Guild Group engages Macquarie Telecom’s services to modernise network, take staff collaboration into the future and navigate Microsoft updates
18 August 2021
Macquarie Telecom today announced that Guild Group Holdings has re-engaged its services after a four-year break to implement SD-WAN and introduce cloud-based communication services as the financial services provider looks to improve collaboration between its staff.
Guild Group is an Australian-based organisation that was established in 1963 to provide insurance services to the pharmaceutical industry. Since then, it has evolved to offer superannuation, legal and other services to a wide range of professional associations.
The group had previously worked with Macquarie for network and private cloud services but four years ago scaled back its involvement to voice service capabilities as it moved to another provider. According to Head of Technology at Guild Group, Alastair Latimer, when 2020 came around, it was time to rekindle the relationship to re-envisage the organisation’s telephony and networking capability and better align to where the organisation’s people, applications and data were now located.
“When Microsoft announced they were ending support for Skype for Business in light of their Teams strategy, our immediate need was to navigate the change while ensuring no interruption to our services. We also wanted to set our business up for the long-term with a simpler desktop experience and completely modernised network,” he said.
“Macquarie has supported us by facilitating a solution that has led to even greater collaboration and communication between our internal teams and external businesses. The seamless transition has resulted in a significant digital upskilling of our staff and a considerable commercial cost saving.”
From the outset Guild Group wanted to avoid overwhelming its staff with too many desktop applications. Researchers at RMIT University recently found that the leading cause of digital overload in the workplace is the amount of communication and collaboration tools employees are required to use each day. However, the support Guild Group received in quickly consolidating its communication into a single and central platform has made life easier for employees, with no complications reported during or after the changeover period.
This smooth transition extended to the 100 contact centre agents in Guild Group’s insurance and superannuation businesses, who were able to move to remote work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Close work with Macquarie has enabled the organisation to add channels and capabilities to its contact centre application, including its Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) into the solution, further simplifying the use of collaboration tools for the team.
Looking to the future, Mr Latimer said that having Macquarie on board will allow Guild Group to effectively manage unexpected changes such as the Microsoft Windows 11 update scheduled to be rolled out later this year. Recent reports have indicated early challenges with the upgrade, including a broken Compatibility Checker and a significant change to system requirements that are predicted to translate to 60 per cent of users not being able to make the update.
“Our partnership with Macquarie Telecom will provide us with another valued partner perspective in dealing with the changes that filter down from Microsoft. The team can provide a broader perspective into what the potential impacts of those changes might be, and insight into factors we might not have even considered.”
Group Executive at Macquarie Telecom Group Luke Clifton said the relationship between Guild Group and Macquarie will enable the financial services provider to delve even deeper into the world of data collection and analysis to improve experiences for customers.
“The financial services sector is riding the wave of exponential data growth, collecting information from an expanding range sources to develop even better products and services. For example, the insurance industry is now calculating risk based on a wealth of customer information rather than 40-year-old demographic data, which provides a much fairer experience. Our technology and market-leading service with Guild Group will ensure it is in the best position to leverage these opportunities into the future.”
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