In talking about unified communications, I often explain to business evaluators that unified communications is a journey, not a destination. I have mentioned our journey here at Aspect (News - Alert) in the past, but having now worked with quite a number of other businesses on their own journeys, it seems appropriate to look at the experience they have gone through as they progress from strategy and planning to deployment and post implementation ROI analysis. Here are three different companies that have benefited from unified communications in similar, yet subtly different ways.
A Large Global Management Consulting Firm
As a consulting company, the bulk of employees spend most of their time at client sites. As a result, mobility costs for this company were extremely high. Also, it was sometimes difficult to get cell phone signals, and it was challenging for consultants to collaborate with colleagues using just a mobile phone. This company realized it needed a more cost-effective way to manage those costs, while at the same time increasing flexibility. After deciding that a unified communications deployment would be the right path, the company immediately saw the cost advantages by enabling consultants to make VoIP-based calls. Shortly after the deployment, it had 50 consultants working at a client site and was unable to get cell phone services. But because of Internet availability, they were able to make calls, which not only reduced long-distance costs, but increased collaboration by easily bringing other consultants into conversations through IM, phone or conferences, which ultimately enhanced customer satisfaction.
A Regional Airport
This airport had a dispersed workforce spread across multiple terminals, the traffic control tower, and various hangers, creating communication challenges that can be critical in this industry. Following the rollout of unified communications, user adoption was quick and enthusiastic. Everyday tasks that had previously required multiple trips back and forth across the company’s property are now seamless with unified communications. For instance, the engineers in charge of the terminal drawings can now share those through their desktops, when before they had to print the drawings and hand deliver them for legal discussion, followed by mark-ups and then back-and-forth conversation. This has greatly improved communications and increased productivity.
Large Military Contractor
Faced with an aging PBX (News - Alert) telephony infrastructure, this company was in need of a replacement solution that would allow it to work better together and be more efficient, while keeping security at the forefront. It also needed to reduce travel and communication costs across a 586-square-mile production complex. Following deployment the company saw a sharp reduction on travel costs, as well as an increase in collaboration and productivity. There are a large number of application developers within this organization, and they spend a lot of time going back and forth to make updates or solve problems. Conferencing with IM sessions and desktop sharing has allowed developers to share information securely with multiple employees to get the job done, which enables instant collaboration without requiring staffers to leaving their desks.
Each of the above customers recognizes that much of their journeys are still ahead. And they all recognize that the next steps will be successful only if they invest in the same amount of planning and strategy building that contributed to their successes today.Mike Sheridan (News - Alert) is executive vice president of worldwide sales with Aspect.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi