Facility services firm OCS extends unified communications to 30,000 staff

OCS, a facility services and business process outsourcing company, has signed a £5 million unified communications deal with Azzurri Communications.

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OCS, a facility services and business process outsourcing company, has said it will extend unified communications technology to its 30,000 staff.

Under an existing £5 million unified communications deal with Azzurri Communications, it aims to cut nearly a third from communication costs and improve how staff can interact, by bringing in voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls from Avaya on fixed and mobile phones, and introducing other new networking techonlogy.

Jenny Sener, IT director at OCS, told Computerworld UK that the systems were being rolled out to OCS’ 30,000 staff, “many of whom work remotely”.

Under the Azzurri deal, which runs for three years, OCS has already switched over 2,500 staff to mobile phones on the O2 network.

“We did this in a three-week period, during the heavy snow,” said Sener. “It was a good first milestone to hit, especially in difficult circumstances.”

The phones will offer free calls within the OCS network, on its VoIP system that will be rolled out during this quarter.

OCS had considered moving away from its existing PBX technology for “some time”, Sener said, but the upfront cost had been prohibitive.

It will also implement Ethernet In The First Mile technology, to offer high speed and low cost data transmission. The communications setup was designed by Azzurri, which will implement and run the technology over the contract period.

OCS is also considering extending access to its core SAP customer relationship management system through mobile devices including BlackBerries and rugged PDAs, for relevant staff. Many of its employees are based remotely at customer sites or are making pitches to potential clients, and access rights will be set according to type of staff.

Sener said the agreement was also important because it brought together technology from competing suppliers, which would have been “very difficult to do” without being managed externally.

Nevertheless, she said the project was large enough that OCS could not “simply sit back and watch” while it was rolled out. “We realise we need to take an active role in how all the changes are made, because it is a real overhaul.”

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