Tech firm and beverage brand: an unlikely but invaluable partnership

Pernod Ricard implemented BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams to keep its 19,000 employees collaborating from afar by connecting its various video conferencing solutions

Tech firm and beverage brand: an unlikely but invaluable partnership
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With 19,000 employees looking after a vast range of global brands including Absolut Vodka, Beefeater Gin and Jacob’s Creek wines, alcoholic beverage producer Pernod Ricard has a large number of highly dispersed teams.  

To boost collaboration, the business rolled out video conferencing systems in its global offices. But after realising the potential of Microsoft Teams, it adopted the platform as its default collaboration tool to eliminate the complexity of having multiple video conferencing systems.  

“We are a significant Microsoft user,” said Antonio Eguizabal, Pernod Ricard’s head of IT operations and global services. “Our IT backbone is based on Microsoft products. All our collaborative work is based on Microsoft services, especially Office 365. So, we made a decision to make Teams our default collaboration and communication tool.” 

Having implemented Teams, Pernod Ricard faced a new problem – how to connect its hundreds of standards-based meeting rooms and devices to Teams. Replacing its existing hardware with Teams-certified devices would have been costly and time-consuming, so Eguizabal and his team wanted to use the current infrastructure for as long as possible. 

As a long-time BlueJeans customer, Eguizabal decided to implement the firm’s solution for cloud video interoperability (CVI), BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams. 

“The architecture of the BlueJeans solution is aligned with our model, which is cloud-based,” said Eguizabal. “If we had to replace all our meeting rooms and get new devices that are Teams-compatible, it would have taken us more than a year. So we saved not just in terms of hardware costs, but also time, money and effort to replace our devices. The benefits of that are amazing.” 

The solution’s ability to support any type of video conferencing hardware was also important to Eguizabal, because the business was using devices from a range of brands. BlueJeans Gateway works with thousands of room system configurations, enabling any organisation to optimise its use of existing hardware. 

“And our level of confidence in BlueJeans was such that, when they said that a tool was working fine, we would trust them and verify that it was indeed working,” said Eguizabal. “They have always been there when we need technical and other support.” 

Pernod-Ricard deployed BlueJeans Gateway for Teams in mid-2020, taking only a matter of minutes for each of its 400 meeting rooms and requiring no additional hardware investment. “We requested to be connected, and they enabled that and gave us network access devices and credentials,” said Eguizabal. “We then gave our permission as an admin for our Office 365 tenancy, to set up the integration. And that was all done in minutes.” 

BlueJeans Gateway now enables Pernod Ricard to set up and join Teams meetings using its existing room systems. Regardless of their room systems, 19,000 employees can now join meetings with the touch of a button, eliminating delays and improving the productivity of meetings.  

BlueJeans has also enabled Pernod Ricard to make the most of remote and hybrid working environments, the need for which was heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic. With BlueJeans Gateway, users can join Teams meetings from any device — whether they’re working from home or the office, which has allowed them to continue to communicate and collaborate during the crisis.  

According to Eguizabal, Pernod Ricard was fortunate to have the ability to quickly shift to remote work with the help of these tools. “The usage of such tools multiplied by two or three, and we continue to extensively use these platforms,” he said. “In some ways, the pandemic has forced everybody to use technologies like Teams to keep working despite disruption. They’ve realised that there’s no reason they can’t keep doing what they’ve been doing remotely.” 

With Teams now fully rolled out and integrated with BlueJeans, Pernod Ricard is thinking ahead in its journey to become more collaborative. The firm plans to deepen its use of Teams and anticipates that its partnership with BlueJeans will prove to be invaluable once more.  

“We expect to increase our number of Gateway licenses every year,” said Eguizabal. “We’ll keep using Gateway to ensure our existing meeting rooms and video conferencing capabilities continue to connect to Microsoft Teams seamlessly.”  

Take a free 30-day trial of BlueJeans Gateway and connect unlimited rooms to Microsoft Teams video conferencing, visit: https://pages.bluejeans.com/gatewaytrial-therecord 

This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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