The Regroupement Loisir et Sport du Québec (RLSQ) is a private non-profit organization that has been around for close to 45 years and which offers various management support in technical, professional and administrative services to its clients, mainly sports and recreation non-profit organizations throughout the province. The RLSQ, comprised of about fifty employees and located at the Olympic Stadium, represents more than 10,000 clubs and local associations in Québec through its 450 external members and 600 internal users. Whether it is to serve such entities with their needs related to insurance, payroll or legal, IT or financial services, graphic design and printing of various materials or to help them organize their trips during big sports competitions, the RLSQ is there for them!
With 450 external members in more than 10,000 clubs and local sports’ associations throughout Québec, the Regroupement Loisir et Sport du Québec (RLSQ) had to completely revisit its analog communication tools which had become obsolete. With so many internal and external players, the challenge was to streamline communications as well as provide a simplified access to its partner organizations and features customized to their needs.
In order to roll out a comprehensive communication solution, including 600 devices, to more than 1,600 users across the province and ensure that all entities under its banner are gathered under the same virtual roof, the RLSQ, turned to Panasonic and its KX-NSX2000 platform, a next generation centralized IP business communication server which facilitates customer service and allows to support up to 2,000 users and reach them easily, wherever they may be on whatever type of device they may use.
The recent roll-out of Panasonic’s versatile solution allowed the RLSQ to greatly simplify the quick deployment of communication solutions for its partner entities, all at a reasonable cost for the non-profit organization. With a user-friendly system and many flexible options, the organization can now perfect and broaden its reach, better serve its partners, simplify internal communications among its employees and members located at the Olympic Stadium and increase its client base.
For the President and CEO of the organization, Sylvain B. Lalonde, and IT director Fouzi Berkia, the analog technology used by the organization for over 20 years was starting to fail; obsolete equipment, parts that could not be replaced and unavailable or non-existent technical support… And, with ever-growing internal and external needs to reach its partner entities, "it was time to change and transition to the digital age!"
Indeed, with over 125 different organizations under its banner, the RLSQ had to turn towards a comprehensive communication solution by way of a reliable and flexible system to promote a unified collaboration and meet the highly varied and numerous needs of its 1,600 users. The challenge was herculean: reaching organizations at the four corners of the province with tools that were user-friendly and could be quickly implemented, in addition to simplifying teleworking conditions for its employees and ensuring partner mobility at all times. And all this "as if they were with us, in the building!" says Mr. Berkia.
When it came time to choose a new solution, the RLSQ had many criteria in mind… but rather limited means. For a non-profit organization, the feeling of constantly being restricted in terms of budget is ever present! Consequently, the quality-price ratio is, without a doubt, one of the first elements to consider; more than 1,600 users (some 600 devices) had to be served, keeping in mind the organization’s budget constraints. As noted by the President and CEO, "suppliers have to adjust to our reality, we first had to demystify our type of business; Panasonic fully understood our situation and responded adequately by adjusting its presentation and service offer." Such a display of flexibility and transparency pleased the RLSQ, which allowed Panasonic to break away from its competitors, charge full steam ahead and score the winning goal!
If, at the outset, it seemed totally logical to the RLSQ team to lean confidently towards Panasonic due to its notoriety and strong international presence, such confidence grew as a result of the chemistry that quickly blossomed between the two, making them feel more like actual teammates than simple partners. Sensing that Panasonic’s crew was responsive to their needs, RLSQ employees were impressed with the customer service and the quality of support offered to them, as Montreal, Toronto and Japan stakeholders did not hesitate to come together during service implementation process. "We quickly saw that there was a transparency among Panasonic’s team, which put us at ease, and whenever we had questions, they were always there to give us a straight answer!" notes Fouzi Berkia, IT director at the RLSQ.
In order to meet the organization’s needs, the Panasonic team called upon its star player and put forth its newest and biggest platform, the KX-NSX2000, which supports up to 2,000 users and, more importantly, makes it easy to reach them wherever they are. The solution scored points with the RLSQ by adapting to its users with an array of available options based on their specific needs. Among them, let’s note the capacity of easily deploying new telephone lines, the creation of an integrated call centre, the existence of a virtual portal to manage various features, the possibility of having unified messaging, simplified messaging management via a Web interface, recording and transferring calls from one device to another, audio and video communication feature and a plethora of other options. In other words, with the new platform, the RLSQ team held the key to a broad telephone system allowing them to unlock and open a considerable number of doors, much to the benefit of its members. Consequently, each entity represented by the RLSQ can have its own system, one that can be implemented quickly, that offers countless malleable features and that is easy to use, wherever the user may be; a true turnkey product!
According to Mr. Lalonde, with Panasonic, dealings are transparent from the onset with a complete solution, and no obligation to purchase new licenses, add more modules or renegotiate over time. The stakeholder was specifically looking for a turnkey solution and was quickly attracted by the great versatility and completeness of the proposed tool: "With Panasonic, were are aware of the starting point as well as the finish line, we understood the substance of the project as a whole, there were no hidden fees or other costs associated to it, and we were entitled to every potential solution, whether they were internal solutions on our servers or external solutions in the cloud".
Such versatility allows RLSQ to pick from a wealth of options in order to roll out the necessary tools based on the specific needs of each entity it serves. For example, Mr. Lalonde points out the importance of having a well-stocked toolbox so as to allow its organization to better reach its clients: "When it comes to versatility, one of our new clients, an organization based in Quebec City dedicated to helping athletes in need, put its faith in us when it came to implementing a 1-800 line, which was easy to do with this solution… that’s one more client on our roster!". And since the non-profit organization also offers IT services to its members, with a reach facilitated by such a flexible and mobile digital solution, as mentioned by Fouzi Berkia, "it allows us to create new opportunities by serving entities located outside the building, which is a great benefit […] in addition to improving perception by demonstrating that our group is proactive in implementing new technologies and offering interesting solutions."
The love story between RLSQ and Panasonic is far from over; implementation is recent enough to open the door to numerous discoveries over the coming months. One can only imagine that with greater use of the platform and maximizing its potential through its many features in the future, the RLSQ will soar even more and attract many new clients!