Werner Enterprises goes ‘Cloud First, Cloud Now’ by selecting Zoom’s unified communications platform
When Werner Enterprises took on the bold mission of becoming the first transportation company to move to the cloud, they turned to Zoom to help them lead the charge.
Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska
Challenges: An overly complex physical communications infrastructure that required significant management, transitioning to a ‘Cloud First, Cloud Now’ infrastructure and becoming the first transportation company to move to the cloud
Solutions: Zoom Phone, Zoom Meetings, Zoom Team Chat
Benefits: Consolidation to a single administrative dashboard, reduced onboarding time to 1/12th compared to the legacy phone provider, E911 to increase employee safety, reduced hard phones from 3,200 to just over 400 in service
“Because we were already using Zoom Meetings, we already had the Zoom app. And Zoom Phone is on the app with Meetings — that's one less app my users have to sign into every day. So I can have my users open up one application for both their phone and their meetings. That's a simpler day for my end users.”
David HawleyNetwork Manager, Werner Enterprises
Werner Enterprises is a company that knows the value of building things from scratch. What Clarence L. Werner started with just a single truck in the 1950s has now become one of the nation’s largest logistics and shipping providers with more than 14,000 associates and contractors. The organization has even built its very own innovation arm, Werner Edge, which is committed to advancing the performance and safety of its drivers, shippers, carriers, and associates by delivering the latest technology-rich solutions in the transportation industry.
But managing the safety and operations of thousands of drivers, trucks, and other assets that are constantly on the move across the country is no easy feat. The teams at Werner recognized that to move into the future with confidence, they needed to rethink their communications infrastructure. So they took on a bold new mission — to become the first transportation company to fully migrate to the cloud.
That’s where Zoom came in.
The need for enhanced flexibility — and safety
While providing on-time, exceptional service is the name of the game for the teams at Werner Enterprises, the safety of their drivers is always their number one priority. With the unpredictable nature of traffic, road, and weather conditions, reliable communication is a must-have. However, the limitations of Werner’s legacy on-premises communications solution made it difficult to maintain that critical connection.
“One of the biggest headaches with our old system was the reliance on physical infrastructure,” said David Hawley, Network Manager at Werner. “So if I have a phone that I have to plug in at a desk, it has to be on my network. And if anything happens to that connection, if we have a remote area where the weather knocks out communications, I don’t have my phone service there now, and until I can get another port set up, I’m not going to have it.”
Werner also wanted to simplify the management of its communications infrastructure.
“I had telecom engineers doing server maintenance and OS patches, and I wanted their focus to be how to get a driver experiencing a service event on the side of a road connected to a roadside specialist as quickly as possible,” David said. “We had 27 servers running to support the previous solution. It was just too much — if I wanted to create a voicemail, I had to go into another server.”
“We also had integrations running to support our data center infrastructure, and if one piece of any integration is broken, that roadside specialist isn’t getting that call from our driver,” David added.
Going where no transportation company has gone before — the cloud
For Werner’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Danny Lilley, moving to a cloud communications solution was a critical aspect of executing Werner’s “Cloud First, Cloud Now” initiative and enabling innovations that will help them prepare for the future.
“As we think about our ten thousand mobile associates, ensuring the simplification of their day-to-day operations and reliable connectivity is imperative,” Danny said.
And with Werner’s associates already well-accustomed to the simplicity and reliability of Zoom Meetings, Dave and his team could see the clear benefits associated with further embracing the Zoom platform.
“Because we were already using Zoom Meetings, we already had the Zoom app. And Zoom Phone is on the app with Meetings — that’s one less app my users have to sign into every day,” David said. “So I can have my users open up one application for both their phone and their meetings. That’s a simpler day for my end users.”
“We also found the highest user satisfaction for associates when it came to using the Zoom app versus competitor apps, so embracing Zoom Phone was the next logical step. And when it came to onboarding, we found that we could onboard associates in 1/12 the time that it took to onboard an employee with our previous solution.”
David HawleyNetwork Manager, Werner Enterprises
Embracing the Cloud-First approach
Creating more opportunities for simplified communication and collaboration is at the heart of Werner’s ‘Cloud First, Cloud Now’ mission, and Zoom Meetings has been an essential part of that effort.
“One of our most interesting and intense uses of Zoom is our entire Program Increment (PI) planning process,” Danny said. “We have two hundred and fifty or three hundred people on a call, and we break out into the individual teams in Breakout Rooms. We’ve been able to facilitate our entire PI planning process via Zoom.”
And with the deployment of Zoom Phone, Daniel and his team were able to immediately simplify the management of their phone infrastructure.
“We had 3,200 hard phones to start with, and right now, we’re at just over four hundred hard phones, which includes adapters for things like paging systems and other devices that aren’t necessarily even phones,” David said. “And from the administrative side, I have a single portal I can do everything from with the Zoom Dashboard — I don’t have a dozen different links or logins to navigate.”
Not only has Werner simplified the management of its phone solution, the organization has also made it easier for new associates to start using Zoom Phone and train with supervisors, regardless of location.
“With Zoom Phone, I can enable monitoring anywhere. Our new sales associates can get on a call anywhere that has internet access and start training and listening to live calls with their supervisor, even if one’s in Atlanta and one’s down in Orlando,” David said.
Werner is using Zoom Phone to reduce server maintenance and simplify onboarding, but it’s also using Zoom Phone to aid in its top priority — keeping its drivers safe.
“We have over one hundred twenty locations that have telephones at physical locations, and a lot of them are terminals where the trucks are coming in and out, and physical security and health and safety issues come up on a weekly basis, if not a daily basis,” David said. “And being able to use E911 to understand where those help calls are coming from and being able to have our safety and security team respond accurately is huge.”
As the Werner EDGE team continues to develop new solutions, Danny and his teams are excited to bring more Zoom products onboard and create a more seamless and simplified communications experience for employees, no matter where they are.
“We are focusing on a unified communication strategy,” Danny said. “So something we’ve been working to do is to transition from our current chat solution and move everyone to Zoom Team Chat.”
“Our ratio of remote workers has increased dramatically, but with Zoom, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you can work and you’re fully capable. It’s become second nature to us, it’s how we do business now — we spend hours on Zoom every day and don’t even think about it.”