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Aspen Pharmacare

Worldwide videoconferencing solution delivers improved communication

Middle East & Africa | South Africa | Pharmaceutical | Digital Workplace

Solutions for Africa’s chief pharmaceutical company

IT-as-a-service equipped Aspen Pharmacare with a hosted, managed videoconferencing solution which led to multiple bottom-line benefits.

Download this case study (pdf, 1.46MB)
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Cut the travel costs incurred as a result of dated equipment, while offering executives a better experience via a concierge service and enabling an easier bookings process.

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Global deployment of Managed Services for Visual Communications to 30 Aspen sites, along with the instalment and maintenance of high definition endpoints and screens.

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Better usage of visual communications, with significant travel miles saved, better executive use of the system and improvement in the quality of meetings.

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State-of-the-art without the fuss

One hundred and sixty year-old Aspen Pharmacare, whose headquarters are in South Africa, is Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company. It is also one of the southern hemisphere’s leading producers of generic medicines. Via 50 representative offices globally, it supplies medicines and nutritional products from its 26 manufacturing facilities at 18 sites on six continents to 150 countries around the world.

The company’s objective is to sustain life and promote healthcare by providing increasing access to affordable, high quality products.

However, the ageing video conferencing (VC) endpoints and outdated on-premise video conferencing bridge began to impact its ability to do so. The VC system was driving up travel costs and inhibiting productivity because, globally, its employees resisted using it.

Aspen decided to exploit the significant cost and efficiency benefits of IT-as-a-service (ITaaS). It wanted state of the art facilities without having to worry about maintaining or operating them. The best option appeared to be a hosted system coupled with managed services and integration of Aspen’s Outlook instance into the VC platform.

‘The ability to undertake global deployment and then manage 30 sites from a central point under Group service level agreements tailored to our needs was a prerequisite,’ says Alan Bosch, Aspen Pharmacare IT Manager, Group Supply Chain Division. ‘In addition, we needed metrics, including travel kilometers and man-hours saved, that would prove the value of the system. We wanted detailed insight into usage, so that we could keep improving on the system’s value to the company.

‘We settled on Dimension Data partly because it has a proven global delivery model. Equally importantly, it was prepared to adapt its invoicing and contractual processes to suit our requirements. The Dimension Data team went to great lengths upfront to create the kind of reports we wanted.’

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Why Dimension Data?

In an 18-month project managed from London in the United Kingdom, we deployed our Managed Services for Visual Communications (MSVC) solution to Aspen’s selected sites around the world. We moved Aspen to the public bridge operated by its Video Network Operations Centre (VNOC) in London, managed the logistics of installing new endpoints and screens in all 30 locations, established a concierge service for Aspen executives, and undertook the complex process of integrating the booking of conferences into Outlook.

‘Global logistics can be challenging,’ says Greg Bayliss-Lane, Client Manager Dimension Data. ‘But, having our own offices in all but one of Aspen’s locations gave us much greater control than if we’d had to rely on third parties. We also had our teams inspect all the intended locations to ensure that the rooms would be ready for the equipment before it was delivered. As a result, most of the sites were up and running in nine months. The ones to which telecommunications lines had to be laid and, therefore, required negotiation with telecommunications providers, took a little longer.’

‘An interesting project lesson was that global delivery capacity doesn’t remove the need for local liaison,” Bosch says. “Dimension Data’s primary project manager in London gave us close interaction with the VNOC. The personal attention of their Durban team, however, gave us the assurance that our needs were being addressed.’

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Making a bottom line difference

The quality and ease of use of Aspen’s new ITaaS video conferencing solution is triggering a steady increase in usage by employees. Within a few months of go-live, millions of precisely tracked travel miles and man travel hours had been avoided, saving millions of rands in costs.

The avoided travel miles and man-hours will also assist Aspen with its triple bottom line reporting, in terms of tangibly reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

Our ‘white glove’ service is making it easier for Aspen executives to leverage the benefits of video conferencing.

Integration of Outlook with the MSVC has enabled efficient booking of the VC facilities.

‘Overall, our new video conferencing-as-a-service solution is paying its way as well as contributing to our ability to maintain our focus on our strategic objectives in health care,’ Bosch says.

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