Case study: CHC Helicopter

How we helped a helicopter service introduce technology-based innovations and reduce overheads.


For CHC Helicopter, the world’s largest helicopter services company, whether it’s ferrying oilfield workers offshore or conducting emergency search and rescue missions, all of their systems and processes just need to work.

CHC Helicopter

  • Industry: Logistics
  • Solution: Data networks and IP Telephony


  • Remote locations with high uptime requirements
  • Desire to utilise video between sites
  • Solid infrastructure required to support innovation


  • New high-speed, high-availability Data Network and Unified Communications, in-built, redundancy with one accountable provider and smarter, multi-traffic network

Time to pause and catch breath.

With a large, geographically diverse customer base in both the oil and gas and government sectors, a global slowdown provided an opportunity for the Australian management team to review the operations of the business which had rapidly scaled to meet the oil and gas boom, but weren’t operating as efficiently as they would like.

An area of opportunity for improvement was the organisation’s IT and telecommunications. By focusing on this area, it would allow them to provide a better service, introduce new technology-based innovations and reduce overheads.

Their IT review went right back to the choice of their telco partner. On review of the outcomes that the relationship delivered, CHC Helicopter found their existing provider was often bogged down in old and cumbersome processes which were not delivering what they needed to perform at the level they wanted.

They wanted to work with a provider who shared their focus on delivering quick, effective and innovative solutions.

What did CHC Helicopter have to say about us?

"The internal CHC Helicopter team are thrilled with the solutions implemented by Vocus which are not only operationally superior, but highly cost effective."

Philip O'Dwyer, IT Manager
CHC Helicopter Asia Pacific

Never business as usual

As a company that delivers high stakes services, including search and rescue and emergency response, it was vital that CHC Helicopter engage a partner that could achieve near zero downtime.

“If the network suffers lag or an outage, the operations on base need to revert to manual procedures for submitting flight plans, communications with the rigs and flight following, which delays the aircraft in situations which are time critical,” said IT Manager at CHC Helicopter, Phillip O’Dwyer.

Given the majority of systems and processes are technology based, all supported by three people in the IT team at their Perth headquarters, the company needed a partner that could proactively manage the network and was cost competitive.

A demanding solution

Vocus provided CHC Helicopter with an IP Telephony, data and network solution which could withstand very high demand.

The telephony solution is a hosted platform so CHC didn’t need extensive infrastructure in their offices. The hosting is spread across Vocus’ multiple data centres with inbuilt redundancy, meaning the solution is incredibly cost effective and reliable.

Delivery that goes beyond a sales pitch

“The internal CHC Helicopter team are thrilled with the solutions implemented by Vocus which are not only operationally superior, but highly cost effective,” said O’Dwyer. "We chose Vocus because they offered a solution that provided us with the best chance of having 100% uptime, particularly for remote areas where outages were recurring and even more impactful in emergency situations.”

“Vocus provided us with a 100Mbps connection for less than we were paying for 10Mbps with our previous provider. As a result, Vocus provided 1,000% more bandwidth, which can be particularly costly in remote areas," said O'Dwyer.

"As with any new vendor you’re going to have issues so the project implementation phase is very important. We were impressed with Vocus as when we ran into issues, some of which were critical, their response was rapid. “The project manager was great and provided feedback on the path to resolution, instead of just listing the issues. They tackled the problems in a really impressive way – so much so I sent a letter of recommendation about the project manager.”

Reliability when things happen

The greatest benefit of the solution provided by Vocus was the redundancy that’s so important to the functioning CHC’s operations.

“Recently Vocus was able to notify the team that an outage had occurred in our south-west operations, but with inbuilt redundancy we experienced no interruption to our business”.

In the past when CHC had suffered an outage it created a raft of overhead, and could even keep aircraft grounded. Problem areas such as Darwin and Bunbury were constantly hit with link failures. However, with the new Vocus services in place, CHC Helicopter have had no downtime due to the implementation of the new Vocus infrastructure.

Not only has this allowed CHC to offer superior search and rescue services in remote areas but across the board it has increased the efficiency of business operations.

A future-focused relationship

CHC Helicopter has continued to work with Vocus on their IT roadmap given the nimble and collaborative approach of the people they’ve dealt with.

“Thanks to Vocus we no longer need to worry about managing the day to day network. As we continue to grow our technical capabilities we look forward to working with Vocus on enhancing IT solutions to meet our changing needs.”

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