Mitel: Improving communications solutions for 70 million business users

BrandPost By Ken Drachnik
Jun 15, 2021
Cloud ComputingIT Leadership

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Credit: istock

Telecommunications companies often struggle to manage sprawling IT environments and vast amounts of siloed data. In response, many are turning to cloud computing as a bridge to move complex on-prem environments to the cloud, enabling them to provide commercial and household customers with the more scalable, reliable Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offerings they need to succeed.

Mitel, a global provider of UCaaS solutions, recognized the need to modernize its data centers and IT infrastructure. With more than 45 years of telecommunications leadership, 70 million business users in more than 100 countries, and a commitment to constantly refining its solution delivery model, the company’s on-premises IT environment was preventing the company from achieving growth and service goals.

“Our challenges came down to the four ‘Ss:’ stability, scale, SLA, and security,” says Rick Cirigliano, SVP of Cloud Operations at Mitel. “We had 30 data centers globally, high OpEx and CapEx expenditures, and longer lead times to bring innovations to market. We started to look into cloud services to overcome these issues, outsource non-core competency activities, and leverage more advanced IT infrastructure and services.”

Mitel chose to work with Google Cloud and Google Cloud Premier Partner, RiverMeadow, to overhaul its IT and data infrastructure to capitalize on microservices, automation, and advanced technical tooling.

Shifting massive infrastructure into the cloud

Mitel had a range of requirements to ensure zero service disruption throughout its cloud migration—a migration which included efficiently lifting and shifting data centers and capitalizing on mesh network connectivity across Google geographies. The telco also planned to use Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for microservices and adopt an infrastructure that properly reflected its continuity of operations plan.

After meetings with Google Cloud, the decision to standardize on Google Cloud VMware Engine and Google Compute Engine (GCE) became clear.

“We wanted to leverage all of the Google Cloud services like VM Snapshots, Stackdriver, Google Cloud Storage, disaster recovery, and more,” says Cirigliano. “Google Cloud VMware Engine and GCE presented an integrated approach to the non-production and production environment migrations we hoped to complete.”

Mitel worked with Google Cloud Premier Partner RiverMeadow, whose deep domain expertise and unique migration strategy enabled a full lift-and-shift of VMs to Google Cloud VMware Engine, a Cloud Verified solution. RiverMeadow conducted a thorough discovery and assessment of Mitel’s estate, with a full inventory process, identifying the initial set of 1,000 VMs to migrate, including 160 terabytes of usable storage and 770 GBs of memory.

“RiverMeadow provided us with discovery, assessment, and migration services and, thanks to their deep Google Cloud VMware Engine and HCX expertise, we were able to significantly expedite our global migration timeline, regardless of the required use case,” says Cirigliano.

RiverMeadow and Google Cloud outlined an ideal migration scenario for Mitel, which included consolidation, standardization, and automation.

Integrated tools for greater scale, speed-to-market, and efficiency

Since completing the migration, Mitel has seen significant benefits across its IT operations.

Moving VMware workloads to Google Cloud instantly improved infrastructure reliability by standardizing systems across locations, also unlocking the ability to leverage native Google Cloud services. Mitel uses Cloud Operations to improve monitoring performance. It also uses Cloud Storage and Google Cloud backup services to support more proactive, preventative strategies to improve IT operations, minimizing reactive approaches to addressing IT issues.

“Our VMware migration to Google Cloud has translated into faster time to market to support higher revenues,” says Cirigliano. “We can also scale to support more work and have increased completed units of work monthly by 4x, thanks to the Google Cloud ecosystem.”

In addition, Mitel has seen a marked decrease in its IT OpEx and accelerated responsiveness to customers when incidents arise. Platform and infrastructure segregation, as well as enhanced monitoring and automation, have combined to improve resolution of disruptions, as well as service restoration.

The UCaaS market requires exceptional SLA compliance, as well as security. With Google Cloud and RiverMeadow, Mitel has achieved more consistent SLA compliance, while strengthening security and regulatory compliance across its complex network of services and geographies.

“Our collaboration with Google Cloud and RiverMeadow really positions us well to extend our scope and the reach of our cloud,” says Cirigliano. “We are a global communications and collaboration company with a vision to continuously innovate so we become a true one-stop-shop for UCaaS service solutions.”

Building on early success

With the migration a success, Mitel is now looking to use Google Cloud to further enhance services. This includes tapping into ways in which Google Cloud can support zero-downtime maintenance to eliminate customer service disruptions when Mitel needs to work on its internal systems.

Having achieved more proactive IT monitoring, Mitel is working with Google Cloud to establish additional ways to expedite disaster recovery and better respond to its customer needs. For instance, faster time to market for services helped Mitel realize it could use Google Cloud to speed code drops that improve its UCaaS offerings’ functionality and power.

Plans are also underway to extend Mitel’s global cloud footprint into Europe and Australia with roughly 350 additional VMware workloads to be migrated onto Google Cloud VMware Engine. 

“We look forward to expanding our relationship with Google Cloud and RiverMeadow, and growing our cloud footprint as we offer more services to more regions worldwide,” says Cirigliano. “It’s been a very positive experience working with RiverMeadow and Google Cloud. We are excited to see what we can achieve in the future.”

Want to learn how you can capitalize on IT standardization, automation, and consolidation through next-generation cloud infrastructure? Click here.