Digital powers relentless innovation in global services sector

Posted on 19/02/2020

Rentokil Initial is in the process of digital transformation, from workers in the field to new global services. Through its engagement with VMware, the group has delivered a more consistent experience for its 43,000 employees, created up to 3,000 percent more bandwidth for half the cost, and reduced its storage footprint by 50 percent.

With £2.49 billion in revenue, Rentokil Initial is not only the world’s largest pest control and hygiene services company, it is also a promoter of relentless innovation.

Digital is at the heart of the group’s growth plans. In the words of Ed Higgs, group director of IT shared services, Rentokil Initial:

“We see digital technologies as an opportunity to serve and retain customers. Digital can drive revenues, save costs and keep us a step ahead of the competition.”

There are a number of issues impacting the business services sector, such as contracts; pricing and controls; offshoring; moving up the value-chain; partnership strategies; top line growth; and workforce management.

For Rentokil Initial, digital will be able to improve its position on every one of these issues.

Global scale, local impact

For digital transformation to be successful, Rentokil Initial must overcome several challenges. The group needs to empower its 43,000 workers and 1,800 local service teams. It wants to ensure a consistent user experience – with access to the correct workplace tools. It also needs to rapidly integrate new acquisitions – it has made more than 120 acquisitions over the last five years. As the business explores new opportunities – including new service lines and new territories, it needs the ability to scale quickly and cost effectively.

The engagement between Rentokil Initial and VMware is broad and long-standing.

Rentokil Initial has used VMware vSphere® to drive IT efficiency for almost a decade; it now uses VMware Workspace ONE to roll out applications to its 20,000 mobile devices.

To deliver the combination of agility, standardization and scale, it uses VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud®. VMware NSX® Data Center brings security and simplicity to network segmentation. VMware vSAN brings a smart approach to data storage, reducing the storage footprint by 50 percent.

Combined, the engagement creates a more dynamic, agile business, better able to respond to global opportunities.

By adopting an agile approach, Rentokil Initial is creating a platform for continued experimentation and innovation. It has expanded the use of its IoT-enabled smart pest-traps deploying over 80,000 devices to customer sites, enabling proactive service management.

ServiceTrak, a field service app, integrated with the master record databases, was deployed to 8,000 staff and 35 countries during 2018 using Workspace ONE. Users have access to files, media and reporting tools; management can better schedule efficient work rosters. Consistency and standardization mean service costs have fallen sharply and productivity for field workers has risen.

By deploying VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, it secured a company-wide network which resulted in up to 3,000 percent more bandwidth for up to 50 percent of the cost in some sites. This means the business has the capacity to absorb new acquisitions or can be faster to start operations in new countries.

The use of NSX Data Center simplifies the management of different segments of the group network, particularly new acquisitions. This means Rentokil can better ringfence the services, applications and data within a new acquisition, keeping it separate from the group until such time industry regulators greenlight the deal.

For Rentokil, NSX Data Center is now a fundamental technology in maintaining its complete security posture.

The next step is to monetize data previously stuck in database silos. Data visualization dashboards have already uncovered the sales opportunity of thousands of field service recommendations going back over five years. It wants to learn more about the science of pest control and move towards end-to-end automation. With data being gathered 24/7, Rentokil Initial wants actionable analysis in real-time.

Which is bad news for pests.


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