Staying Connected Amidst Disruptions: The Woodland Group Case Study

Woodland Group is a leading, independently owned, global supply chain management company with key offices in the United States, UK, Ireland, Asia and mainland Europe—and a network that spans the globe. Facing challenges created by the shift to remote work, the Group and its subsidiaries turned to their longtime technology partner, Windstream Enterprise, for solutions to bolster their communications and productivity.

Industry: Supply Chain Management
Customer: 23 locations in the U.S., Asia, UK, Ireland and mainland Europe, Headquarters: New York, 750 employees
Challenges: Lack of unified, instant global communications system, Impact on workflows and effectiveness, Limitations of existing on-premises system, Difficult to support remote work, Complexity of multiple tools
Windstream Enterprise Solutions: Microsoft Teams (MS Teams), Integration with OfficeSuite UC®
Results: Ability to work from anywhere, Improved productivity, Unified global communications

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Uncharted territory

Woodland Group has provided innovative global logistics, freight-forwarding, e-commerce and supply chain management services since 1988. Operating across multiple locations—from their headquarters in New York, UK and Hong Kong to key offices in Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles— requires seamless communications and the best business connectivity infrastructure available for Woodland Group to deliver on their promise of excellent, effective customer solutions and being easy to do business with. Equally important, reliable, always-on connectivity enables their critical ability to react to changes quickly—a necessity for succeeding in their time-sensitive, competitive, and complex industry.

Even in the most stable times, the world of logistics is constantly changing. Agility is the key to navigating uncharted changes like supply chain issues, upticks in e-commerce and the mass-scale shift to remote work. Woodland Group’s long embraced values, including flexibility, innovation and expertise, give them a built-in advantage when faced with change, but a unique combination of services was required to meet the needs of their unified, global workforce.

A proven partnership

Fortunately, the company already had a 7+ year relationship with Windstream Enterprise, which began with the implementation of SD-WAN to build a reliable network with 100% uptime to keep operations running at full speed. With confidence and trust already in place, Woodland Group turned to Windstream Enterprise for new communication systems just as flexible and effective as their own business approach.

The two companies operate with solutions driven, customer-focused principles, making the partnership a natural fit. Calling out the advantages of Windstream Enterprise over the “big guys”, Jason Theobald, Woodland Group’s IT and systems development manager, appreciates the expertise, excellent customer care and the personal touch that Windstream Enterprise delivers.

“The way Windstream Enterprise approaches customer service is different. It’s a more integrated partnership than would be possible with ‘the big guys’”

Jason Theobald IT & Systems 

Making “work from anywhere” work

Windstream Enterprise tackled the significant issues that accompanied Woodland Group’s shift to remote work: Difficulty in agile communications with employees across the globe, its impact on effective workflows, and a lack of reliable, instant communication system. The existing on-premises telephony with fixed ISDN 30 telephony PBX in the office could not be sustained during the pandemic, so Windstream Enterprise helped develop a strategy to unify communications across the organization.

Already a Microsoft Office 365 client, Woodland Group leveraged their Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) investment by integrating OfficeSuite UC within the platform. This enabled their workforce to move their services to the cloud, providing the functionality and flexibility for employees to work from anywhere. Today, a large percentage of users have migrated or are in transition to the cloud.

Keeping it simple

Multiple communication tools had caused complexity and training issues for end users, creating the need for a simplified user experience with a single interface. Again, integration with MS Teams was the answer. Employees and most new hires already had experience with the platform as a single interface for their communications, simplifying training and onboarding. After Windstream Enterprise successfully beta tested the integration with Woodland Group’s Atlanta office, the company plans to roll out MS Teams with OfficeSuite UC to all their U.S. branches

Unifying global communications to boost productivity

Operating in a global network can be challenging enough, but a lack of unified communications and uniform toolsets creates complexities for end users and, ultimately, loss of productivity. Office Suite UC with MS Teams integration solves this with unified and improved international communications. 

Woodland Group has already seen the positive results from the integration, measured by greater productivity within a more effective infrastructure.

The communications advances help make the most of their across-the organization and across-the-globe power, now even better equipped to tackle unexpected events and challenges without missing a beat.

“Connectivity is everything. It is the most important part and Windstream Enterprise offers stability and a solid platform to meet all our unified communications needs with Microsoft Teams integration.”

Jason Theobald IT & Systems 

Connectivity is the key

With better connectivity and communications comes opportunities to build efficiencies in any company’s operations and processes. Jason credits Windstream Enterprise for the consistency and stability of the connectivity network, which has assisted Woodland Group on its growth path. The addition of new communications solutions to the SD-WAN foundation gives them the power to expand their worldwide reach with even greater speed and agility than ever before.

Simply put by Jason: “Connectivity is everything.”

About the Author

Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise believes people should expect more from their service provider. Our mission: as network, security and application performance become continuously more critical, WE will be the partner that responds to unique customer needs—a pathfinder to help lead them through technology transformation. A trusted advisor to help them connect, transform and elevate their businesses.

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