How an energy organization with a mission to make the world more sustainable is streamlining its telecommunications with LoopUp and Microsoft Teams Calling.
Founded in 2008, Mainstream Renewable Power is a major player in the renewable energy sector. The organization’s core mission is to build and develop sustainable energy plants, delivering cost-effective energy solutions across the world.
Mainstream Renewable Power has employees across the globe with operational locations including major markets like the US, UK, Germany and Australia, as well as emerging economies such as Brazil, Vietnam, Philippines, Egypt, Senegal, Ghana, and South Africa.
Mainstream Renewable Power is expanding, and in November 2021 they will be moving into new headquarters in Dublin. In Santiago, Chile, where they are currently 160 employees strong, exponential growth is also planned. Next, they will be expanding into Indonesia.
Robert Kennedy is Head of Cyber Security and Infrastructure at Mainstream Renewable Power.
We asked him if the energy provider’s plans for growth had prompted their recent decision to migrate to Microsoft Teams cloud telephony with LoopUp.
With such international operations, adopting a globally standardized communication platform made sense. That was not the situation Mainstream Renewable Power had in January 2021.
‘We knew we wanted to roll out Teams Calling for all our employees. We needed to simplify our telephony and we wanted to free ourselves of legacy hardware,’ says Robert. ‘But our starting point with this migration differed enormously from location to location. Across our offices we had a mix of on-premises PBX, SBCs and Calling Plans. In our APAC region, employees were operating from mobile phones and basically fending for themselves. The whole set-up was complex and expensive.’
Mainstream Renewable Power were already very familiar with Microsoft products. ‘We’ve been on Teams since 2018, before that it was Skype for Business,’ says Robert. ‘We are a Microsoft company through and through. We wanted the calling side taken care of for us, but Microsoft couldn’t deliver that – they didn’t deal with the telephony component in every jurisdiction.’
‘Teams is our official means of communication, and we use it far more than email. But Skype for Business doesn’t really scale globally in the way we needed. The Teams VoIP does. Teams Calling enables us to go to a new country very simply.
Finding the right partner
For Mainstream Renewable Power, having a partner with global coverage capability was central to their decision-making. ‘We did a lot of research,’ says Robert. ‘We went out to look for a single supplier who could provide the services that we require in every one of our locations.
‘We knew we wanted a company that could take care of all our locations. Having a single provider was crucial. We went to market and LoopUp just stood out,’ says Robert. ‘It was obvious the answer was LoopUp.’
How did the migration go?
‘It was pretty straightforward,’ says Robert. ‘As in it was completely straightforward! We basically gave LoopUp access to our Office 365 tenant and a list of numbers and told them to get it done.’
‘There was obviously a lot going on behind the scenes, but from our point of view, it was one of the best and simplest implementations we’ve ever had to deal with.
LoopUp oversaw each step of Mainstream Renewable Power’s migration to Microsoft Teams Calling, from the letter of authority to their incumbent carriers and the call porting, to their call configuration and queues. ‘Simplicity is king at the end of the day,’ says Robert. ‘And for us, it couldn’t have been simpler. LoopUp handled every detail.’
As a first step, LoopUp worked with Mainstream Renewable Power to understand their incumbent telephony configuration. Taking the time to properly understand the frustrations Mainstream had with their old setup and to identify any efficiencies that could be employed.
LoopUp then used this learning to tailor a bespoke Microsoft Teams solution for Mainstream. Once drawn out, this design helped form the basis of a test plan that could be completed prior to roll-out to the end user. This ensured Mainstream could be confident of the solution before it went live.
‘It’s very rare that you have a deployment process where there’s no issues – but this was it. LoopUp Director of Delivery Adrian Chatto and his crew tested and retested everything before it got to us, so there were no problems.
‘The whole process was seamless. We committed to the project with LoopUp on February 22. We had our first users live by April 2,’ says Robert. ‘It was actually so flawless that our nickname for Adrian was The Magician.’
‘And now we have the full end-to-end experience with Teams. It is beneficial to everyone and there’s also the financial win. The cost of mobile phones somewhere like South Africa is very expensive. You pay for your minutes. But with the integration to Teams and LoopUp, it just cut costs completely.