European Tour Case Study

The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf, sportsmanship, and integrity. They are constantly on the move and needed a solution that was ideal for a mobile workforce.


Below is the video transcription:


I'm Mark Lichtenhein, I'm the chief information officer for the European Tour. The European Tour is the body that organizes professional golf in Europe and around the world. We have 600 members playing on three different tours-- the main tour, the senior tour, and challenge tour, and we organize around 100 tournaments every year across those three tours and 36 different countries. We have some pretty unique telecommunications challenges. We're not a huge multinational, but we have a very, very diverse workforce, and we have to provide telecommunications infrastructure week in, week out in what are essentially Greenfield sites, many of which have very limited infrastructure. We quickly saw the value of voiceover IP and how it could help our business, because it would obviate the need to put in temporary infrastructure, which, let's face it, is very expensive these days, and when you think that we're putting in anything up to 100 lines per tournament. If we don't need to do that, then immediately that's a very substantial number that we're saving. Multiply that by the number of tournaments we have. Although I haven't got the exact figures to hand, I don't it needs much mathematics to work it out. If we could find a way of using internet connectivity to leverage our telecommunications platform across all our tournaments and all our staff who are disparately located around the world, we realized that we could make a major saving both in time and in money to the smooth running of our business.


I think the unique thing about the European tour is that we are so geographically diverse. I mean, we have across all three tours, 100 tournaments I think in 36 different countries this year. And telecommunications is obviously key to getting our business done. Working each week with a different telecommunications supply obviously brings its own challenges and difficulties, so we really wanted to look for a solution that would allow us to seamlessly integrate our telecommunication requirements across the board, whether we're here in the UK, or in Kazakhstan, or Australia, or wherever it is.

We were looking for a new telecommunication solution as our existing one had kind of run its course, and we were very impressed with what we saw with Mitel and we benchmarked that against other supplies, and we felt that, across the board, it met all our requirements and our needs.

We quickly realized that the solutions they had available were ideal for the mobile workforce that we have. And the ability for people to take their telephone number with them around the world and without necessarily taking their handset with them was terrific, and using technologies like your assistant, the softphone connected to people's PC, means that our staff, whether they're in the office or sitting in a tournament office in a tent in the middle of a green field, they can be connected in the same way and nobody needs to know that they've moved place.

In the end, we went with the Mitel 3300 Solution, which I guess is the standard platform the Mitel tend to propose for our type of organization. We felt that although possibly right now it can do more than we absolutely needed, it would allow us to grow going forward and to take advantage of the more advanced features as our staff became more familiar with the IP telephony solution. So to start with, we took, I think, 80 handsets connected to the 3300 with the teleworker solution for those who are out of the office, and together with various handsets they're in remote locations. We've got staff in Singapore, Hong Kong, Spain who are using our telephone network as if they were here in the office. And going forward, one of our visions is that our on-sites production can use the IP solution week in, week out, regardless of which country we're in. And a 3300 will enable us to have a mirrored infrastructure on-site connected to the 3300 back at base, and that way we can create a seamless network of all our phones, regardless of where we are in the world.

We're using the Mitel 3300 solution together with, I think, 80 IP phones, the 5330s. We have a few more advanced handsets for those users who've really got their heads around it and know how to use all the features, and together with the teleworker solution for those people who prefer to speak through their PCs when they're away from the office.

Well, the major benefit we have through using the Mitel system is clearly that we don't need to necessarily engage with local telecommunications companies, at least to the same extent, when we're traveling around. I mean, this week we have a small tournament in Woburn, and we're just taking the P solution from Mitel. They've either got handsets that are connected to the internet and then through the IP back to here, or teleworker solutions. So we've really not needed to engage with a telecommunication company other than an internet connection. And when you think about the costs now for temporary infrastructure around the world, not just in the UK, are so high, this represents a major saving for all our tournaments. When you multiply that by the hundred tournaments that we have, you can see that it's easily paying for itself during the course of the season.

I think the measurable ROI on the investment is self-evident. I mean, the cost of a temporary line in a green field for one of our tournaments could be anything up to 600 pounds per line, and when you think that we're putting in anything up to 100 lines per tournament, if we don't need to do that, then immediately that's a very substantial number that we're saving, multiply up by the number of tournaments we have. Although I haven't got the exact figures to hand, I don't think it needs much mathematics to work it out.

I think one of the other benefits is the time that we save through using the system in set up if we're not having to cable areas of temporary infrastructure with telephone lines from suppliers that we don't normally work with. If we just connecting to a wireless IP cloud, clearly we're saving an awful lot of time, and people can be operational. As long as we have the internet connectivity in place, they're operational from day one, and that is an enormous saving when you consider the very limited time we have to set up in a golf tournament. I mean, we have a golf tournament every week-- well, three tournaments every week across the tours. We don't have time to spend cabling vast tents and new areas in green fields every week. So it's a fantastic time saving feature for us.


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