When its long-time telco provider could not deliver what Cubic needed, Vocus stepped in to fill the gap and became a trusted partner in the process.
Global companies operating in some of the world’s busiest cities do not have the luxury of making mistakes. Cubic Transportation Systems delivers integrated systems for transportation and traffic management—it is the company that makes up the backbone of Sydney’s Opal Card, Queensland’s Go Card, the Oyster Card in London, and transportation systems throughout the United States.
With millions of travellers relying on Cubic’s services daily, it is imperative that the company’s service providers deliver on time, within budget and most importantly, without disruption to avoid facing customer backlash or a negative impact on reputation.
“If we have a problem, we’re usually one step away from it appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald,” said Wayne Roberts, Enterprise IT Manager. In his role, Roberts looks after the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region’s corporate information technology (IT) systems as well as advising on new production systems for Cubic customers.
“The crux of the biscuit is that Vocus is agile in the way it approaches its customers, innovative in the way it delivers solutions, and both responsive and efficient in delivery of services to customers with tight timelines."
Enterprise IT Manager, Cubic
Cubic’s confidence in its telco provider started waning when in February 2018. Cubic informed its provider that the organisation was relocating to a new Brisbane office in October that same year. It needed direct internet access for this new business hub and it was critical the new office be up and running by the time employees made the move.
When Roberts’ team checked on the order in July, they were told the order had not been received and as a result, nothing had been done between February and July. “We escalated the issue and had to hassle the account representatives week in and week out to get anything done,” said Roberts. Eventually, in August, Cubic was given a completion date of November, which was well past the move-in date.
With the October deadline getting closer and no indication from its telco provider that access would be ready, Roberts called Vocus Account Manager Annie Hsu, who he was previously introduced to. After explaining the problem and requirements, Hsu asked for some time to figure out an appropriate solution.
“Annie got back to me within 24 hours and said there would be no problem and could arrange a full install,” Roberts said. “With only three weeks to complete the job, Vocus delivered ahead of schedule, the day before our existing provider had originally promised.” When Cubic’s employees moved into the new office, the required connectivity was established and functional, without interruption to the business.
Once on site, technicians from the existing provider and Vocus agreed that the installation was straightforward. However, the incumbent’s lack of customer care meant no one had investigated the extent of the work that would be involved. Instead of it being a simple transition, the installation forced Roberts and his team to waste hours trying to reach account managers for assistance.
Vocus on the other hand, was able to provide nimble, efficient service. The company is large enough to deliver major projects and solutions, but still retain a strong focus on personalised service.
“The crux of the biscuit is that Vocus is agile in the way it approaches its customers, innovative in the way it delivers solutions, and both responsive and efficient in delivery of services to customers with tight timelines,” Roberts said.
From part-time supplier to full-time partner
Roberts had another opportunity to work with Vocus when Cubic embarked on a major global project to implement new architecture for the company’s worldwide SD-WAN. The solution was being managed from the U.S. and Cubic wanted a minimal number of carriers around the world to avoid dealing with dozens of suppliers for their network links. In particular, they required business broadband services to provide redundancy for other providers.
Cubic’s existing telco was doing a significant amount of procurement for the APAC region and at the time, it was nominated as a supplier for the region. But from the outset, there were a range of problems.
“They failed to meet most of the basic requirements and failed to meet almost all of the service level agreements such as delivering on time and without failure,” Roberts said.
The company was also unable to provide diversity to the exchange of redundant links to the sites. With missed delivery deadlines, lack of customer support as well as time and money wasted, Roberts felt he could no longer trust the telco to meet the simplest of requests.
On the other hand, in Australia, Vocus was able to put in most of the circuits quickly and professionally. As a challenger to bigger telcos in the market, Vocus delivered what Cubic required—a cost-effective, high-quality solution that was ahead of schedule.
“The experience changed our perception of Vocus from being a part-time supplier to a primary partner for network circuits. Going forward, when there are new opportunities, we’ll consider working with Vocus,” said Roberts.
While price is not always a deciding factor for Cubic when choosing a provider, selecting Vocus has reduced the company's overall operating costs.
For Roberts, one of the greatest benefits of working with Vocus has been its consultative approach. Rather than simply selling products, Vocus builds an understanding of a client’s business requirements, allowing for strategic planning on new platforms, and then working with its network of channel partners to deliver tailor-made solutions.
“Our major partners, like Vocus, Dell and Cisco, are important because they allow us to leverage solutions without having to reinvent the wheel each time,” Roberts said. “We’re able to use the best products and don’t have to constantly search for internal resources to complete projects and solutions.”
Exciting IT projects are on the horizon for Cubic. The company is hoping to optimise its network by introducing a service-based SD-WAN solution that will meet the company’s needs not only in metro locations, but also regional areas, along with exploring services like VoIP. Roberts feels confident that Vocus will be working closely with Cubic on these future initiatives.
“I need service that is delivered on time, reliable and technically solid,” Roberts said. “And if problems arise, I expect the mitigation of that risk to be done with high priority. That’s the kind of service I’m seeing from Vocus.”