Supporting healthcare through collaboration

Supporting healthcare through collaboration
Claranet used Teams to help Penlon deliver 15,000 ventilators to the NHS during Covid-19 

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Penlon is a medical devices manufacturer based in Oxfordshire in the UK that has a presence in over 90 countries around the world. In March 2020, the company took up the UK government’s call to arms to support its National Health Service (NHS) and care for those affected by Covid-19. To do this, it stopped its usual operations to support the drive to produce 15,000 urgently needed ventilators. Its effort was part of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium led by High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a group of manufacturing research centres in the UK. 

The consortium – which includes companies such as Airbus, Maclaren and Mercedes Benz – used Microsoft Teams as the common communications platform. To fully engage with its new mission, successfully deliver the ventilators, and comply with the UK’s newly implemented lockdown measures, Penlon needed to carry out a company-wide adoption of the platform fast. 

“There were a few challenges associated with the different lockdown measures in place,” says Tony Serratore, head of IT at Penlon. “Firstly, we needed to establish a platform for the supply chain so that we could collaborate with our various partners efficiently. Colleagues also wanted to work from home and still have that clear communication channel. Claranet helped us roll out Teams very quickly and has supported us throughout.”  

In addition to deploying Teams, Penlon went one step further and implemented Claranet’s new cloud-based telephony system Teams Voice. In 24 hours Claranet had integrated its voice platform into Microsoft 365 and Teams, allowing everyone in the company to make internal and external calls using their existing phone numbers.

“The goal is to save lives and Claranet has played its part,” says Serratore. “I have to thank Claranet for supporting us in this effort. Infrastructure is an integral part of any business and there is a lot of pressure to meet some of these challenges. Having such a good team behind me such as Claranet has really helped me to deliver a solution that has maintained employee communication as we all work from home, and collaboration with our supply chain and other members of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium. Thank you very much.”

Find out more by watching an interview with Tony Serratore of Penlon at

This article was originally published in the Summer 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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