America’s Largest Privately Held Company Stays Apace with Communications Technology

Executive Summary

Industry: Manufacturing
Technology: Cabling, Cisco IPT & Unified Communications, Wireless
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Number of Employees: 142,000
Business Challenge: With thousands of locations in 67 countries, a unified communications system became necessary due to connectivity interruptions.
Comm-Works Solution: Provide pre-planning, deployment, and installation services for their locations, as well as full project management.
Business Result: A happy customer that no longer has connectivity system failures.

Background Information

In business since 1865, this company is one of the largest – and oldest – international producers and marketers of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services in the world. With locations in 67 countries, this customer has partnered with Comm-Works for many years, to provide telephony and wireless infrastructure projects, including cabling, periodically filling in resource gaps and providing expertise for complicated projects.

Business Challenge

With a widespread business base comprised of thousand of locations, connectivity is of primary importance to the company. Equally important is keeping its cost of doing business well in hand.

Up to this point the company had experienced recurring phone system failures, due to their numerous locations and variability in site features, ranging from standard office environments to large production facilities and warehouses. The decision to deploy a Cisco Unified Communications system as the standard for its business units was the strategy going forward. Doing so enables the company to reduce the costs associated with, older multi-platform phone systems and gives it the ability to centrally manage and globally support a single system. Because each site is unique and can range, each site had to be assessed using a different set of business needs and requirements. The client selected Comm-Works as a partner for this high profile initiative.

The Comm-Works Solution

For each location prior to the implementation of the project, Comm-Works had to provide a comprehensive site survey, followed by the creation of a detailed document regarding the specific environment and site information. Once completed, Comm-Works conducted a needs assessment with the customer and provided recommendations for the design solutions that would meet the business goals of each particular location. Upon agreement of the design, Comm-Works worked with the customer to develop a comprehensive, project plan that lays out the specific steps and resources necessary to meet their business requirements in the most cost-efficient way.

All of the Cisco equipment was then staged and configured in the Comm-Works Logistics Center. The Comm-Works team and the client’s corporate IT department worked closely to ensure the configurations were done to the standards of the company. Once completed and approved, the equipment was shipped to the correlating site for implementation.

Once on site, Comm-Works completed the necessary infrastructure upgrades and cleanup. This included running Cat6 cables, complete re-cabling of the location, and rebuilding the MDF. In addition to the installation, Comm-Works packaged and removed all existing voice and data equipment for the customer.

Once the new system was installed to the local network (LAN), the hardware underwent a series of testing. This testing was to ensure the call routing, matching the customer’s original design request was completed and that the unit was registered with the central Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

To ensure that all systems are performing to the customer’s expectations, the Comm-Works field resources remain on site to provide training and Day 2 support.

Results & Value

Business and service interruptions due to legacy phone system failures are now a thing of the past, which means that the client’s customers, both internal and external, are better served. Location managers also appreciate the productivity boosts that IP communications, such as call routing and single number access to the desk and cell phones and other communication devices, bring to their operations. Individual users enjoy the system’s flexibility and personalization options.

Comm-Works made possible the speed, quality, and ease with which this project was implemented. The company now has a centrally managed and globally supported communication system. This system eliminates business and service interruptions, increasing overall productivity and enables user flexibility within their daily operations. The client understands the value of working with a trusted partner like Comm-Works and relies on the
Company to complete a variety of other projects, including AV installations and wireless projects. Most recently, Comm-Works completed a wireless bridge installation that involved connecting five remote locations that were spread over a three mile radius.

In a constantly changing and complex technology environment, it is virtually impossible and extremely costly to have all of the required expertise on staff. Comm-Works provided the client with a skilled, variable workforce that resulted in faster time-to-market without the overhead of full time employees. Comm-Works worked as an extension of the company to ensure that any projects, no matter how complex, are seamless in their execution, on time and on budget.

About Comm-Works

By offering all-encompassing services, Comm-Works is an established industry leader. With 20,000+ technicians worldwide Comm-Works provides 24/7/365 support and on-site capabilities in 4 hours or less. By managing a project from start to finish, Comm-Works ensures all projects are completed on-time and on-budget.