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Drinking the UC Kool-Aid

Many of you are now developing your own UC story. For me, it’s hard to believe a year has passed since Aspect began the global deployment of Microsoft Office Communications Server R2. What’s even harder to believe is that there was life before OCS. The company has seen benefits on many levels, and we expect more to come.

Among our 2,000 employees, we completed more than 1.7 million calls, with almost 12 million minutes of talk time during this first year. Aspect’s instant message sessions have totaled over two million sessions, and we have held more than 138,000 conference calls, with what seems an astonishing 33 million minutes of participant time. The conference calls hosted externally have dropped 97 percent from 300,000 million minutes the week the system went live, to less than 7,000 minutes. Conferencing savings total more than $100,000 each month.

These stats validate that UC clearly was the right direction for us, but it goes beyond numbers. What has made this UC journey interesting are the “softer” outcomes that have provided us with a wealth of insight, including:

  • Voice contact did not increase, but communication channels did through IM, conferencing, desktop sharing, etc. showing that each employee is finding his or her own communication preference.
  • UC has enabled a greater degree of collaboration within Aspect through cross-regional improvements, such as communicating better with our co-workers across the world. The utilization of the tool sets of IM, conferencing, and desktop share has helped us facilitate that cross-regional dynamic.
  • The importance of real-time in today’s world has become increasingly evident. Single-click escalations from e-mail to IM to voice are a very common occurrence for me and my colleagues.

What started as a technology project continues to teach us that organizational and regional boundaries increasingly don’t matter. This happened far faster and bigger than ever anticipated and is a changing dynamic for Aspect. Our accomplishments in 2009 related to UC were significant, but with the new focus on collaboration, 2010 is a year to be excited about and my guess is we won’t be the only one telling that story. IT

Mike Sheridan is executive vice president of worldwide sales with Aspect (

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