Not every Unified Communications project is a matter of life and death, but that's how we started our X-change on Unified Communications!
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Astrid is the telecoms operator exclusively for the Belgian emergency and public safety services, such as police, fire brigade and ambulance. Christophe Grégoire, COO at Astrid, gave us our first ‘real-life’ case of the day, laying out the challenges when taking an emergency call from a person in distress. The responder has to be able to determine:
And through it all, time is of the essence!
Christophe explained how unifying Astrid’s communication services and platforms helps answer many of these challenges, to create a more efficient, life-saving emergency service- something we can all get behind!
The presentation by Bart Pauwels, Manager Service Delivery at Nextel, was an excellent complement to Christophe’s. Bart explained what the future holds for UC. "Apps are not gadgets anymore: they are a fully integrated part of UC and of communication with your clients", he stated. Furthermore, UC is seen more and more as key to an organisation's customer and employee satisfaction.
What are the main success factors in a UC project?
Next, we had a second real-life case, this time from KBC. Kristof Loots, ICT Architect at KBC, shared that the bank's path towards UC wasn't always a bed of roses: at times, it was quite challenging. But the benefits are numerous and long-lasting.
The mindset of the people involved (management, IT, users) is very influential in the success of a UC project, Kristof explained. As one example, he described how some people tend to stick with their 'internal' (3-digit) phone number. But in a fully integrated UC platform, these have been replaced by SIP addresses. At times, this situation can cause frustration. Kristof repeated Bart’s comment: communication is essential!
Kristof also predicted that UC has not yet reached its limits:
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