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High travel costs and unproductive use of time become a thing of the past as leading transportation and logistics company P&O Ferrymasters, embraces the benefits of Video-Conferencing
Established in 1953, P&O Ferrymasters is one of Europe’s leading providers of tailor-made transportation, logistics and supply chain solutions. It specialises in the design and delivery of innovative and flexible supply chain solutions that add value to its customers’ businesses.
The company’s operations are widely dispersed across 12 European countries, with around 530 staff based in either one of 23 offices, or on customer sites.
P&O Ferrymaster’s geography has inevitably meant a lot of day-to-day travelling for managers and support teams. For example, it was not unusual for the IT training team to spend two days getting to and from a location to deliver a half-day training course. Not only did this potentially cause family problems, it also put a big weight on the company’s travel bill with the added cost of airfares and hotels.
It was with this in mind that the company started the search for an IT solution to the problem. Steve Walters, IT Director, P&O Ferrymasters explains:
“We originally looked at an internet-based video service using standard web cams. It proved we could use this approach to reduce our travel costs, but it was less than ideal. The screen clarity was poor and it wasn’t easy to use. However, the trial served its purpose and convinced us that a proper video conferencing solution was the answer to our problem.”
The company decided to look at what the three main suppliers in the market had to offer. At the same time Huawei partner Kuiper Technology approached it looking for ways in which it could help meet its IT needs. It was following these conversations that Huawei was added to the list of suppliers under consideration.
“[Kuiper] had been very persistent in wanting to talk to us and was quick to propose Huawei’s video conferencing solution. On seeing a demonstration at Huawei’s centre in the Netherlands, we were immediately impressed with what we saw and decided to include it in our selection process,” continues Steve Walters.
Both Huawei and Kuiper Technology pulled out all the stops to show what they could offer, providing an attention to detail that both surprised and impressed the P&O Ferrymaster’s team. This included providing trial equipment to a senior manager to help test the quality and ease-of-use of the product in a live environment and being available to answer questions whenever needed.
“The demonstration we were given included a link to Huawei’s office in China. The person there was very helpful and knowledgeable and listened very closely to our questions showing us everything we needed to see and more. This was despite the meeting running late into the Chinese evening and was typical of personal attention and support we experienced all through the process,” observes Steve Walters.
P&O Ferrymasters based its choice of system on three broad criteria - quality, ease-of-use and price. Although technically on the same level as the others, Huawei’s solution met all of these easily, being seen as the best to meet the company’s future needs. Its overall price was seen as particularly competitive.
The Huawei Video Conferencing purchased comprises seven TE30 cameras with large screen systems for the larger offices and 11 DP300 systems and 30 TE desktop licenses for the smaller sites. Recording and replay capability is also included.
Fully supported by Huawei, Kuiper Technology installed the central processing unit and set up some of the UK sites. It also provided training for the P&O Ferrymasters’ IT team to roll the solution out to its various locations across Europe.
Neil Jelley, Sales Director, Kuiper Technology adds: “We chose to partner with Huawei as we see it offering something a little different in a very crowded market. The support we get from them at all levels is fantastic and our win with P&O Ferrymasters more than bears out our faith in the company.”
It’s early days for assessing the actual financial benefit of buying Huawei’s Video-conferencing system but, with a travel budget that was fast approaching £750k per annum, P&O Ferrymasters it is very confident that it will more than pay for itself in less than a year. The IT training team is also reaping the benefits and is now able to train over 200 staff a month; a figure that is set to increase.
“The benefits are really self-evident. Already we can see that people are much happier because they aren’t spending too much of their time travelling and training courses can be delivered in one hour with recordings made for people who can’t attend. The system itself is easy to use, very reliable and delivers an incredible level of clarity, even when the network bandwidth isn’t great,” concludes Steve Walters.
So impressed has P&O Ferrymasters been with the support of Huawei and Kuiper Technology, that it’s actively considering them to provide future networking and storage requirements and has already purchased Huawei mobile phones and tablets.
Huawei Enterprise Business Group (“Huawei Enterprise”) is one of the three business groups of Huawei, a leading global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider. Leveraging Huawei’s strong R&D capabilities and comprehensive technical expertise, Huawei Enterprise provides a wide range of highly effi cient customer-centric ICT solutions and services to global vertical industry and enterprise customers across government and public sector, finance, transportation, electric power, energy, commercial businesses, and ISPs. Huawei Enterprise’s innovative and leading solutions cover network infrastructure, Unifi ed Communications and Collaboration (UCC), cloud computing and data center, enterprise information security, and industry application solutions.
For more information, please visit: e.huawei.com/uk
P&O Ferrymasters is one of the leading European providers of tailor-made road and intermodal transportation and logistics solutions. A leading player in its market, the company employs 530 staff in 23 offi ces across 12 European countries. Since 2006, it has been part of P&O Ferries, which is owned by the Dubai World group.
For more information, please visit: poferrymasters.com
Set up in 2008 and based in Birmingham, Kuiper Technology (formerly UK IT Corp) is a dynamic IT Services and Solution Provider offering expert IT Support, Outsourced IT Services, UC Services, Cloud Services and ERP Systems for businesses across the UK. It is a Huawei silver enterprise partner and is able to act as either a customer’s IT department or alongside an IT Manager to deliver specialist services that help keep critical business systems running.
For more information, please visit: http://kuipertech.co.uk