Venue management company uses Cisco Webex Calling to gain cloud flexibility and expand globally


Industry: Corporate events - 200 staff, 30+ locations

Challenge: On-premise PBX infrastructure

Result: Future-proof communications, reduced costs

Key benefit: All sites and devices connected in the cloud


Cliftons is a specialist provider of corporate venue spaces, serving customers across 33 sites in 20 countries. Founded in 1997, Cliftons quickly expanded from their Sydney beginnings to New Zealand, South East Asia and a range of other locations across the world. With their clients including Microsoft, Apple and the Commonwealth Bank amongst others, the company delivered over 15,000 events last year alone.

One unique challenge for Cliftons is keeping their staff and sites connected. Traditionally, Cliftons have used on-premise PBX phone systems at each site, with bespoke system integration and carrier solutions to ensure that calls can flow across technical and geographic boundaries.

As the business has expanded, maintaining PBX and telecom infrastructure has gotten more complex and expensive. For many years they relied on a self-managed on-premises Cisco Call Manager solution for its telephony needs. While the system worked as intended, Cliftons needed a specialist telephony engineer to help manage calls as the business expanded.

By 2016, Cliftons had begun a cloud migration, starting by working with Cisco to introduce the WebEx Meeting suite to its venues, including WebEx Teams Boards, the vendor’s video conferencing and collaboration screens.

A year later, Cliftons wanted to outsource its network and telephony management, opting to shift management to two partners. But that experience proved frustrating as partners struggled to respond quickly to the company's many needs for network changes. Cliftons therefore decided to bring its telephony back in-house, which again required specialists to manage.

Cliftons moved away from WebEx conferencing, but returned two years later. This was prompted by realising they needed a single integrated system across its venues, rather than attempting to integrate products from different providers. When Cliftons returned to Cisco, the vendor introduced MNF Enterprise to integrate a full WebEx environment, including the newly launched WebEx Calling.

What were the outcomes?

WebEx Calling enabled Cliftons to connect all their sites and devices in the cloud. Taking advantage of a fully integrated system like WebEx Calling meant unified communications and collaboration was made simple. With a focus on multisite and global capabilities, WebEx Calling was the perfect fit to support Cliftons in both their current and future growth – and all from a single product suite.

Utilising WebEx Calling for their telephony needs meant that not only did they substantially reduce their costs through eliminating the requirement for a dedicated specialist, but also in no longer needing the maintenance and upkeep that’s typically associated with an on-premise solution.

Providing scalability and flexibility, WebEx Calling was a great fit for Cliftons, given the ever-increasing portfolio of venues they manage. Delivered over the cloud, and thus secure and always up to date, the money saved from eliminating a specialist telephony engineer can now be reinvested in other areas.

The integration of a full WebEx environment gave Cliftons the ability to take advantage of WebEx Teams and WebEx Meetings as well, increasing the opportunity for collaboration and teamwork across sites. The platform was first implemented to their Australian, New Zealand and Singaporean venues.

Always a forward-thinking organisation, Cliftons became the first Australian company to implement Cisco’s WebEx Calling solution, thanks to help from MNF Enterprise. MNF Enterprise’s new-generation network, with exceptional coverage across Australia and New Zealand, meant that we were the only carrier to be able to deliver the multinational requirements required by Cliftons.

Cliftons COO Robert Boehmer said that nearly all of his staff’s communications is now done through video call via WebEx. “It also means that we don’t have anywhere near the level of hardware that we had before,” said Boehmer.

“MNF Enterprise was the only provider able to deliver on our goal to reduce on-premise infrastructure and complexity.”


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