How Yellow Pages discovered the value of UCaaS

The company which helps Canadians connect with businesses finds a way to nurture internal collaboration via Allstream’s HCS

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Yellow Pages Group is a Canadian leader in digital media and marketing solutions, with online directories and various sites hosting more than 8.7 million unique visitors each month and 30 per cent of searches done from its mobile app. YP has nearly 3,000 employees in 17 locations nationwide.

Two years ago, YP decided to simplify and standardize its telephony infrastructure to accelerate the transformation of its business model. Specifically, the company wanted to enhance employee collaboration to achieve productivity gains and increase profitability. The objective was to establish a common platform that was flexible and offered a range of powerful tools that provided the best return on investment. After considering several options, YP chose Allstream’s Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS).

The planning and deployment process was done in collaboration between YP, Allstream and Cisco Systems. Last June, HCS was simultaneously deployed for some 1,000 head office employees.

In the months that followed, the solution has been adjusted several times to meet new needs identified by YP and to integrate some other applications. For example, HCS has been a big part of helping bring instant connectivity to new users hired across the company at each of its various sites. There are now nearly 3,000 employees using HCS and enjoying the benefits.

“For a digital media company like Yellow Pages, modernizing our network was essential,” said Luc Dubois, general manager of Infrastructure and IT operations at Yellow Pages Group. “A communications platform is critical because our needs are so varied. What we’re seeing so far not only meets our expectations, but exceeds them.”

Benefits for Users

By deploying a unified communications as a service platform, employees have become more efficient and can concentrate on the tasks that contribute to YP’s growth, Dubois said. For example, each employee is provided with a single phone number, which can be easily reached by a client or colleague whether they’re at their desk or offsite. Contact centers have become much more effective to meet customer demands and all long distance calls have been eliminated. HCS has also lead to significant productivity gains, he added, opening up the door to remote work or telecommuting for some of its employees.

Robust and Reliable

The network infrastructure is more robust and reliable than ever before.  A geo-redundancy system was set up for the data center so that if a major incident occurs in the main data centre, a second centre that is located in another part of the country instantly takes over, ensuring YP’s business isn’t interrupted.

Jean-Sébastien Roy, an account manager at Cisco Systems Canada, said the completion of the project has allowed Allstream to demonstrate how UCaaS products like HCS can bring the benefits of cloud computing to collaboration.

Lower Costs, Greater Manageability

According to Dubois, network management has become much easier since HCS was deployed, and costs are more predictable and flexible. With HCS, the customer is charged per user per service used, and can adjust requirements at any time.

“This project has allowed us to work with the leaders of YP and Cisco to show how HCS and Allstream are able to respond and adapt to all the complex challenges of a large company and their evolution,” said Jason Brousseau, Allstream’s general manager of Sales, Eastern Region. “The success of this project will help YP to accelerate its transformation to have IP connectivity, collaboration tools and the integration of a complete solution tailored to their needs, while achieving significant cost savings.”

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