number on their mobile device so that they can call family and friends with their mobile number, while enabling customers and others to reach them on their fixed number.
- IN EIGEN HAND ("In your own hand") – Fixed and mobile number via mobile and fixed phone (including Softphone). This profile adds homeworking capabilities with Mitel Teleworker, MiCollab Client Desktop app with integrated softphone to call from your PC/laptop, MiCollab Client Smartphone app for calling with fixed tariffs or via 4G, and reachability with GPS location, Wi-Fi, and/or Bluetooth, audio and web conferencing, and parallel/sequential ringing. This profile combines fixed and mobile telephony, enabling users to use a fixed, mobile, or a softphone client.
The Results - Full Flexibility
Flexibility is a key attribute of Cloud & Clear.
- Customers can migrate to the service at their own pace (and where contracts allow). TMNL notes that Cloud & Clear doesn’t require a forklift upgrade, and customers can do a gradual step-by-step migration at their own pace. TMNL can offer cloud telephony to users even if they’re on a competitive mobile subscription, while guaranteeing continuity of their cell phone applications. For example, TMNL can integrate the customer’s mobile number from another provider and make it part of the customer’s ring group and dial plan. Customers can continue to use their existing contracts and aren’t forced to become locked-in, and can simply move to TMNL’s full service when the other mobile contract expires.
- As the service is built on Mitel MiVoice Business, it offers a variety of standard features, as opposed to a one size fits all “Centrex” model.
- Customers can scale up and down as needed, while adding and deleting features based upon the different profiles and add-ons.
- While most competitors offer only “flexi subscriptions” where users pay a fixed amount per month rather than paying for individual calls, TMNL offers both flexi and pay per use or bundled subscriptions, providing customers with more options.
The Partner – Mitel
Cloud & Clear is based on the MiVoice Business multi-instance platform and connects to TMNL’s network through “Forced on PBX” technology. The MiVoice Business multi-instance is the foundation for a scalable, reliable and highly available service with flexible deployment models that allows service providers to offer voice services and UC capabilities to their customers. Addressing centralized, high-density service providers’ cloud application needs, the MiVoice Business multi-instance platform supports a full resiliency model supported by call processing and media servers for automatic failover.
The Cloud & Clear offering includes Mitel’s MiCollab UC applications, and value-added services including MiContact Center, (MiCollab) Console, Unified Messaging and Teleworker, providing a large range of Mitel’s UC and contact center capabilities to TMNL customers.
TMNL deployed Mitel’s Mobility portfolio to provide voice, video and multi-media service over its LTE and WiFi access networks. TMNL’s new IP mobile core uses Mitel’s carrier IMS portfolio, and Mitel provides TMNL with their mobile IP access and interconnect technology, the IP core routing layer (for IMS call session control functions) and applications for TMNL’s voice services (for residential and mobile telephony voice, video and multi-media services).
When asked, “Why Mitel?” Růžička noted, “We saw that our competitors were using another vendor and focusing on small companies. We’ve seen Mitel be successful in the SMB market, and they offer traditional and modern cloud PBX capabilities, plus contact center capabilities that enable and support multimedia, teleworkers, and home workers.” He added, “Another important reason for our choice was Mitel’s leading market position in The Netherlands and Mitel being our strategic supplier for our new mobile voice core IMS network based” TMNL recognizes the potential of leveraging Mitel’s IP technology in both core and applications to create innovative cross segment services beyond Cloud & Clear. In addition, many of TMNL’s partners had a good deal of experience with the Mitel technology and wanted to be able to leverage and re-use this knowledge and expertise.
With Mitel, companies like TMNL can simplify their go-to-market by commercializing cloud offerings with white labeling and support for seamless scalability. In addition, they get the reliability, redundancy, and uptime of tier 4 global data centers and the security of private cloud deployment options. While not being positioned as the low cost leader, the service is cost competitive with other offerings.
The Results - Channel Partners
Mobile carriers in every region around the globe are battling not just for customers, but for channel partners as well. A key to success involves creating a competitive, channel-friendly go-to-market model. TMNL found that its channel partners want to be in control of the service delivery and deployment and not simply sell a service and receive a small margin on that sale.
In October 2015, TMNL launched a large campaign to increase awareness of the new FMC offer, and stressing the company’s B-to-B capabilities further. The company signed up and trained almost 20 new partners, who have been actively selling the new service.
A key focus has been on making it easy for partners to sell the Cloud & Clear service. The process starts by choosing a profile for each individual user, followed by customizing the profile by adjusting the price based on the mobile tariff, adding extra functionalities, selecting the mobile and/or fixed devices, the installation and implementation needs. The partner provides a single contract from TMNL for all of the customers’ communication needs, with one supplier and one invoice.
As customers look for new and better ways of working and improving their business processes, they want hassle-free services that are flexible and fit their needs. Working closely together, TMNL and Mitel have developed a fixed-mobile convergence experience now available in the Netherlands. Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile are reviewing offering the Cloud & Clear service beyond The Netherlands. On top of that, the presence of Mitel Mobile’s IMS-platform within the DT-Group offers a future route to further integrate and leverage a true cloud, mobile and enterprise offer.
Customers can now take advantage of new cloud service offerings from T-Mobile Netherlands, while channel partners have a new service to sell to customers, providing new revenue opportunities. It’s a clear winner.
This paper is sponsored by Mitel.