National Office for Family Allocations (CNAF)
The National Office for Family Allocations (CNAF) in France uses Pexip to streamline communications and use their video equipment in an eco-friendly way
In France, Allocations Familiales, also known as the National Office for Family Allocations, provide families with assistance in the form of additional income, equipment, support and advice, via the network of 101 regional branches of Caisses d'Allocations Familiales (CAF), managed by the Caisse Nationale des Allocations Familiales (CNAF). The CAF and the CNAF make up the Family Division; they are one of the five sub-sections of France's national social security system. The other divisions are: Illness, Old Age, Independent Living and Collection.
- Need for interoperability and convergence between Cisco, Office 365 and Teams room systems, including dedicated Teams equipment
- Complex infrastructure with two dedicated data centers for telephony/video conferencing and an expected shift to unified telephony with Teams
- Goal of taking an environmentally responsible approach by keeping the Cisco devices, which represented a significant investment
- Gradual migration to hybrid working in the office/at home with a video conferencing service that can be used in all circumstances
- Sovereignty of the solution to enable the CNAF to guarantee the integrity of exchanges and inherited data
- Pexip Infinity video conferencing platform, which created a seamless way to connect legacy Cisco devices with Microsoft Teams
- 35,000 employees have access to a unique, simple and easily accessible environment in meeting rooms
- The 386 Cisco devices are as easy to use as a PC and interoperate with Teams and Office 365
- A seamless and environmentally-responsible transition to the hybrid workforce
From a technical point of view, the CNAF started using video conferencing via Cisco Webex architecture during its migration to an IP telephony architecture between 2008 and 2016. To this end, two data centers were specifically dedicated to telephony/video conferencing for the 35,000 employees of the CNAF (network head) and the CAF (local and regional branches). 386 Cisco devices were thus rolled out to the 101 CAF branches and 15 national sites of the organization's IT department.
An initial ROI was achieved from a reduction in travel and the collaborative advantages of video conferencing.
"But," says Olivier Scotton, Head of Telephony and Video Conferencing at the CNAF, "we wanted to go further. Two key catalysts encouraged us to think about moving to a solution for all employees: the roll-out of Office 365 three years ago and our desire to develop the concept of meetings to reflect technological progress clearly showed us that although we had the right idea, the operational side was lacking."
Consequently, in 2018, the CNAF asked SPIE ICS to find a solution to ensure that "everything was joined up." The challenge was to manage the transition from Webex to Teams while ensuring seamless interoperability with the Cisco meeting rooms which were already in place.
"It was obvious that we weren't going to throw away a substantial investment but, more importantly, the focus was on gradually moving towards video conferencing for all by making it possible to use our video rooms by clicking on a button," explains Olivier.
Technology partner SPIE ICS and Pexip proposed a joint solution to tackle their complex challenges.
"From the very beginning, the teams at SPIE ICS and Pexip were particularly attentive to our needs and offered us tailor-made support to integrate all these services," says Olivier. "But, more importantly, they proposed a viable solution in a complex technical environment. The roll-out went perfectly and, most importantly of all, the results are clear."
A first POC in 2019 made it possible to test the solution and the integration with Office 365, Teams and Cisco rooms in which users could take advantage of One Touch Join to join a Teams video conference.
The convergence of environments has made it possible for all 35,000 employees within the Family Division to organize video conferences in a unique, simplified and easily accessible environment.
“Pexip and SPIE ICS made it possible to put our desire to transform the concept of meetings at the CNAF into practice by making a tool for everyone that simplifies the implementation of hybrid work.”Olivier Scotton, Head of Telephony and Video Conferencing at the CNAF
Adopting the Pexip solution has enabled the integration of Cisco's video conferencing devices with a single technical solution based on Teams. In addition to extending the lifespan of these Cisco devices, this solution provided a new use for these devices, as part of an environmentally responsible approach, given that the roll-out of new tools would inevitably have led to the disposal of the older equipment.
To meet the needs of employees working remotely, a meeting/conference management service was made available to all Family Division employees: meetings via Teams were widely adopted during the pandemic and enabled staff members to manage their workload, interact, work together and, lastly, to feel connected to their colleagues.
Now, as employees gradually return to their workplaces, a new approach to organizing meetings is emerging, involving teams in the office and those working remotely.
"Now we can provide video conferencing for different purposes, from interpersonal meetings to discussions among multiple people for whom a room is more appropriate; this convergence reflects our technological choices for the future."
Learn more about Pexip's video collaboration solutions for large government organizations.