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BT managed cabling service underpins Alcatel-Lucent real estate rationalisation, improving business agility at lower cost
Bringing together two massive corporations like Alcatel and Lucent presents huge synergy saving opportunities. Many are embedded in an organisational transformation project called The Shift Plan. Real estate optimisation is an important element, particularly in EMEA where the company has some 170 sites in around 70 countries.
For Kurt Tempels, IT Director EMEA & APAC at Alcatel-Lucent, cabling systems were proving a serious bottleneck in the complex building rationalisation process. He needed to reduce time spent dealing with local contractors. His bright idea: find a single infrastructure provider to offer a region-wide standardised service at a competitive price. Kurt chose BT to make things simpler, faster and more flexible.
The BT service has delivered the improvements we wanted – workload reduction, greater agility and standardisation within our organisation – and it’s cost effective. I’m very happy with the deal.”
- Kurt Tempels, IT Director EMEA & APAC, Alcatel-Lucent
Alcatel-Lucent is one of the foremost global communications technology providers. Formed in 2006 from the merger of the two brands, it has emerged as a powerhouse in the provision of ultra-broadband fixed and wireless access solutions as well as an innovator in IP and cloud-based networking.
The merger spawned opportunities for savings and efficiencies all around the world. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) the primary focus has been on rationalising office accommodation, spurred on by an increase in flexible working that’s changing its usage of fixed office space.
Kurt Tempels, IT Director EMEA & APAC at Alcatel-Lucent, explains: “We had some 170 sites in about 70 countries around EMEA, and we needed to optimise our real estate to meet current and projected business needs. That meant closing some offices, expanding others and even opening new ones to consolidate and unify teams across the region.”
IT systems are fundamental to the Alcatel-Lucent business, starting with in-building cabling infrastructures. Kurt Tempels continues: “The extent of our real estate rationalisation programme meant my team was spending far too much time running procurement exercises with numerous local providers. We decided to seek a single vendor to deliver a standardised, cost effective cabling service throughout EMEA.”
Following a competitive tender, Alcatel-Lucent chose BT as its EMEA structured IT cabling provider under a three-year master services agreement (MSA) contract. The bespoke service, provided by BT Advise in partnership with Siemon, embraces consultancy, site survey, design, installation, commissioning and project management – including direct liaison with landlords and construction companies. More than 30 different projects are anticipated over the contract period.
“This wasn’t a net price decision,” says Kurt Tempels. “We selected BT as our pan-EMEA cabling contractor because we judged it to offer best value. BT had an innovative and professional approach, demonstrating the necessary scalability and – most important of all – the ability to deliver everywhere we wanted.”
The master services agreement includes a series of pricing and delivery schedules that reflect different costs and market conditions in various geographic territories, such as Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and North Africa. Moreover, the commercial terms offered by BT contain fixed prices per territory, subject to a modest percentage variance (down as well as up) to reflect the complexity of individual jobs.
Cabling projects have already been successfully delivered in Tunisia, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, France and Nigeria, where BT encountered some unusual challenges. Kurt Tempels says: “Cabling our brand new office building in Nigeria was a challenge and remarkable BT achievement. Despite complicated security and access issues, and the theft of fibre patch panels, the project was delivered in line with our requirements, on time and on budget.”
By consolidating pan-EMEA in-building cabling projects with BT, Alcatel-Lucent has standardised and simplified a demanding process, improved business agility and reduced the overall cost of cabling delivery. With BT managing the company’s cabling services across EMEA, the burden on the Alcatel-Lucent IT team is much reduced, leaving its people free to concentrate on more complex infrastructure improvement initiatives.
Having an agreed pricing schedule is also helping Alcatel-Lucent with forward planning. “Working with BT we enjoy largely fixed prices, so it’s much quicker and easier for us to build the business case for real estate projects,” Kurt Tempels confirms. “Although headline prices for cabling delivery haven’t much changed, overall delivery expenses have reduced because our internal costs are now lower.”
The managed cabling service also provides access to BT cabling solution specialists who can offer consultancy on cabling strategy and standards evolution, taking account of the latest technical developments in the field. Kurt Tempels sums up: “Our experience so far confirms that placing this business with BT was the right decision. The BT service is highly dependable and, with real estate projects where time is of the essence, that’s vital.”
- BT Advise professional services – managed IT infrastructure in-building cabling services including consultancy, site survey, design, installation, commissioning and project management