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Aecon Modernizing Communications and Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Aecon is a Canadian leader in construction and infrastructure development with global expertise and is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.  

Aecon is well-positioned in the Canadian marketplace, delivering integrated solutions to private and public-sector clients through its construction segment in the civil, urban transportation, nuclear, utility and industrial sectors, and provides project development, financing, investment and management services through its concessions segment.  

Opportunities for Innovation

The biggest change to businesses in today’s world is the shift from employees working in physical offices to working remotely. This has continued to redefine how we work, interact, and communicate, as well as how we optimize digital operations. Lastly, one of the most significant changes is that face-to-face meetings have been replaced by remote video conferencing. Although we supported Aecon as they had on-premises Skype for Business environment with two SBCs for PSTN connectivity and needed help to migrate to Microsoft Teams in Office 365. They also required custom support during this change management process.  

Aecon needed to use a simplified telecom collaboration and telecom platform where users could communicate and collaborate securely, as well as consolidate tools and provide an enhanced experience to users. From that point, VNEXT has been helping Aecon slowly roll out features available in Teams. 

Meanwhile, the company has been successfully using Microsoft Teams, part of Microsoft 365, as a tool for collaboration and remote work.  

"We saw an urgent demand for Microsoft Teams with the move to remote working, and we were able to meet that demand by getting the continued support and tools recommended by VNEXT. Microsoft Teams enabled us to communicate and collaborate securely."
James Hay
Senior IS Operations Manager - Aecon

Enabling Microsoft Teams to Boost Communication and Collaboration

To migrate the customer’s on-premises users to Microsoft Teams for unified communication, collaboration, and voice, VNEXT helped Aecon by deploying and executing the following:  

Microsoft Teams enablement

Aecon’s unified communication and collaboration team not only enabled Teams with policies to govern, but also enable secure internal and external collaborations. 

Skype for Business to Teams upgrade

Skype for Business was widely deployed within Aecon. However, with the need to move off legacy systems, Aecon decided to upgrade their Skype for Business to Teams. 

Phone System

Aecon migrated their Skype for Business enterprise voice users to Phone System. Also, the organization sites used Microsoft Calling Plan, Phone System Direct Routing, or a combination of both. 

Audio Conferencing

The organization set up Audio Conferencing service numbers that were hosted on their SIP trunk to their PSTN provider. 

Auto Attendants and Call Queues

Aecon used auto attendants and call queues to manage incoming calls to their front desk’s phone number. 

Aecon: Digital Transformation Journey Continues  

Due to the major change in working habits, change management and adoption activities delivered by both VNEXT and internal champions, were critical to the success of the transformation and modernization path that didn’t stop with the Teams Voice adoption.  

During the past years and after the first phase of projects mentioned above, Aecon has been successfully using Microsoft Teams, part of Microsoft 365, as a tool for collaboration and remote work and above all, has been leveraging other Teams capabilities such as the Teams App templates “FAQ Plus chatbot” and “Company communicator”. The Company communicator app was used for the customer’s communications team to be able to create and send messages and internal announcements to multiple teams, as well as to engage large numbers of employees over chat. 

Aecon has also introduced FAQ Plus chatbot as an internal knowledge and reference database for use by their Service Desk. 

Exploring Business Scenarios to Drive Cloud Transformation 

Meanwhile, Aecon is dedicated to exploring and implementing new business scenarios and taking licensing and applications to the next level.  

With the help of VNEXT, Aecon leveraged the Microsoft funded Accelerator Workshops for Hybrid Meetings, Modernize Communications (Teams Calling), Endpoint Management and Teams Apps and solutions, that consisted in discovery sessions and learning opportunities for different stakeholders and departments within the organizations. That is to say, to primarily map their current work processes and scenarios into the new Teams spaces.  

Key Benefits and Outcomes

In a joint collaborative effort with the Microsoft Account team, VNEXT has been able to continue supporting Aecon on their Teams enablement journey allowing the organization to fully realize the value of their Office 365 licenses. Most importantly, here are some of the key outcomes to highlight: 

  • Complete transition plan for Microsoft Teams. 
  • Migration (technical and business requirements). 
  • Provided change management for a smooth transition and adoption of the new platform  
  • Developed a governance strategy.
  • Opportunity to explore devices for Teams Walkie talkie feature and frontline worker wearables. 
  • Discovered the opportunity to standardize endpoint management for Corp and Joint Ventures. 
  • Uncovered opportunities to empower Front Line Workers. 
  • Opportunity for user onboarding Platform using O365 and Power Platform (Teams app) Workshop sessions helped our customer map their current work processes into the new Teams spaces. 
  • Provided end users with more productive working environment and applications. 
"It’s been a pleasure for our team to support Aecon throughout their entire transformation journey over the last few years. By working with a variety of stakeholders and departments from Aecon, we’ve learnt a lot about their specific business needs and challenges which allow us to identify opportunities for continued innovation through the best use of their Microsoft licensing and technology investments."
Ezekiel Calabia
CEO and Founder - VNEXT


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