Henkel brings their global team together with Microsoft Teams

Together with Henkel we helped them accelerate their digital transformation strategy by migrating their legacy telephony environment to Microsoft telephony. Starting with a pilot project they proved the business value the transition would make and got approval to migrate the entire organization. Working with us they replaced their existing telephony environment with Skype for Business. This platform was critical in enabling their teams to remain productive and connected during COVID-19 and formed the basis of the consolidation of their collaboration and communication onto Microsoft Teams.

Planning for the digital future

As part of their overall digital transformation strategy, Henkel realized that collaboration was going to be critical for their future success.

As such, they embarked on a project to find ways to replace their legacy telephony solution with a unified digital platform. It needed to offer their employees the ability to simply connect with their colleagues, partners and customers anywhere, anytime.

As part of their move to the cloud they had already migrated their employees to Microsoft 365 and were initially looking to implement a solution to complement the conventional telephony system, enabling teams to chat with each other and make internal calls.

‘We were able to see the value that we could get from increased collaboration, enabling our teams to work closer together,’ says Dirk Lehmann, Head of Audio/Video Services at Henkel. ‘However, we needed to be able to prove the value of it to the business and as such, we took a staged approach to the project.’

This involved a pilot project at a single location using Skype for Business.

At the same time, they were in the process of refurbishing one of their offices in Germany, embracing an open plan design with no designated desks. This design decision made it the perfect environment to test out a solution that required no physical handsets.

We have a long history with Henkel, providing and maintaining their telephony environment for two decades, so we were the perfect partner to assist them on the initial Skype for Business pilot.

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Which services?

Technology Infrastructure Services

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Which technologies?

Microsoft Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams

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Which partners?


‘The completeness of NTT’s proposal, as well as their global reach, were key factors in our decision.’ 
Dirk Lehmann , Head of Audio/Video Services at Henkel

Connecting a global team

Working with us they deployed Microsoft telephony at their pilot site and the solution immediately demonstrated the potential for simpler deployment and significant cost savings.

Based on this experience they expanded the pilot to two more sites – in Brussels and Shanghai – working with our team to implement the learnings from the original deployment. ‘We had to build a business case for each of those locations,’ says Dirk Lehmann. ‘But, as with the original pilot, we saw a strong return on investment, and this gave us the information we needed to get approval for the global migration to Skype for Business.’

Following a competitive RFP process, we were selected to migrate the rest of their locations across to Skype for Business. ‘The completeness of NTT’s proposal, as well as their global reach, were key factors in our decision,’ he says.

‘We have 32,000 enterprise voice users, as well as more than 400 call queues that needed to be moved across, with hardware required to support legacy analogue devices, as well as gateways to connect to external telephony networks.’

‘By the end of 2019 the migration was almost complete, and then we had to react quickly to meet the additional demands placed on us by COVID-19,' he comments. ‘Our teams were able to stay connected via Skype for Business, but it became clear that we needed to accelerate our plans to move the entire organization over to Microsoft Teams as our primary collaboration and communication tool. Fortunately, we had a separate project underway to deploy Teams as a meeting platform, so many of our employees were already using it on a daily basis.’

Following a similar approach to the initial Skype deployment, they migrated key pilot sites over to Teams for Enterprise Voice and then continued to move the rest of the organization across, with the full migration of their voice environment to Teams completed in September 2020.

Digital transformation helps optimize communication

Migrating their telephony environment to Microsoft Teams, has enabled Henkel to keep their employees, customers and partners connected while reducing the cost of delivering this critical service.

Supporting a digital transformation The decision to move to Microsoft Teams as their unified communications and collaboration platform keeps their team connected even when they needed to move to a work-from-home environment. With all their telephony, communications and collaboration functionality in a single place, they are able to focus on delivering against business objectives.

A collaborative effort

The long-standing partnership between NTT and Henkel means that we had a deep understanding of their environment, ensuring that the migration process had a minimal impact on their employees. The move to Microsoft Teams was accomplished over two weekends, with no impact on the users.

Creating cost efficiencies

Leveraging Microsoft Teams as their single communications platform has enabled Henkel to unlock significant cost benefits, boosting productivity, increasing availability, and speeding up communication.