Opus Talent Solutions
Opus Talent Solutions provide innovative and award-winning specialist recruitment solutions in the IT, technology and engineering sectors. Opus was acquired in November 2021, and their objective is to expand the business in three to five years, from about 250 employees to 800-900 globally, with most growth in the US. They are already successful in the UK, Amsterdam and Sydney, offering local knowledge on a global scale. They currently have US offices in New York, Tampa, Austin and Dallas, all deployed and supported by Blackstar.
Drivers for change
Opus Talent Solutions (Opus) were very happy with the telephony support they received from Blackstar Solutions (Blackstar), but their existing technology was not meeting their current needs. The driver for change was partly sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic, changing work patterns and global expansion.
- Zoom deployment with private licenses for meetings, meeting rooms, training, recording and webinars
- Implementation of 8×8 telephony solution, a true global cloud platform, fit for scalability
- Poly VVX250 & VVX350 desk phones and Jabra headsets for all employees
- Existing Microsoft Teams solution, for more flexibility in client communications with 8×8 integration
- Flexibility of Teams or Zoom meetings, depending on client preferences
- Telephony is now unified globally in a single platform that is ready to scale
Considerations for future scalability
Opus historically had a privately hosted Mitel telephony system and were using Starleaf for their videoconferencing needs. They rolled out the Starleaf solution across all office locations, conscious of reducing the carbon footprint for face-to-face meetings.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the technology in place at the time failed to meet the needs of the business with the phone system not providing a robust mobile application and the meeting room based video conferencing solution not offering a compelling desktop or mobile offering for remote and home working.
The additional need for further global expansion of the telephony solution prompted Blackstar to suggest moving away from UK centric technology to a global cloud solution.
It was crucial to ensure that any new solution could scale globally and quickly due to the fast-moving nature of the recruitment industry and in line with Opus’ growth plans.
Opus were already using Microsoft Teams, but needed an alternative platform so that they could offer clients another form of communication, to suit their needs. Blackstar deployed Zoom for meetings, rooms and webinars, which went live in the summer of 2021. Opus are on a monthly subscription license for every user, so all employees have their own private Zoom account. Opus also record a lot of meetings in Zoom, particularly when running training sessions on Zoom Rooms, and they use the chat function, like IM, which is an additional benefit of the licensed version.
Blackstar allowed Opus to leave their Starleaf contract early with no penalty, in order to migrate to Zoom, because they recognised that the technology was not meeting their needs. Opus now have a five-year contract with Blackstar and they are using Zoom globally, with great results.
8×8 Global Cloud Telephony Platform
Being a recruitment business, Opus’ sales function is ideally office-based, but they still had to embrace the concept of flexible, remote working. In the UK and Amsterdam, Opus had a legacy, privately hosted telephony system, which still had 18 months to run on the contract. Their telephony contracts were also coming up for renewal in Sydney and the US so both Opus and Blackstar agreed that the timing was right to move to a single global cloud platform instead of the UK, EU, USA & Australia all being on separate systems with different providers.
Opus wanted to unify all of their telephony onto a single global platform that would enable growth and expansion, so the migration was a logistical and operational decision around scalability. They asked Blackstar to advise them on the most appropriate global cloud telephony platform to meet their requirements. They looked at several options with Blackstar, including MS Teams Voice, 8×8 and Zoom Phone.
After an extensive evaluation process, including a live trial of the leading contender, they decided on an 8×8 solution. 8×8 is an established player in the global cloud telephony market and are top right of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS globally. 8×8 also have data centres in each of Opus’ international locations and where they plan to have a presence.
8×8 enables Opus to use the mobile app and desktop app from wherever they are based, from pretty much any device and also includes integration to MS Teams Voice. The integration with Microsoft Teams allows users to make and receive calls from the native Teams dialer as well as the extensive collaboration features Opus was already using. As Blackstar was experienced in deploying both Teams and 8×8 they were agile enough to adapt to Opus’ requirements to integrate the two systems.
Another reason for choosing 8×8 was the bundling of international calls (which they make regularly), so Blackstar looked at the territories that Opus call most frequently or is expanding to, and they have negotiated a good fixed monthly cost.
The 8×8 cloud telephony solution also comes with a full analytics package, which is particularly useful for reporting and measuring call data.
Opus also benefits from 8×8’s CLI flexibility, meaning that the number displayed on the outbound call can be selected on a call-by-call basis by the user, an important feature for any recruiter! Opus also had specific use cases for this when calling into countries that they do not have permanent offices in, so that they can improve call answer rates by calling from what appear to be local phone numbers.
Blackstar deployed Jabra headsets for all staff and 300 compatible Poly VVX250 & VVX350 phones across Opus’ global locations, coordinating all the shipping and delivery. They try and buy hardware in the country when they can, to help reduce carbon emissions; up against current international component shortages, they still managed to deliver on time.
Responsive customer service and great support
The project was started in the autumn of 2021, but with some Covid-related supply chain delays, particularly in Sydney and Amsterdam, Blackstar worked hard to complete it by February 2022.
Garry Watts, Head of Business Operations at Opus Recruitment, commented,
“Opus opened the Dallas and Austin offices during the challenging pandemic and Blackstar were incredibly helpful and responsive, managing the logistics of hardware and software delivery in a short space of time, even when faced with supply chain issues.
Blackstar always prioritises what’s right for the client’s needs. They are very cooperative, agile and a nice team to work with. They feel like an extension of our team and are also technically strong. I see our relationship with Blackstar as a long-term partnership.”
Elliot Mace, Sales Director at Blackstar Solutions, added,
“Opus Talent Solutions is rapidly expanding, and we are delighted that they put their faith and trust in Blackstar to support their communications for another five years, in tandem with 8×8 on their global 24/7 support. We listened to what Opus wanted and understood that continuity and simplicity was key for them, hence choosing the 8×8 telephony system and Zoom platform, both of which would best need their needs.”
Blackstar Solutions are in a strong position to help Opus with future technology, such as CRM integration.