Sun Life Financial

2500+ Employees
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Leading International Financial Services Organization Turns to Avaya to Improve Global Communications and Drastically Reduce Cost

Sun Life Financial has a large global footprint, with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. With a network of operations as established and extensive as this, flawless communication throughout the organization is imperative in ensuring employees are able to provide clients with the best possible financial products and services.

That’s why Sun Life Financial knew it had to upgrade its outsourced conferencing system, as the existing solution wasn’t able to facilitate communication at the level that the organization needed it to.

“We have more than 15,000 employees worldwide and conference calls are one of the primary ways they stay in contact with each other.”

Robert Miller, AVP of Interaction and Call Center Technologies, Sun Life Financial

“We were using a series of external providers to host our conference calls, which frankly cost us a lot of money for the service we received,” Miller continued. “As our need to use audio conferencing grew globally, we started to receive an increase in the number of reports of voice quality issues, plus conference calls typically started late since the chairperson didn’t know who had joined the conference call. Privacy was also a concern for us. Leveraging an external third party conferencing system meant there was a risk that non-Sun Life conference participants could accidentally join our conference calls. With a dedicated Sun Life system, this potential could be eliminated.”

Sun Life Financial

Also, with large conference calls occurring and many people dialing in from around the world, the available trunk capacity was exhausted; therefore, many Sun Life employees couldn’t receive inbound calls or make outbound calls during peak periods, affecting overall productivity.


Knowing a change was needed, Miller and his team turned to Avaya for a solution that would allow them to run their teleconferences smoothly and more affordably.

“The Sun Life Financial team wanted a solution where they could exercise more control over their resources and reduce the overall WAN trunking requirements,” said Ross Pellizzari, President and Managing Director, Avaya Canada. “They wanted to streamline the process by bringing conferencing in house, improve the overall quality of their calls and perhaps most importantly, save some money.”

“We looked at what other companies offered, but we decided that Avaya Aura Conferencing was the right solution for us,” recalled Miller.

“Avaya Aura Conferencing easily integrated with our Avaya Aura SIP-based infrastructure and offered some great benefits that previously weren’t available to us.”

Robert Miller, AVP of Interaction and Call Center Technologies, Sun Life Financial

Avaya Aura Conferencing creates easy, real-time conferencing and collaboration, and offers scalable conferencing for businesses of every size. It is easily deployed on premises for audio only, or as an integrated combination of audio, video, and web conferencing. Integration with unified communications applications lets users leverage desktop applications and interfaces for increased conference control. It also allows for media cascading, which aggregates all local streams into a single outbound connection, reducing WAN bandwidth traffic and stress on the central media server – perfect for a company that has offices around the world connecting to a single call.

Avaya Aura Conferencing also delivers capabilities like audio and web conferencing, high-definition video conferencing, document-based collaboration, and sharing of desktops and applications. Video-enabled web conferencing offers slide show presentations and document-based collaboration, sharing of applications and desktops, and video streaming.

And better still, by eliminating the fees associated with external conferencing providers, the solution helps companies cut costs and realize a rapid return on investment.



Perhaps the biggest benefit of Sun Life Financial’s new multi-modal system is the significant cost savings. Prior to the launch of Avaya Aura Conferencing, the company was spending a great deal on hosting services; however, with the reduction of the overall global WAN trunking requirements, this cost has been greatly diminished.

“We reduced our external conferencing cost by 95 percent – insourcing our audio conferencing service has reduced our global audio conferencing costs by one-third,” says Miller.

“The Avaya Aura Conferencing solution essentially paid for itself in less than eight months of being deployed. It has been a great return on our investment.”

Robert Miller, AVP of Interaction and Call Center Technologies, Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial


The new solution has created operational efficiencies for all Sun Life employees. The team can now access each other with a seven digit number – something they weren’t previously able to do – and conferences now begin much quicker, as the host is able to track who has dialed in to participate. Everyone has access to the same collaboration resources with the same user experience.

“Employees can connect to the conference call simply by using the host’s phone number as the access code, which can easily be found in the host’s email signature. Our users love having local access to what is a centralized service. The host is able to organize the call quickly and simply by using a browser, instead of having to take a verbal roll call of who is present and participating, which in the past wasted the first five minutes of our meetings,” said Miller. “Entry tones have been eliminated and we’ve had users report significant improvements in audio quality; having a visual indication as to who is speaking also adds important context to the call.”


Avaya Aura Conferencing enables a greater level of security than what the previous conferencing solution could provide.

“It’s a great relief to know that our calls are now more private and confidential,” said Miller. “The new conferencing system offers a web-based Personal Agent that allows the chairperson and participants to see who is on the conference call and who is speaking.”


Because Avaya offerings are versatile and scalable, there are a host of other Avaya Aura Conferencing features that Sun Life is planning on utilizing in the future. “We’re looking at the web collaboration feature, video, and one number access,” stated Miller.

“There are many capabilities in Aura Conferencing that can make our employees’ jobs easier.”

Robert Miller, AVP of Interaction and Call Center Technologies, Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial
  • Headquarters:

  • Canada

  • # Employees:

  • 15000

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2013, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $591 billion.

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“There are many capabilities in Aura Conferencing that can make our employees’ jobs easier.”

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