Fingal County Council saves with VoIP and unified comms

Fingal County Council, one of the largest county councils in Ireland, is cutting costs and aiming to improve connectivity and operations with a new unified communications and collaboration system from Alcatel-Lucent.

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Fingal County Council, one of the largest county councils in Ireland, is cutting costs and aiming to improve connectivity and operations with a new unified communications and collaboration system from Alcatel-Lucent.

The council said the IP-based OpenTouch system will enable it to better inform and support residents during an emergency, reduce communications costs, and meet its future mobility needs while at the same time improve employee collaboration.

Fingal County Council serves a community of around 270,000 residents, supported by 1,200 staff across 22 different sites such as libraries, depots and offices.

By internalising calls between sites, the system is allowing the council to make significant cost savings. It says it has reduced its communications costs by 25 percent compared to five years ago by changing how it communicates internally and externally.

The OpenTouch capabilities will also improve emergency planning for the council as they enable it to set up a "call centre on the fly" spread across several locations at very short notice to service emergency requirements and improve resident care initiatives.

The new system will allow employees to use their mobile handsets as though they are desk phones, which will help boost productivity, the council said.

Stephen Peppard of Fingal County Council said: "Fingal selected Alcatel-Lucent as its partner in the final phase of a four year project to replace technology that was both end of life and outdated.

"The completeness of the solution offered and its compatibility with the services being provided by the Imagine Group and Vodafone means that the project can be implemented from within current resources with a medium term return on capital investment.”